Cycling Round Up

Archives: July 2003

Mark ScanlonSCANLON UP TO EIGHTH: (By Shane Stokes Jul 30) Irish road race champion Mark Scanlon has quickly got back into his stride after a mid-season break from racing with the Ag2r professional team, placing a fine tenth on yesterday’s third stage of the Tour of the Walloon Region in Belgium and moving inside the top ten in the overall classification.

The 200 kilometre stage to Bouillon saw the strong men of the race move forward. The 22 year old Sligoman was in good company, finishing alongside top Classic champions such as Johan Museeuw (8th) and Peter Van Petegem (11th). They crossed the line eight seconds behind the stage winner Michele Bartoli of the Fassa Bortolo team, who outsprinted five others to take the win.

Scanlon’s consistency thus far in the five day event means that he is now up to an excellent eighth overall, just 18 seconds behind Bartoli in the general classification. The Tour of the Walloon Region continues today (Thursday) with a 189 kilometre stage to Auble.

Tour de la Region Wallonne, Belgium (2.3): Stage 3, Namur-Bouillon (200 kilometres): 1, Michele Bartoli (Fassa Bortolo); 2, Y. Popovych (Landbouwkrediet-Colnago); 3, K. Kirchen (Fassa Bortolo); 4, P. Farazijn (Cofidis, Le Crédit par Téléphone); 5, J. Van Goolen (Quick.Step-Davitamon)

Other: 10, M. Scanlon (Ag2r) at 8 secs

General classification after stage 3: 1, Bartoli; 2, Popovych, at 4 secs; 3, Kirchen, at 6 secs; 4, Van Goolen, at 10 secs; 5, Farazin, same time

Other: 8, Scanlon, at 18 secs

SCANLON RIDING WELL IN TOUR DE LA REGION WALLONNE: (By Shane Stokes Jul 29) Back racing after a mid-season break in Ireland, Ag2r professional Mark Scanlon is riding strongly in the five-day Tour of the Walloon region in Belgium. The 22 year old Sligoman finished 13th in the 160 kilometre opening stage to Charleroi, finishing as part of the main bunch some 19 seconds behind the winner Nico Eeckhout (Lotto-Domo) and his two breakaway companions.

Scanlon then finished once more as part of the main bunch on the 169 kilometre second stage to Nijvel, finishing 26th, 2 minutes and 35 seconds behind his team-mate and solo winner Stéphane Berges. That left Scanlon 20th in the general classification, 2 minutes and 51 seconds behind Berges. The race continues today with a 200 kilometre stage to Bouillon.

Tour de la Region Wallonne, Belgium (2.3):

Stage 1, Flobecq-Charleroi: 1, Nico Eeckhout (Lotto-Domo) 160 kilometres in 4 hours 1 min 1 sec; 2, T. De Groote (Palmans-Collstrop) 3, Wim Van Huffel (Vlaanderen-T Interim) both same time; 4, S. Van Dijk (Lotto-Domo) at 19 secs; 5, M. Zanotti (Fassa Bortolo) same time

Other: 13, M. Scanlon (Ag2r Prévoyance) same time

Stage 2, Waterloo-Nijvel: 1, Stéphane Berges (AG2r Prévoyance); 2, Marco Zanotti (Fassa Bortolo) at 2 mins 35 secs; 3, G. Mikhailov (US Postal-Berry Floor); 4, S. Van Dijk (Lotto-Domo) 5, J. Planckaert (Cofidis, Le Crédit par Téléphone) all same time

Other: 26, Scanlon, same time

General classification after stage 2: 1, Berges; 2, Eeckhout, at 2 mins 16 secs; 3, De Groote, at 2 mins 22 secs; 4, Van Huffel, at 2 mins 26 secs; 5, Zanotti, at 2 mins 45 secs

Other: 20, Scanlon, at 2 mins 51 secs

YOUTH OLYMPICS BEGINS: (By Shane Stokes Jul 29) The three Irish riders in the European Youth Olympics in Paris got their racing campaign underway yesterday in the eight kilometre individual time trial. The medals went to Timon Seubert of Germany, Timofey Kritskiv of Russia and the Estonian rider Tanel Kangert, with Martin Munroe, Adam-Petrie Armstrong and Cian Lanigan in 32nd, 47th and 61st place respectively.

The cycling events in the Youth Olympics continue today with a criterium held over 13 laps of a 2.1 kilometre circuit, and conclude on Thursday with an 8 lap, 64 kilometre road race.

1, Timon Seubert (Germany) 8 kilometres in 10 mins 1 sec; 2, T. Kritskiy (Russia) 10 mins 5 secs; 3, T. Kangert (Estonia) 10 mins 15 secs;

Irish: 32, M. Munroe, 10 mins 48 secs; 47, A.P. Armstrong: 10 mins 58 secs; 61, C. Lanigan, 11 mins 11 secs

IRISH WOMEN ON WINNING TEAM IN TOUR DE LA HAUTE VIENNE: (By Shane Stokes Jul 29) Irish women Geraldine Gill, Marie Reilly and Louise Moriarty enjoyed success in the recent Tour de la Haute Vienne en Limosin while competing in the colours of the Team Internations squad.

The team was completed by the Australian Emma James and two Swiss, Barbara Heeb and Annette Beutler, and with James and Heeb both in the top ten, the squad ran out as winners of the team classification in the four-day French event.

EXCELLENT TURNOUT FOR KERRY YOUTH TOUR: (By Shane Stokes Jul 29) That is being billed as Ireland’s biggest cycling race will take place this weekend when about 200 riders from home and abroad converge on Killorglin to participate in the Kerry Youth Tour. Open to riders between 11 and 16 years of age, the organisers have succeeded this year in attracting teams from South Africa, Belgium, Sweden, Holland and Great Britain.

The Swedish connection is a most interesting one, with the twinning between the U6 Dagars cykletour and the Kerry Youth Tour resulting a group of 15 riders competing in the Swedish event. The club is hoping that similar agreements with Belgian and German race organisations will in the future result in more top-class competition for young Irish racers.

The field will be divided into 3 categories for the event, based on the age of the competitors. Three separate races will be run each day for each of the stages, with the oldest ‘category 1’ group numbering 100 riders.

The first stage on Saturday 2nd August will start at 2.30 pm in Beaufort. Sunday morning will see a time trial taking place on the Killorglin to Beaufort Road, while later that afternoon the Sunhill stage will be held. The Kerry Youth Tour will end with a race run off on the Donal McKenna circuit.

GOOD LINEOUT EXPECTED FOR RACES IN SOUTH WEST: (By Shane Stokes Jul 29) This weekend will see some great racing in the South-West, with the Gene Moriarty Cup, the Crotty Cup and the Kerry Youth Tour all taking place. Listowel is, as always, the venue for the first of these races and this round of the Classic League is expected to attract a strong field.

Brian Kenneally and Philip Cassidy are the only riders to win the contest twice in its 21 year history and race organiser Tadhg Moriarty is tipping Kenneally as one to watch on the day. The Cidona Carrick rider has returned to top form this season and has posted some fine results, including fourth place in the national road race championships and fourteenth in the world B championship road race. Kenneally has also taken three wins in Kerry, namely the Kingdom Cup, the Drumm Cup and the King of the Mountains classification in the Ras Mumhan. Ofoto Lombardi professional David O’Loughlin has recently been confirmed as riding and will also be in the thick of the action, as should the Classic League leader Joe Fenlon and the in-form Aidan Crowley.

The race will take place over 7 laps of a 10 mile circuit. There is a generous prize-fund, with the winner getting 175 euro plus a replica cup, second and third places getting 120 and 100 euro respectively, and the prizes continuing down to twelfth place. There will also be two unplaced second category awards and a prize for best team. Senior 3, veterans, juniors and ladies have a separate race and are very welcome.

The following day many of the same riders will travel to Kilrush to take part in the 68th edition of the Crotty Cup. Vincent Gleeson’s West Clare team are promoting the race and he will be highly motivated to shine on home ground, particularly after finishing third in 2002. Once again there will be a separate race for other categories.

The Crotty Cup will start at 12.30, with sign on taking place one hour before. Riders planning on using the Tarbert-Killimer car ferry are advised to aim for the 11:00 ferry at the latest, as queues are frequent at this time of year.

