Race Report by Sinead Power;
Once upon a time in Errigal there was a really hard race of all ages categorized into three groups, it was full of magical moments and mysterious places – THE END!
The real story started early this morning with a time trial, it wasn’t without excitment (no not the scrambled eggs again from the golden goose!) when the club secretary(me) rolled over Haydens wheel,prior to the start of the Time Trial. In the lashing rain Hayden was first of the Comeragh riders to the start line, after his off day yesterday he had a point to make and put in 100% in the 3.8km, placing 11th on the time trial in a time of 7.34. Next off for Comeragh were the U16’s with Ciaran Frisby, Brandon Walsh, Luke Griffin, Stephen Crowley and Miceal Hayes. There was a mix of weather over the time it took for the all riders to complete the course, Comeragh riders put in a huge effort with best rider and a great stage for Luke Griffin who finished the stage in 30th place in a time of 6.50.
Stage 2 was another road race, for the U12’s it was 1 lap of the 9.5km but for the U16’s it was 5 hard laps. There were two climbs and two very fast decents on the 9.5km circuit, again first off were the U12’s, due to a crash on the start line the race had to be stopped and re-started. Hayden was caught behind a group on the fast decent and by the time he had caught back up the breakaway had gained some time up the road, once they had reached the bottom of the 2.2km climb Hayden was placed nicely in the bunch, with some encouragement from all the Comeragh supporters on the top of the climb, he went over the summit of the hill in 9th place, by the time he reached the finish line he had passed another 3 riders taking a well deserved 6th place on the stage and going from 16th into 12th on GC overall.
In the U16 race it was fast and furious from the start, Comeragh riders were to the fore on lap one, lap two saw a change with groups splitting due to the continuous speed, the Irish and Isle of man teams driving it on the front. Stephen Crowley had a fantastic ride, sticking in with the big guns in the main field, Stephen positioned towards the top end of the bunch for all remaining 4 laps, coming over the crest of the hill and into the finish line in a credible 17th place, gaining valuable places in the GC where he now lies 30th overall. Miceal was next of the Comeragh riders, riding for the Munster Cycling Academy this weekend, he found himself riding most of the laps chasing the bunch alone and put in a great effort having been disappointed with his timetrial earlier in the day. Luke also put in a great ride having done a great timetrial also spent a couple of laps riding on his own chasing, Brandon Walsh and Ciaran Frisby found themselves in a small group and rode strong to the finish. All in all a great ride for all Comeragh riders, some great support from parents and Aunties I might add, we were all very proud of all the boys today, they represented themselves and their club to the best of their abilities. Well done to all.
The 3 day weekend finishes with a criterium Monday morning, this is a great stage for spectators and all riders really looking forward to it. Final update Monday evening if we aren’t too late home.