On Sunday last our riders travelled to Newcastle West for the An Casilean Nua Classic. On the day we had brothers Aona and Tiarnach O’Shea taking part in the underage events and we had Mike O’Shea taking part in the A4 race and Brendan O’Sullivan in the A3 race.
The riders made make the journey up in the knowledge that a dismal forecast was on the cards for the day this did not lead to any disillusionment for our Killorglin men especially our A4 rider Mike O’Shea who has accumulated 7 points on his licence with his fantastic 4th overall placing in the Kanturk 3 Day event last weekend as place riders receive poinst based on their placing in the event which are distributed accordingly so Mike will now be chasing his last few points in the coming weeks to hopefully upgrade to the A3 category and join fellow clubmen Peter Clendennen, Edward Casey, Flor O’Mahony, Jamie O’Shea and Brendan O’Sullivan in the A3 ranks.
Our Underage cyclists fared much better in terms of weather than their Senior race card counterparts and were able to race on dry roads. With the underage racing commencing at 11am our young club men took to their respective start lines we had Aona O’Shea taking part in the U12 race and his brother Tiarnach in the U14 race. Aona had a great race on the day finishing a very credible 3rd. Tiarnach had 20km to cover in the U14 race had he put in a great effort on the day finishing just outside the medals.
The Senior card events were run on a very challenging circuit with the A4’s covering 65km. The racing was particularly aggressive after the drop of the starting flag and it continued in that fashion for the majority of the first lap with two leg crunching climbs to contend with positioning was vital especially with the strong wind that was blowing on some sections of the course. It was a well balanced challenging circuit combining climbs, descents, meandering roads and a variety of changes in road surface. The second and subsequent third lap continues in the same fashion as the first with a number of repeated attacks off the front of the bunch. Mike made a decisive attack at the 9km to go mark and gave it his all he was unlucky to be reeled in before the last corner on the finishing straight tired from his efforts and from racing the Thursday night previous he gave it his all to finish within the main bunch.
The A3’s had a total race distance of 86km to cover with Brendan being our sole rider in the peleton, relatively unaffected from an excursion to Carrauntoohil the previous day Brendan quickly found his legs and rode well on the day. The rain was relentless throughout the duration of the race but this did not deter the riders from racing. The pace was brisk throughout with riders attacking and counter attacking to try and establish an advantage on the peleton. On the second lap a small group had opened a minor lead on the main field, their effort was scuppered when two of the breakaway riders came down in a high seed crash. Another crash on an exit from a corner on the third lap brought down two riders who were to the fore of the pelton, luckily the bunch behind avoided this though some riders did have to come to a halt to avoid and negotiate their way around the obstruction caused by the two fallen riders. The pace continued as previously at this stage four riders had established a lead on the main field and were later joined by a further 3 riders with a chase being organised by the main field a group of 12 riders rode diligently to the fore of an elasticated peleton to claw back the breakaways to the main field with Brendan having an involvement in this chase. With the peleton intact again on the final lap the riders jostled for position on the fast run in to the last corner before the finishing straight. Positioning within the bunch not being ideal on the last corner Brendan did well to make up lost ground to finish within the first twenty riders in the bunch gallop.