Underage competitors have their own event this weekend, with the Westwood Homes Kerry Youth Tour taking place in Killorglin. The race will feature visiting teams from Great Britain, Sweden, South Africa and the Netherlands, who together with the Irish riders will fight it out over four stages.

Meanwhile, events will also be held elsewhere in the country, with the FPM 3 day taking place in Newry, the Mount Nugent GP in county Meath and the Lough Glynn Carnival race in County Roscommon. The Midleton criterium scheduled to take place on Saturday has been cancelled due to road works.

IRISH TEAM FOR TOUR DE BRABANT: Eugene Moriarty, Paul Griffin, John O’Shea and Andrew McQuaid will today (Wednesday) begin the 5 day Tour de Brabant in Belgium.

Philip FineganFINEGAN WINS KLONDYKE CUP: (By Shane Stokes Jul 27) Cycleways Lee Strand rider Phil Finegan took his biggest ever win today when he raced to victory in the Klondyke Cup in Robinstown. Finegan was part of the group of senior 1 and 2 riders who set off four minutes behind the remainder of the field in the 60 mile handicap event, and who bridged this gap after four of the twelve laps.

The bunch stayed largely together until four laps to go, when nine riders jumped clear and opened up a decisive advantage over the rest of the 170 rider field. Finegan made his move in the final kilometre, opening a gap and just holding off the fast-finishing junior Paul Brady (Emyvale CC), Stamullen M. Donnelly’s Craig Sweetman and the rest of the break.

Newbridge CC Downhill on Butter MountainMeanwhile the Fiat LCV Racing team had a successful day out at the fourth round of the Cycling Ireland NPS at Butter Mountain, Brittas. John Lawlor got the better of the new champion Colin Ross in the elite race, while Jamie Popham and Peter Popham did the same in the junior and veterans events, leading home Derek Cowen and Ben Reid. Indeed Jamie Popham’s fine run saw him post the fastest time of the day, one second quicker than the elite winner John Lawlor.

In the four-cross events, Colin Ross was best in the combined senior/junior race, while the underage contest was won by Stephen McKintock of Donore Racing.

Klondyke Cup, Robinstown: 1, Phil Finegan (Cycleways Lee Strand) 60 miles in 2 hours 12 mins; 2, Paul Brady (Emyvale CC); 3, C. Sweetman (Stamullen M. Donnelly); 4, M. Colbert (Tilechoice); 5, K. McMahon (Earl of Desmond); 6, P. Bloomer (Cookstown Harps) all same time

Senior 2: 1, Brian Harris (Bray Wheelers); 2, F. Ennis Staggs Lucan); senior 3: 1, Pat Cole (Dublin Wheelers); 2, G. McNulty (Orwell Wheelers); veteran: 1, Ollie McQuaid (Emerald); 2, N. Beggs (Staggs Lucan); junior: 1, Paul Brady (Emyvale); 2, D. Burke (Tuam); women: 1, Mary McKee (Phoenix); 2, J. McCauley (Bray Wheelers)

Under 16: 1, Urban Monks (Bray Wheelers); 2, S. Rock (McNally Swords); 3, C.Kelly (Usher IRC)

Under 14: 1, Aaron Henry (Usher IRC); 2, N. Rock (McNally Swords); 3, G. Rigley (Bray Wheelers)

Under 12: 1, Conor Cambell (Drogheda Wheelers); 2, L. McKenna (Stamullen M. Donnelly); 3, C. Farrell (Kilcullen)

Cycling Ireland NPS round 4, Butter Mountain: Elite: 1, John Lawlor (Fiat LCV Racing); 2, C. Ross (In Touch Solutions); 3, D. McMullen (Plush) See Pictures of Newbridge NPS Downhill Here...

Seniors: 1, David Egan (AB Racing); 2, E. Bjorsel (unattached); 3, N. Hunt (AB Racing)

Juniors: 1, Jamie Popham (Fiat LCV Racing); 2, B. Reid (Plush); 3, A. Sweeney (Anci Uotti)

Women: 1, Michelle McCartney (Chain Reaction)

Masters: 1, Declan Halton (unattached); 2, C. Young (Henley BMX)

Veterans: 1, Peter Popham (Fiat LCV Racing); 2, D. Cowen (Plush); 3, P. McGinn (unattached)

Under 16: 1, Darren Quille (Newbridge CC); 2, M. Nugent (Cyclone); 3, M. Lee (unattached)

Under 14: 1, Niall Wolfe (unattached); 2, L. Jones (Imprisal Racing); 3, P. Cummins (UCT)

Four cross: senior and junior: 1, Ross; 2, A. Yoong (In Touch Solutions); 3, G. O’Keefe (O21 Race technology)

Underage: 1, Stephen McKintock (Donore Racing); 2, M. Nugent (Cyclone); 3, S. McGinn (SMG Racing)

Paul Healion wins the final day of Stagg’s Cycles LCF Summer Festival race
Click here to see pictures of Race 3

HEALION TAKES STAGE THREE, BRACKEN WINNER OVERALL: (By Shane Stokes Jul 25) North Kildare CC rider Paul Healion yesterday won the final stage of the Stagg Cycles LCF Summer Festival race in Batterstown, outsprinting seven other riders at the end of the 34 mile race. League leader Colm Bracken (Usher IRC) picked up six points when he placed tenth in the final sprint and thus won the three-stage race overall, his final total of 35 points enough to see off Stuart Hallam’s 33 and Aidan Crowley’s 32.

Yesterday’s stage had been due to take place over 43 miles but due to concerns over light, it was shortened to 34. The normal handicap system applied and the first of the senior 1 riders made contact with the frontrunners on the Cumulain climb on the second lap, with about nine miles remaining. Healion, Hallam (Dataphonics RT) and Phil Cassidy (Cycleways Lee Strand) combined with the strongest of these to hold their advantage to the finish, where they finished in that order. Seconds later, Crowley won the bunch sprint but as Bracken was just one place behind, he had enough in hand to win overall. Hallam took second, Crowley was third, while veteran Ronnie Brannigan’s efforts over the three days netted him the most aggressive rider award.

Brannigan’s Orwell Wheelers team-mate Declan Byrne finished fourth on the final stage and was best senior 3, while Fergal Kelly (Bray Wheelers), Oliver McQuaid (Emerald), Jenny McCauley (unattached) and Keith Daly (McNally Swords) were best of the senior 2’s, veterans, women and juniors.

Staggs LCF Summer Festival Race, stage 3, Batterstown (Mullagh circuit), 34 miles: 1, Paul Healion (North Kildare CC) 15 points; 2, B. Hallam (Dataphonics RT) 14; 3, P. Cassidy (Cycleways Lee Strand) 13; 4, D. Byrne (Orwell Wheelers) 12; 5, J. Somer (Orwell Wheelers) 11; 6, G. McNulty (Orwell Wheelers) 10; 7, M. Fitzgerald (Orwell Wheelers) 9; 8, Alan Clogher (TC Racing) 8; 9, A. Crowley (Cycleways Lee Strand) 7; 10, C. Bracken (Usher IRC) 6

Final overall: 1, Bracken, 35 points; 2, Hallam, 33; 3, Crowley, 32; 4, Healion, 30; 5, S. Whelan (North Kildare CC); 6, E. Murtagh (Ravens CRT) 26; 7, M. Colbert (Tilechoice) 25; 8, Byrne, 22; 9, P. Moriarty (Dublin Skip) 21; 10, Sower, 21; 11, O. McQuaid (Emerald CC) 21; 12, R. Whelan (Navan Avonmore) 19

Veteran: Ollie McQuaid (Emerald), Woman: Jenny McCauley (unattached), Senior 2: Fergal Kelly (Bray Wheelers), Senior 3: Declan Byrne (Orwell), Junior: Keith Daly (McNally Swords)

Most aggressive rider: Ronnie Brannigan (Orwell Wheelers) Click here to see pictures of Race 3

Dave McCannMcCANN GOES CLOSE TO REPEAT WIN: (By Shane Stokes Jul 24) Irish professional David McCann went close to defending the title he won last year in the world-ranked Manx International yesterday, attacking in the closing stages of the race but ultimately being foiled by a crash. The northern rider held on to finish third behind UK rider Mark Lovatt and Frenchman John Gadnet, but was left rueing what was an unlucky fall.

McCann rode strongly throughout the tough 113 mile race and, aided by his Ireland team-mates David O’Loughlin and Brian Kenneally, reached the final climb in good shape. Gadnet attacked on the climb and opened up a considerable lead, but McCann and Lovatt set off in pursuit and succeeded in closing the gap with about three kilometres remaining. McCann seized the moment to make his move, got clear and looked set to win, only to be thrown to the ground when his gears slipped.

The Endurasport professional remounted and chased all the way to the line, but was unable to get back on term with the winner Lovatt and Gadnet before the line. Cidona Carrick guest rider Paul Griffin also rode strongly, crossing the line three minutes and eleven seconds behind Lovatt to take 14th place. His team-mate Tim Barry was 24th, with Kenneally and O’Loughlin next home.

Isle of Man International (1.5): 1, Mark Lovatt (Life Repair CRT) 4 hours 42 mins 25 secs; 2, J. Gadret (France) same time; 3, D. McCann (Team Ireland) at 22 secs; 4, A. Labbe (France) at 1 min 21 secs; 5, K. House (Team British Cycling) at 1 min 34 secs

Other Irish: 14, Paul Griffin (Cidona Carrick Wheelers) at 3 mins 11 secs; 24, T. Barry (Cidona Carrick Wheelers) at 19 mins 26 secs; 25, B. Kenneally (Team Ireland); 26, D. O’Loughlin (Team Ireland) both same time.

King of the Mountains (Peter Buckly Memorial Prize) 1, Lovatt, 16 points; 2, Gadret, 14; 3, McCann, 10.  International Team (The Dunlop International Trophy) 1, France; 2, Team Ireland

IRISH TEAM NAMED FOR JUNIOR TOUR: (By Shane Stokes Jul 24) The Irish squad for the M. Donnelly Junior Tour of Ireland has been announced by team manager Tom Keenan. The junior rankings leader Theo Hardwick (Killoglin Credit Union CC) is aiming to improve on his fine third place finish of last season, and will be joined by Northern Dave Kane rider Frazer Duncan, Killorglin’s Barry Woods and Mark Cassidy of the Cycleways Lee Strand team.

With just four places available on the Irish team, the in-form junior Colm Crawley will be competing instead in the colours of the Stamullen M. Donnelly squad, together with Mark Nestor. Both riders have won races in the Isle of Man this week. Crawley won the Douglas circuit race while Nestor took the Douglas Kermesse, and so both will go into the Junior Tour with high hopes of success. The team will be completed by Stephen McKenna and Jamie Barlow, with Gerard Cromwell acting as manager.

The M. Donnelly Junior Tour of Ireland will take place in and around Waterford from August 5th until 10th. A large number of foreign riders have been confirmed as travelling, with teams from France, the Netherlands, South Africa, the US and the UK all taking part.

GETTING BACK ON TRACK: (By Shane Stokes July) Given the lack of a proper track scene here in recent years, it seems somewhat inconceivable that Ireland could have fielded a team in the recent B world championships in Switzerland. More...

Mark ColbertCOLBERT GRABS STAGE TWO: (By Shane Stokes Jul 23) Tilechoice rider Mark Colbert repeated the kind of move which won him the last stage of the Gorey Three day to take this evening’s second stage of the Stagg’s Cycles LCF Summer Festival race, in Batterstown. Colbert made his move at the end of the 42 mile race, jumping across to breakaway riders Paddy Moriarty (Dublin Skip) and Paul Healion (North Kildare CC) with one kilometre remaining and then going clear alone, crossing the line twenty metres in front of Colm Bracken (Usher IRC), Aidan Crowley (Cycleways Lee Strand), Ravens’ Eugene Murtagh and the rest of the main field.

Adding the points for second place to last night’s win, Bracken is the clear leader of the three day race. However with riders such as Aidan Crowley close at hand, he will most likely have to place highly again tomorrow in order to copperfasten his victory. The final stage will also take place at Batterstown, with the field to cover two laps of the Mullagh course during the 43 mile concluding leg.

Staggs LCF Summer Festival Race, stage 2, Batterstown (Drumree circuit), 43 miles: 1, Mark Colbert (Tilechoice) 15 points; 2, C. Bracken (Usher IRC) 14; 3, A. Crowley (Cycleways Lee Strand) 13; 4, E. Murtagh (Ravens) 12; 5, O. McQuaid (Emerald) 11; 6, S. Whelan (North Kildare CC) 10; 7, R. Whelan (Navan Avonmore) 9; 8, D. Cunningham (Bray Wheelers) 8; 9, Keith Daly (McNally Swords) 7; 10, C. Farrell (unattached) 6

GOOD LINEUP FOR M. DONNELLY JUNIOR TOUR: (By Shane Stokes Jul 23) With less than two weeks remaining before the start of the M. Donnelly Junior Tour, race organiser Alice Sherratt has released details of what should be a fascinating contest. A strong international field of riders has been confirmed for the tough event, with three squads from France, three from the Netherlands, two from South Africa, one from the USA plus teams from the UK all travelling to Ireland to take part in the six day stage race. The English and Welsh national teams are part of this UK entry, as are five regional teams.  (Check the event website - )

‘There will be a good line-up for the Junior Tour’, said Sherratt, ‘It should be a great race.’ 

<Read Full Junior Tour Feature Here>

Colm BrackenBRACKEN SPRINTS TO VICTORY: (By Shane Stokes Jul 22) Usher IRC rider Colm Bracken won the opening leg of the three-day Stagg Cycles LCF Summer Festival race yesterday evening, sprinting to victory at the end of the Phoenix Park circuit race. Bracken outgalloped French-based Englishman Ben Hallam (Dataphonics RT), North Kildare’s Simon Whelan and the rest of the main bunch to take a maximum fifteen points and will lead the race going into tonight’s second stage in Batterstown.

The junior, veteran and women’s bunch led off the action at the start of the event, benefiting from a one and a half minute head start over the senior 3 riders, two and a half over the senior two group and a further minute over the senior 1 entrants. It took this latter group just three laps to reel in the senior 2 bunch with the charge mopping up the third cats just one lap later. Junior rider Keith Daly (McNally Swords) took the first prime on lap five, and four laps later Orwell veteran Ronnie Brannigan put in a determined effort to take the second prime, just before the field came together.

Several efforts were made by riders to go clear, but the first significant move went with four laps to go. Nine riders opened up a lead over the main bunch, amongst them Paul Doyle (Tilechoice), Whelan, Healion and Bracken, and this group put in a determined effort to stay clear. However the in-form Aidan Crowley had missed the move and his Cycleways Lee Strand team-mates Phil Finegan, John Mason and Adrian Hedderman joined with several others to haul back the break and pave the way for a probable bunch finish.

Doyle’s team-mate Mark Colbert did what he could to scupper these plans, jumping clear in a last-gasp solo effort as the bunch passed the finish line, but he was soon hauled back. St. Tiernan’s rider Dylan Rafter then tried his luck but was similarly closed down. Bracken then bided his time before opening his sprint, taking it ahead of Hallam, Whelan, Crowley and Moriarty and so moving into the lead in this points-based three day event.

The Stagg Cycles LCF Summer Festival race will continue at 7.30 this evening with a 42 mile race at Batterstown, covering two laps of the Drumree/Green Sheds circuit. Thursday’s 43 mile concluding race is at the same venue, also starting at 7.30, with the riders crossing swords over two laps of the Mullagh course.

Stagg Cycles LCF Summer Festival Race, stage 1, Phoenix Park: 1, Colm Bracken (Usher IRC) 15 points; 2, B. Hallam (Dataphonics RT) 14; 3, S. Whelan (North Kildare CC) 13; 4, A. Crowley (Cycleways Lee Strand) 12; 5, P. Moriarty (Dublin Skip) 11; 6, P. Healion (North Kildare CC) 10; 7, E. Murtagh (Ravens) 9; 8, F. Kelly (Bray) 8; 9, D. Healy (Dublin Skip) 7

Robin SeymourSEYMOUR, OWENS EXTEND WINNING SEQUENCE: (By Shane Stokes Jul 20) Robin Seymour and Tarja Owens today extended their winning streak in the national mountainbike championships at Castlewellan Park, Co. Down, dominating the men’s and women’s cross-country mountainbike titles. Seymour rode strongly to take his tenth straight gold medal, moving clear of Banbridge rival Don Travers when he punctured on the second lap, and building a near-ten minute lead over Cycleways Lee Strand rider John Mason and Travers by the finish. <Read Full MTB Champs Report Here>

Owens dropped her rivals on the first of three laps in the women’s race to take her ninth consecutive win. Second-placed Jenny McCauley was forced to drop out due to mechanical problems, clearing the way for Maeve Baxter to take the runner-up position

Besides extending their winning sequence, Seymour and Owens took valuable world-ranking points which will help in their bid to reach Olympic qualification. They must figure highly in the world rankings by the end of the season if they are to stand a chance of landing two places for Ireland in Athens 2004.

In other categories, Lewis Ferguson was a clear winning of the junior title while there was a rare family double at the championships, with brothers Thomas and Chris Jensen winning the under 16 and under 14 events.

Downhill Champion Colin RossAt the nearby Rostrevor venue, Colin Ross edged Glyn O’Brien and Andrew Yoong to take gold in the downhill championships. Best of the junior riders was Ben Reid, who has been in fine form this season.

Meanwhile US-based professional David O’Loughlin was best at the time trial championships in Enniscorthy on Saturday, covering the 25 mile course in a time some 36 seconds quicker than Brian Kenneally. Paul Healion took bronze, while the medals in the women’s events went to Kate Rudd, Marie Reilly and Susan O’Mara. Theo Hardwick showed his good form in the build-up to the M. Donnelly Junior Tour when he dominated the junior category.

Irish mountainbike championships, cross country, Castlewellan Park: Men: 1, Robin Seymour (Team WORC) 2 hours 18 mins 29 secs; 2, J. Mason (Cycleways Lee Strand) at 9 mins 5 secs; 3, D. Travers, same time; 4, R. McCauley (unattached) at 10 mins 20 secs; 5, R. Aiken (Banbridge CC) at 13 mins 40 secs; 6, J. McCall (WORC) at 18 mins 56 secs; 7, J. McCluskey (WORC) at 20 mins 29 secs; 8, T. Egar (XMTB) at 21 mins 54 secs

Women: 1, Tarja Owens (CMC Aigle); 2, M. Baxter (unattached)

Juniors: 1, Lewis Ferguson (XMTB) 1 hour 49 mins 27 secs; 2, B. Nolan (Sorrento) at 8 mins 59 secs; 3, M. Mulvenna (Ards CC) at 13 mins 6 secs; 4, P. McSorley (Apollo CC) at 19 mins 6 secs; 5, S. Curran (Banbridge CC) at 20 mins 36 secs

Masters: 1, David King Smith (WORC) 1 hour 53 mins 12 secs; 2, P. McConville (Newry Wheelers) at 19 secs; 3, J. Doris (Sorrento CC) at 6 mins 38 secs; 4, E. Guilfoyle (unattached) at 13 mins 51 secs; 5, P. Anderson (Banbridge CC) at 24 mins 16 secs

Veterans: 1, Peter Buggle (Apollo CC) 1 hour 14 mins 32 secs; 2, W. Mulligan (Banbridge CC) at 4 mins 40 secs; 3, J. McCabe (Chuchulainn CC) at 5 mins 16 secs; 4, K. Jensen (Sorrento CC) at 8 mins 39 secs; 5, P. McCann (Banbridge CC) at 9 mins 32 secs; 6, A. Ryan (Sorrento CC) at 9 mins 59 secs

Sports: 1, Gareth Blair (XMTB) 1 hour 20 mins 56 secs; 2, A. McManus (unattached) at 1 min 48 secs; 3, K. Byrne (IMBRC) at 1 min 49 secs

Under 16: Thomas Jensen (Sorrento CC) 1 hour 12 mins 32 secs; 2, A. McCullough (XMTB) at 3 mins 55 secs; 3, M. Ferguson (XMTB) at 4 mins 15 secs

Under 14: Chris Jensen (Sorrento CC) 40 mins 10 secs; 2, N. McCormack (Banbridge) at 2 mins 23 secs; 3, G. Boyd (XMTB) at 3 mins 38 secs

Under 12: William Boyd (XMTB) 14 mins 56 secs; 2, J. Laird (XMTB) at 29 secs; 3, M. Gordon (XMTB) at 37 secs

Under 10: 1, Michael Renciman (Banbridge CC) 4 mins 12 secs; 2, C. Oakley (XMTB) at 11 secs; 3, R. Lamont (XMTB) at 37 secs

David O'LoughlinIrish Time-trial Championships, Enniscorthy: Senior Men: 1, David O'Loughlin (Ofoto Lombardi Sports) 50 mins 49 secs; 2, B. Kenneally (Cidona Carrick Wheelers) 51 mins 25 secs; 3, P. Healion (North Kildare CC) 53 mins 18 secs; 4, A. Deane (Total 54 mins 12 secs; 5, T. Barry (Cidona Carrick Wheelers) 54 mins 26 secs; 6, R. Whelan (Navan Avonmore) 54 mins 41 secs; 7, C. Bracken (Usher IRC) 54 mins 44 secs; M. O’Loughlin (Cidona Carrick Wheelers) 54 mins 46 secs; 9. M. Concannon (Killorglin CU) 55 mins 5 secs - Team:Cidona Carrick Wheelers

Women: 1, Kate Rudd (Orwell Wheelers) 1 hour 4 mins 10 secs; 2, M. Reilly (Bohermeen CC) 1 hour 4 mins 33 secs; 3, S. O’Mara (Dublin Wheelers) 1 hour 6 mins 35 secs; 4, R. Kennedy (Usher IRC) 1 hour 9 mins 26 secs; 5, O. Hendron (Orwell Wheelers) 1 our 9 mins 33 secs; 6, M. Brennan (Castlebar CC) 1 hour 13 mins 47 secs

Juniors: 1, Theo Hardwick (Killorglin CU CC) 55 mins 38 secs; 2, P. Brady (McQuaid Tyres, Emyvale CC) 57 mins 10 secs; 3, O. Concannon (Killorglin CU CC); 4, J. Whelan (Swords CC) 59 mins 4 secs; 5, D. Watson (Northern CC Dave Kane Cycles) 59 mins 47 secs; 6, A. O'Shea (Killorglin CU CC) 1 hour 1 min 27 secs

Veterans: 1, Hughie Davis (Usher IRC) 56 mins 33 secs; 2, L. Kirk (Ards CC) 56 mins 43 secs; 3, J. Sweeney (Newry Haldane Fisher CC) 54 mins 7 secs; 4, S. Bracken (Usher IRC) 57 mins 16 secs; 5, R. Brannigan (Orwell Whs.) 59 mins 6 secs; 6, P. David (Usher IRC) 59 mins 26 secs

LETTER FROM ABROAD – JOHN DEMPSEY (10 July 2003) Having previously competed abroad in France and, last season, in Belgium as part of Cycling Ireland’s Team Ireland project, John Dempsey has decided to spend the year racing with the EC Mayenne team in Normandy. This is another of his much-appreciated contributions to Read More Here...

CROWLEY GETS SECOND PARK WIN: (By Shane Stokes Jul 15) Cycleways Lee Strand rider Aidan Crowley used his strong gallop yesterday to take his second Phoenix Park victory of the year, winning ahead of Orwell Wheelers’ Scott McDonald and Colm Bracken of the promoting Usher IRC club.

All three had started as part of the senior 1 bunch, which under the handicap system in place conceded three and a half minutes to the juniors, veterans and ladies, two minutes to the third category riders and one minute to the second cats. The latter two groups were reeled in by the end of lap five and by the finish of the eighth lap, the remaining riders were just one minute clear of the speeding main bunch.

Ten riders then clipped off the front of the field, including Crowley, Bracken, Simon Whelan (North Kildare CC), Dave Peelo (Usher IRC) and Paddy Moriarty (Dublin Skip), and this group got across to the frontrunners by the end of the eleventh lap. However the bunch was close behind and the field came back together soon afterwards, paving the way for a mass sprint finish.

McDonald gave his all in the effort to get around Crowley, but the Cycleways Lee Strand rider was too strong. He raced home to win ahead of the Orwell Wheelers rider, with Whelan, Bracken, Ollie McQuaid (Emerald) and Robert Whelan (Navan Avonmore) completing the top six.

Usher IRC Park gallop (one hour plus two laps): 1, Aidan Crowley (Cycleways Lee Strand); 2, S. McDonald (Orwell Wheelers); 3, S. Whelan (North Kildare CC); 4, C. Bracken (Usher IRC); 5, O. McQuaid (Emerald CC); 6, R. Whelan (Navan Avonmore CC)

Unplaced veteran: Terry Ferris (Dublin Wheelers); woman: Kate Rudd (Orwell Wheelers); Junior: James Lawless (Usher IRC) and David Pomeroy (Bray) (dead heat); senior 2: Garoid Loughnane (McNally Swords); senior 3: Paddy Kelly (Bray Wheelers)

LETTER FROM ABROAD – JOHN DEMPSEY (10 July 2003) Having previously competed abroad in France and, last season, in Belgium as part of Cycling Ireland’s Team Ireland project, John Dempsey has decided to spend the year racing with the EC Mayenne team in Normandy. This is another of his much-appreciated contributions to

John DempseyHi all,

First off this month congratulations to the Irish team at the B worlds. Two bronze medals and numerous top tens is a great achievement especially considering the track team has so little experience. I am really happy for a fellow Clonmel rider Ray Clarke to finally get a big, big result; when you consider it was in an event he knew nothing about a few months ago it is all the more impressive. Well done, Ray!

Cracking Up

I was last in touch with ye all the week after the Rás had finished, and since then the last month has been the hardest of the season by far. I have always wondered over the years why Irish cyclists who go abroad come home before the season is out. I have always dismissed them as "soft" and "mammy's boys" but now I have gained a whole new insight into why guys crack and pack it in. As I mentioned in my last entry my team mate Jonathon was on his way home for two weeks for his sisters wedding. This meant that I was on my lonesome for two weeks in the apartment. I though that this would be no problem but I was wrong. I have never know boredom like it, having no one to talk to from one end of the week to the next is incredibly hard. There are only so many books you can read and DVD's you can watch (my record was three in one day) before your brain gets fried. To top it all off I was hammered for two weeks after the Rás, so there I was going worse than my grandmother and slowly but surely cracking up. What was making it worse was I knew that I would have another two weeks on my own as I was not coming home for the champs. I was within two days of packing it in and going home, but then Liam Walker saved me by ringing and saying that Kilcullen CC would help me out with my expenses for the champs. A big thanks to Liam and all involved at Kilcullen…ye are life savers!

Everything is back on track now as my motivation has returned and I am looking forward to racing and training instead of thinking of ways I can tell the manager I am on my way home. Having a great team and manager was a big help - I did not tell them I was suffering but if they had not treated me so well all season I think I would have packed my bags. I owe it to them and a lot of people at home to see out the season and return the investment they made in me.


As I said I was wrecked after the Rás but the problem was that the Frenchies had dismissed the Rás as been an easy race because there were no division one or two pro teams racing. So they gave me a weeks rest then had me back racing and training. This contrasts widely with their attitude to a three day 2.6 race over here as everyone who rode it was given a two week break!!! Admittedly the standard was higher than the Rás but it was only three days and a prologue. I rode one nocturne ten days after the Rás and was so wrecked after it that I took two days completely off. That did the trick. In that nocturne Andrew Mc Quaid was also riding…it was fifty laps of a 2km circuit and we were both in a group of twenty that were dropped with thirteen laps to go. We were lapped with about ten to go so the rest of the group packed. But we were busy catching up on all the gossip from home so we rolled around the last few laps in the small ring, the commentator loved it describing us as the brave Irish riders. If only he knew.

The results have not been great since then….I have finished around twenty-fifth a couple of times but nothing more spectacular. My best ride was in the GP Montcour, a big Elite2 race. It was held on a religious holiday and as cycling is treated as a religion in Brittany thousands of people came out to worship. They were mostly there to worship the junior world champion, (Montcour is his home town). The race was fifteen laps of an eight-kilometre circuit with a 2km climb on every lap. I loved the course, as the climb was steep enough to suit the smaller riders rather than the really powerful riders. The race stayed more or less compact for the first two hours, as it was a real wearing down process with riders going out the back instead of off the front. I rode up the climb on two laps on the world champion's wheel; the guy must have to wear earplugs as there were so many people shouting for him. In the last hour a group of about twenty went clear and I came in about twentieth in the bunch gallop, not bad but not earth shattering.


My Moldavian teammate Alexander won a race a few weeks ago. I did nothing in the race and just got around for my usually 25th place. The local papers would have you believe otherwise, as I was handed a paper a week later with the headline John Dempsey wins in Pren en Pail(in French obviously). Unfortunately there was a picture of Alexander in it otherwise I think I would have posted a copy to everyone I knew! Obviously this journalist went drinking during the race instead of watching it because not only did he mix up our names he had the third place finisher's name down as "dossard no.6"! Another paper had me down as one of the favourites for last Sundays race even though I had not finished the race two days beforehand. Obviously this journalist has more faith in me than I do or he was just pulling random names from the start list. Shane Stokes has nothing to fear from these two if they ever decide to enter the Irish market!

Weekly Training

Here is a look at what kind of training I do during the week. No two weeks are the same as it depends on what races we are riding and if the races are objectives or are being used as stepping-stones to bigger events. This week is not very typical as we have a seven-day gap without racing. Next Monday is Bastille day and I will be racing in Mayenne, naturally this is an important race for the team as it is the home town and, being on Bastille day, big crowds are guaranteed. Therefore we are not racing on the Saturday or Sunday as we normally would.

Monday 1hr 30min-2hrs recovery spin with 2 10minute efforts at 10 beats below threshold to "de-block" from the previous days race. This session is very hard mentally, it takes a while to get the head around intervals the day after a race.

Tuesday 2hrs 15 min two 20 minute threshold intervals, 75km. This looks ok on paper but it is my least favourite session.

Wednesday 5hrs with two 45minute intervals and ten 30second sprints, 155km. Though session but I prefer it to Tuesday's session, lovely this week as we had 30degrees for the spin.

Thursday Rest day-most of my time spent typing this and watching the Tour.

Friday Same as Tuesday i.e. more suffering

Saturday Rest day, very very rare to get two rest days in the one week but I may do 40km to keeping ticking over and to pass a bit of time.

Sunday Session deblockage 2 hours with two 15 minute intervals at 10beats below threshold.

Monday Race day

There you have it, a week in my life. Of course I left out all the other exciting thing I do like grocery shopping, cleaning my bike and hand washing my clothes! I will save all those for a rainy day.

The next goals for the team is the Challenge Mayennaise, this is a three day series that the team is promoting over the first weekend in August. It consists of three elite2 races with the overall been decided on points, Thomas Hogan and myself rode two of these races in 2001 so it is nice to be facing into them and know what is coming up…or should that be scared to know what is coming up? After that we have the GP Plouay in the middle of August. We are riding this the day before the pros, I am looking forward to racing on such a famous course.

Until next time John

IRISH RIDERS FRUSTRATED IN MTB WORLD CUP: (By Shane Stokes Jul 14) Mechanical problems hindered the Irish entrants in the fifth round of the MTB World Cup in Grouse Mountain, Canada, with Olympic hopefuls Robin Seymour, Tarja Owens and Jenny McCauley all suffering as a result. Seymour was riding in a fine 19th place when he punctured, and while he repaired the ruptured tube and returned to the race, he later double-flatted and was forced to pull out.

The three punctures were a harsh blow to the national champion, as the slippery, muddy conditions had pointed towards a high finish in the race.

Tarja Owens had a chain problem which forced her retirement, while Jenny McCauley punctured and finished in an eventual 56th place. She did take some valuable world ranking points, but will be disappointed not to have scored more heavily. Her husband Richie McCauley was 72nd in the men’s contest, four laps behind the Belgian Roel Paulissen.

Next up for the quartet is the national championships this Sunday in Castlewellan, Co. Down.

MTB World Cup XC round 5, Grouse Mountain Canada,  Men: 1, Roel Paulissen (Siemens Mobile Cannondale) 40.24 kilometres in 2 hours 32 mins 25 secs (15.84 km/h); 2, J. A. Hermida (Motorex Bianchi) at 35 secs; 3, J. Absalon (Motorex Bianchi) at 1 min 11 seccs; 4, R. Hesjedal (Canada) at 3 mins 23 secs; 5, F. Meirhaeghe (Specialized Mountain Bike) at 3 mins 42 secs; 6, C. Sauser (Siemens Mobile Cannondale) at 3 mins 57 secs

Irish: 72, R. McCauley; DNF: R. Seymour

Women: 1, Gunn-Rita Dahle (Nor) Merida International 30.88 kilometres in 2 hours 9 mins 30 secs (14.31 km/h); 2, A. Sydor (Trek-Volkswagen Racing Team) at 4 mins 2 secs; 3, S. Haywood (Trek-Volkswagen Racing Team) at 4 mins 9 secs; 4, M. Premont (Canada) at 4 mins 20 secs; 5, I. Kraft (Germany) at 5 mins 16 secs

Irish: 56, J. McCauley, at 3 laps; DNF: T. Owens

John LawlorBEST EVER RIDE BY DOWNHILL MTB TEAM: (By Shane Stokes Jul 13) The Irish downhill team had their best ever performance at a world cup with a strong ride in the fifth round event at Grouse Mountain in Canada. The event was won by US rider Gary Houseman in a time of 2 minutes 6.94 seconds, with John Lawlor best of the Irish squad in 20th, just over 3 seconds behind. Glynn O’Brien was two places further back in 22nd, while Jamie Popham (30th), Andrew Yoong (52nd) and Andy Smith (57th) completed the team’s fine showing.

The squad have bounced back strongly after the theft of their bikes earlier this year, before the World Cup race at l’Alpe D’Huez in France. Faced with a bill of over seventy thousand euro, they were saved from collapse by a deal with Orange bicycles, who supplied replacement machines to the team at a knock-down price.

MTB World cup, DH round 5, Grouse Mountain: 1, Gary Houseman (USA) 1500 metres in 2 mins 6.26 secs; 2, I. Oulego Moreno (Spain) 2 mins 6.59 secs; 3, K. Voreis (USA) 2 mins 6.94 secs; 4, C. Bailey (USA) 2 mins 7.77 secs; 5, S. Thomson (GB) 2 mins 8.54 secs

Irish: 20, J. Lawlor, 2 mins 10.2 secs; 22, G. O’Brien, 2 mins 10.4 secs; 30, J. Popham, 2 mins 11.9 secs; 52, A. Yoong, 2 mins 15.21 secs; 57, A. Smith, 2.18.05 secs

DUNCAN LANDS FIRST WIN FOR TEAM IRELAND: (By Shane Stokes Jul 13) junior rider Fraser Duncan took the first victory of the year for the Team Ireland setup in Belgium, winning the 90 kilometre Grand Prix Primo on Saturday in Destelbergen, just outside Ghent. Duncan broke clear with four and a half laps remaining of the thirteen lap race and soloed to the finish to beat the fifty others to the line. His team-mate Barry Woods finished 19th in the race.

POWER WINS TOMMY SHEEHAN MEMORIAL CLASSIC LEAGUE RACE: (By Shane Stokes Jul 13) Home on a break from racing on the US Circuit, Irish professional Ciarán Power was the winner today of the Tommy Sheehan memorial in Carrick on Suir. The Waterford rider was part of a seven-man breakaway which went clear on the second of five sixteen-mile laps, this group opening up a three minute lead by the halfway point.

With just over one lap remaining in the Classic League event, four riders attacked the remainder of the break. Present in the move were Power, Earl of Desmond’s Paul Griffin, plus the Cidona Carrick Wheelers team-mates Brian Kenneally and Tim Barry. The latter two were motivated to perform as Cidona Carrick were promoting the race, but Barry slipped back at the start of the final lap and Kenneally dropped off the pace on the final climb of the day. That left Power and Griffin to sprint it out for the win and, as expected, the Navigators professional was fastest in their final tussle. Kenneally took third, with Barry, Robert Moore (Stamullen M. Donnelly) and Usher IRC’s Dave Peelo completing the top six.

Meanwhile Liam Ryan (St. Finbarr’s CC) took the senior 3/junior/veteran’s fifty mile race, ahead of Paul McMahon (Bray Wheelers) and Eldon Looney (St. Finbarr’s). See Pictures by Dave Walsh - Click Here...

Tommy Sheehan Memorial Classic, Carrick on Suir: 1, Ciarán Power (Navigators); 2, P. Griffin (Earl of Desmond); 3, B. Kenneally (Cidona Carrick Wheelers); 4, T. Barry (Cidona Carrick Wheelers); 5, R. Moore (Stamullen M. Donnelly); 6, D. Peelo (Usher IRC); 7, T. Cassidy (Cycleways Lee Strand); 8, J. Fenlon (Cidona Carrick Wheelers)

Senior 3, juniors and veterans (50 miles): 1, Liam Ryan (St. Finbarr’s CC); 2, P. McMahon (Bray Wheelers); 3, E. Looney (St. Finbarr’s CC); 4, J. O’Brien (Ballymore CC); 5, M. Hartrey (Autoview CC); 6, P. Maher (Comeragh CC); 7, C. Crawley (Leinster); 8, O. McQuaid (Emerald CC)

Ray ClarkeCLARKE TAKES BRONZE MEDAL, OLYMPIC PLACE LIKELY: (By Shane Stokes Jul 9) Ray Clarke finished Ireland’s B world championship campaign off in style this evening, taking the bronze medal in the Keirin event on the final day of competition in Aigle, Switzerland. The Clonmel rider sprinted to an excellent third place in the motor-paced event, beaten only by Korean specialists Chi Bum Kim and Mun Yong Kim in the field’s dash for the finish line. Clarke had got into the final through a repêchage.

Team manager Phil Collins believes that Clarke’s bronze medal will be enough to ensure Olympic qualification next April as he expects the two Koreans ahead of him to qualify automatically by virtue of their country’s position inside the world’s top thirty. This would mean that Ireland should get the wild card entry for Athens 2004.

‘It was an exceptional ride by Ray,’ Collins said, ‘especially as it was his first time ever to ride the keirin. To go out and do what he did is simply stunning.’

Louise Moriarty also finished a fine sixth today in the points race, adding to the team’s clutch of top ten placings this week. The Team Ireland track squad had come into the race with just 22 weeks of specialised preparation, far less than most of their competitors and are therefore delighted with what they have achieved at the championships.

The road team also took a bronze medal at the games, with David McCann finished third in the road race last Sunday.

B World championship, Aigle, Switzerland (track events): Keirin: 1, Chi Bum Kim (Korea); 2, M.Y. Kim (Korea); 3, R. Clarke (Ireland)

Pursuit, men: 1, Alireza Haghi (Iran) 4 mins 33.92 secs; 2, V. Kravchenko (Kazakhstan) 4 mins 39.31 secs; 3, L. Barazzutti (Ecuador) 4 mins 36.26 secs

Irish: 8, P. Healion, 4 mins 44.67 secs; 15, P. Moriarty, 4 mins 54.54 secs

Pursuit, women: 1, Karin Thuerig (Switzerland) 2 mins 17.65 secs, caught 2, E. Garcia (Spain); 3, A. Wasserman (South Africa) 3 mins 51.9 secs;

Irish: 8, L. Moriarty, 4 mins 1.95 secs; 11, R. O’Connell, 4 mins 8.176 secs

Men’s 1 kilometre tt: 1, Chih Hsun Lin (Taipan) 1 min 5.75 secs; 2, R. Konstantinov (Bulgaria) 1 min 5.963 secs; 3, J.W. Choi (Korea) 1 min 6.26 secs

Irish: 7, R. Clarke, 1 min 8.135 secs

Women’s 500 m tt: 1, Sayuri Osuga (Japan) 35.71 secs; 2, S.Y Kim (Korea) 36.727 secs; 3, S. Tri Kusuma (India) 37.517 secs

Irish: G. McDarby, 40.439 secs

Points race, men: 1, Sergey Lavrenenko (Kazakhstan) 93 points; 2, T. A. Saeidi (Iran), 79; 3, A. Arvai (Hungary), 60

Irish: 7, P. Doyle, 27

Women: 1, S.H Han (Korea) 26 points; 2, U. Muzizah (India) 19; 3, S. Tri Kusuma (India) 16

Irish: 9, L. Moriarty, 5; DNF: S. White

Sprint: 1, Hee Chun Yang (Korea); 2, C.B. Kim (Korea); 3, S. Madsen (Canada)

Irish: 6, K. Bannan

Women: 1, Evgenia Radanova (Bulgaria); 2, M. Tachikawa (Japan); 3, M.H Lee (Korea)

Irish: 5, G. McDarby; 6, S. White

Elimination: 1, Attila Arvai (Hungary); 2, N.C Wong (Hong Kong); 3, E. Ahraham (Trinidad)

Irish: 14, P. Moriarty; 19, P. Doyle 

Gillian McDarbyMORE HIGH FINISHES FOR IRISH AT WORLD B CHAMPS: (By Shane Stokes Jul 8) The Irish track team at the B world championships took more top ten finishes yesterday, continuing their solid ride at the velodrome in Aigle, Switzerland. Gillian McDarby and Sarah White finished fifth and sixth respectively in the final ride-off of the women’s sprint, while Keith Bannan placed sixth in the men’s equivalent.

Paul Doyle and Paul Healion successfully qualified for the final of the points race, but the latter crashed heavily during the heats. He remounted, qualified, but was listed as a non-finisher in the evening finals. Paul Doyle finished a fine seventh in the race.

Today’s final day of events will see Doyle & Paddy Moriarty ride in the elimination (devil takes the hindmost) contest while Louise Moriarty and White will ride in the ladies points race finals. McDarby will line out in the 500m TT.

Although the Irish track team have not been able to secure either Olympic qualification or medals thus far, they will be encouraged by their strong performance at the games. The hope is that the team will build upon their recent hard work and go on to achieve greater success in the future.

IRISH RIDERS TAKE TOP TEN FINISHES AT B WORLDS TRACK: (By Shane Stokes Jul 7) Coming into the competition with just 22 weeks of preparation, the Irish team rode well on the opening day of the track events at the world B championships today but finished outside the medal positions and off the standard needed for Olympic qualification. Ray Clarke posted a time of 1 minute and 8 seconds in the kilometre time trial, good enough for 7th, while Paul Healion finished 8th in the 4000 metre pursuit, recording a time of 4 minutes and 44 seconds.

Keith Bannan got as far as the quarter finals in the sprint race but then lost out, and will tomorrow race off for a possible fifth place. Gillian McDarby and Sara White will also aim to do likewise in the women’s sprint events after missing out on the final today. Paul Healion and Paul Doyle will ride in the heats of the points race tomorrow and are hoping for a good showing. 

(full results unavailable at the moment)

More B World's reports and pictures by Gerry McManus Click Here..

Dave McCann2 IN TOP 15 NETS IRELAND TWO OLYMPIC PLACES: (By Shane Stokes Jul 6) Strong performances by the men’s team in the road race got Ireland’s B World Championships off to an excellent start today, with David McCann taking bronze in a difficult 151 kilometre road race in Aigle, Switzerland. McCann was involved in a long breakaway with several other riders and reached the finish two seconds behind the race leader Murilo Fischer of Brazil. Crucially, the team performance also earned Ireland two places in the Olympic games road race next year, with Brian Kenneally’s 14th place and David O’Loughlin’s 25th ensuring Ireland finished 13th in the nation’s rankings and thus inside the vital cut-off point to secure the two slots.

Unfortunately there was no such good news for the women’s team, who were outclassed by a dominant Chinese presence at the games. Their riders monopolised the first four placings, with Lei Meifang taking gold ahead of , and although Collette Swift and Beth McCluskey rode well during the race they were back in 18th and 24th place respectively. The team were 12th in the nation’s standings, with the first nine to qualify.

The B World championships continue with the start of the track programme. The sprint, pursuit and kilometre events will take place tomorrow, with some finals running until Tuesday. Despite a lack of experience, Ireland’s nine riders are hoping to benefit from a highly-intensive training block and perform strongly.

Elsewhere, Paul Griffin made up for the disappointment of not being selected for the B world’s team when he won the Ras Connachta in Mayo. The Kerry man had led the race on several occasions in years past but was unable to deliver on the final result; however a strong ride over the weekend saw him win the opening stage and take yellow. He then finished third on each of the remaining stages, behind Mark Scanlon (Ag2r), Derk van Scaalen (Tour de Ville) and Van Scaalen’s team-mate Koen Beyens to safeguard his race lead and finish four seconds clear of Corkman Tim Barry in the overall standings.

Meanwhile, St. Tiernan’s rider Andre Engermann proved best in the Waller Cup in Bohermeen, finishing five seconds ahead of Navan Avonmore’s Robert Whelan. Engermann had been part of a 17 man breakaway which went clear 22 miles into the race, building a two minute ten second lead, and then was part of a 10 man split which pressed ahead with two laps remaining. Engermann went clear just after the bell to open what was a 28 second lead with five miles remaining, and held off a late solo surge by Whelan to take a fine win.

World B Championship road race, Aigle, Switzerland: Men: 1, Murlo Fischer (Brazil) 151.2 kilometres in 3 hours 42 mins 54 secs; 2, I. Stevic (Yugoslavia) at 1 sec; 3, D. McCann (Ireland) at 2 secs; 4, D. Dimitrov Gospodinov (Bulgaria) at 5 secs; 5, R. Husar (Slovakia) at 42 secs

Other Irish: 14, B. Kenneally, at 1 min 55 secs; 25, D. O’Loughlin, at 4 mins 41 secs; 54, D. Easton, at 33 mins 50 secs; 55, E. Moriarty, same time

DNF: T. Evans

Women: 1, Li Meifang (China) 100.5 kilometres in 2 hours 54 mins 8 secs; 2, J. Zhang (China) at 1 min 45 secs; 3, Y. Qian (China); 4, W. Wang (China); 5, B. Guerrero Mendez (Mexico) all same time

Irish: 18, C. Swift, at 4 mins 57 secs; 24, B. McCluskey, at 5 mins 55 secs; 29, D. Booth, at 12 mins 22 secs; 33, K. Bothwell, at 13 mins 48 secs; 35, M. Reilly, at 15 mins 53 secs

DNF: K. Rudd

Paul GriffinGRIFFIN WINS RAS CONNACHTA: (By Shane Stokes Jul 6) Paul Griffin made up for the disappointment of not being selected for the B world’s team when he won the Ras Connachta in Mayo. The Kerry man had led the race on several occasions in years past but was unable to deliver on the final result; however a strong ride over the weekend saw him land the overall win and underline his current good form.

Griffin got off to a flying start on the opening 51 mile stage, going clear seven miles from the end with his team mate Sean Lacey, Timmy Barry from the Cidona Carrick Club, Dave Nugent (Western Lakes CC) and Rory Wyley from London Irish. The quintet maintained a slender lead to the finish, where Griffin sprinted home ahead of Barry and Nugent to take both the stage and the time bonus on offer. Dutch rider Jos Van Veldhoven (Tour de Ville) led in the main bunch.

The second stage saw Irish road race champion Mark Scanlon take the honours, the Sligoman riding the race as training during his break from competition with the Ag2r team. Barry, Griffin and Phoenix CC’s Matthew Ward went clear with Scanlon and opened up a huge lead over the rest of the field, with Wyley almost two minutes back and sixth-placed Simon Kelly (Galway Bay CC) three minutes down.

Griffin consolidated his lead with a third place finish in the afternoon time trial, ten seconds behind Dutchman Derk van Scaalen. Irish junior Theo Harwick posted an impressive second place finish, fractions of a second ahead of Griffin.

The final day of racing saw a group containing all of the main contenders go clear early on the stage, and close the end Tour de Ville’s Koen Beyens and Wyley jumped ahead to finish in that order. Griffin led home Scanlon and Barry 13 seconds later, finally bringing home the final yellow jersey which had eluded him in the past.

Ras Connachta, Cong: Stage 1: 1, Paul Griffin (Earl of Desmond-Tralee Bicycle Club) 51 miles in 1 hour 52 mins 24 secs; 2, T. Barry (Cidona Carrick Wheelers) at 2 secs; 3, D. Nugent (Western Lakes) at 4 secs; 4, R. Wyley (London Irish) at 5 secs; 5, S. Lacey (Earl of Desmond) same time; 6, J. Van Veldhoven (Tour de Ville) at 13 secs

Stage 2: 1, Mark Scanlon (Ag2r) 68 miles in 2 hours 24 mins 28 secs; 2, Barry; 3, Griffin; 4, M. Ward (Phoenix CC) all same time; 5, R. Wyley (London Irish) at 1 min 57 secs; 6, S. Kelly (Galway Bay CC) at 3 mins 2 secs

Stage 3 time trial: 1, Derk van Scaalen (Tour de Ville) 6.8 mile time trial in 15 mins 38secs; 2, T. Hardwick (Hibernian Team Ireland) at 10 secs; 3, Griffin, same time; 4, J. O’Shea (Cidona Carrick) at 12 secs; 5, Barry, same time; 6, M. Concannon (Killorglin Credit Union) at 19 secs

Stage 4: 1, Koen Beyens (Tour de Ville) 68 miles in 2 hours 48 mins 52 secs; 2, Wyley, same time; 3, Griffin, at 13 secs; 4, Barry; 5, Scanlon, both same time; 6, J. Horgan (St. Finbarr’s CC) at 16 secs

Final Overall: 1, Griffin, 7 hours 21 mins 45 secs; 2, Barry, at 4 secs; 3, Scanlon, at 1 min 23 secs; 4, Wyley, at 2 mins 33 secs; 5, M. Ward (Phoenix CC) at 2 mins 58 secs; 6, Beyens, at 3 mins 22 secs; 7, Horgan, at 3 mins 52 secs; 8, S. Kelly (Galway Bay) at 4 mins 52 secs

Team: Cidona Carrick Wheelers; Points: Scanlon; under 23: Matthew Ward (Phoenix CC); Junior: Theo Hardwick; senior 2: J. Mason (Cycleways/Lee Strand); senior 3: D. Carty (Eire Og).

ENGERMANN ON TOP IN BOHERMEEN: (By Shane Stokes Jul 6) St. Tiernan’s rider Andre Engermann proved best in the Waller Cup in Bohermeen, finishing five seconds ahead of Navan Avonmore’s Robert Whelan. Engermann had been part of a 17 man breakaway which went clear 22 miles into the race, building a two minute ten second lead, and then was part of a 10 man split which pressed ahead with two laps remaining. Engermann went clear just after the bell to open what was a 28 second lead with five miles remaining, and held off a late solo surge by Whelan to take a fine win.

Waller Cup, Bohermeen: 1, A. Engerman (St. Tiernan’s); 2, R. Whelan (Navan Avonmore); 3, A. Crowley (Cycleways Lee Strand); 4, C. Sweetman (Stamullen M. Donnelly); 5, F. McCormack (Newbridge CC); 6, E. Murtagh (Ravens CC)

Senior 3/junior/veterans: 1, Leslie O’Donnell (Autoview CC); 2, C. Crawley (Stamullen M. Donnelly); 3, M. Hartley (Autoview); 4, O. McQuaid (Emerald); 5, E. Crory (Newry Wheelers); 6, E. Lynch (Orwell Wheelers)

Under 12: 1, Benner Maguire (Drogheda Wheelers); 2, C. Campbell (Drogheda Wheelers); 3, C. Farrell (Hillcrest Hire); 4, C. Crawley (Stamullen M. Donnelly); 5, L. McKenna (Stamullen M. Donnelly)

Under 14: 1, Aaron Henry (Usher IRC); 2, J. Kane (McQuaid Tyres Emyvale); 3, G. Rigley (Bray Wheelers CC); 4, B. Hughes (McQuaid Tyres Emyvale); 5, N. Rock (McNally Swords)

Under 16: 1, Brian Henning (Newry Wheelers CC); 2, C. Cassidy (Usher IRC); 3, P. Nolan (Shannonside CC); 4, U. Monks (Bray Wheelers CC); 5, S. Rock (McNally Swords CC)

Tommy Givan Cup 50 mile time trial: 1, Mark Greer (Maryand Wheelers) 1 hour 58 mins 24 secs; 2, A. Hammond (Orwell Wheelers) 1 hour 59 mins 39 secs; 3, T. McConville (Apollo CT) 2 hours 12 secs; 4, B. Stewart (Northern CC Dave Kane Cycles) 2 hours 59 secs; 5, P. Nugent (Classic Walls CC) 2 hours 6 mins 58 secs; 6, B. McCourt (Phoenix CC) 2 hours 7 mins 28 secs; 7, N. Campbell (unattached) 2 hours 7 mins 32 secs; 8, W. Kirk (Ards CC) 2 hours 11 mins 6 secs; 9, J. McKeown (Phoenix CC) 2 hours 11 mins 13 secs; 10, C. McCann (Phoenix CC) 2 hours 11 mins 59 secs.  First Lady: Lisa Rodgers (Northern CC Dave Kane Cycles) 2 hours 20 mins 53 secs.

IRISH CHASE OLYMPIC QUALIFICATION: (By Shane Stokes Jul 3) This weekend 21 riders will begin their campaign to secure Olympic qualification for Ireland at the B world championships in Aigle, Switzerland. Open to nations outside the world’s top 30, two teams of six will take part in the road race events on Sunday.

Tommy Evans, Eugene Moriarty, Denis Easton, Brian Kenneally, David McCann and national road race championship bronze medallist David O’Loughlin will aim for success in the men’s race, while the women’s hopes will rest upon the shoulders of Collette Swift, Marie Reilly, Debbie Booth, Beth McCluskey, Karen Bothwell and Kate Rudd.

Many of these rode strongly in last Sunday’s nationals and team managers Martin O’Loughlin and Valerie Considine are hoping for a very good performance. There is unfortunately no place on the team for Paul Griffin, who rode strongly all day in Sligo and eventually finished fifth.

From Monday until Wednesday a second, nine-rider squad will chase medals and Olympic qualification on the track. The men’s team is made up by Paddy Moriarty and Paul Healion, who will ride the 4000 metre pursuit, points race hopeful Paul Doyle, Ray Clarke (kilometre time trial) and Keith Bannan (sprint).

Of the women, Sarah White will ride the points race and Gillian McDarby will tackle the 500 metre time trial. Louise Moriarty and Rebecca O’Connell are concentrating on the 3000 metre individual pursuit. Eight of the nine riders will also take part in other secondary events.

The track programme is a big step forward for Irish cycling. Funded by the Irish Sports Council’s Athens Enhancement Programme, it is overseen by Terry McManus and the 1996 Olympian Phil Collins, and is drawing on the expertise of world championship and Olympic gold medallist Chris Boardman.

The squad has been put through a very intense 22 week programme and recently spent nine exhaustive days on the boards of the Manchester velodrome, fine tuning for the event.

Phoenix Park GP : (Jul 2) 1, Aidan Crowley (Cycleways Lee Strand); 2, C. Bracken (Usher IRC); 3, P. Doyle (Tilechoice); 4, S. Whelan (North Kildare) 5, C. Sweetman (Stamullen M. Donnelly); 6, R. Clarke (Cycleways Lee Strand) Senior 2: Barry Donnelly (Hillcrest); Senior 3: Martin Fitzgerald (Orwell Wheelers); Junior: Mark Nestor (Shannonside); Veteran: Oliver McQuaid (Emerald CC).

SCANLON RACES TO SECOND CHAMPIONSHIP WIN: (By Shane Stokes Jun 29) Amongst the local cycling aficionados in Sligo yesterday, all the talk was whether local rider Mark Scanlon could pull off his second successive win in the national road race championships. The 22 year old former junior world champion was, on paper at least, the most likely to succeed due to his huge natural ability and the level of racing he has done so far this year. Since turning professional with the Ag2r first division squad, he has competed in races such as the Tour Down Under, the Tour of the Mediterranean, Milan-San Remo, the Tour of Germany and the Tour of Switzerland, by and large a level above anything the other riders in the field had done this season. Read Shane Stokes full detailed race report here...  See Pictures here...

GILL TAKES SIXTH NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP VICTORY: (By Shane Stokes Jun 29) Halfway around the second lap of yesterday’s women’s road race championships in Sligo, it seemed as if defending champion Geraldine Gill was finding things a bit more difficult than previous years. Twelve months ago she had thrown caution to the wind, the metaphorical gauntlet to the floor and roared off over the horizon early on in the race. But at the top of the tough Tully Hill on the second of the five laps yesterday she was slightly adrift of Collette Swift (Old Portlians) and Beth McCluskey (IMBRC), who looked to be racing clear of Gill and the other contenders at that early stage. Read Shane Stokes full detailed race report here...

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