Cycleways Cup, Navan

Some rider reports from the Cycleways Cup, Navan – 3rd March 2013

John M
A4 race was quick and the rolly nature of the course meant lots of bursts of hard work. I made one little trip of the front during the first lap. Someone else was heading up the outside of the bunch so I followed along and went up the road a little. The “hill” on the first lap was ok, made it over but was at the limit and managed to hang in there.

Second time round, I was struggling somewhat and could have done things better. I started off too far down the bunch for one. Near the top there was a slight downhill break and I should have tried to make up more ground and get farther up the field. I was in the group for the last section but started to drift back and had a gap of about 150/200m going over the top to the bunch. Gave it everything on the decent to get back on but didn’t manage it. Had a tail of 4-5 lads hanging on who were mostly no help so they sailed on when I was spent. Don’t know if they made it on but we were still a good bit back. Even if I’d got on I doubt I’d have lasted long given how much I put in to get back in there.

Hooked up with Darragh and a few others after that for about 25-30 mins before I needed to drop back again and rode the rest of the trip with 1 other guy (can’t remember where he was from) before an straggler A1 went past with a big tail and latched onto that. That group had the tallest cyclist I think I’ve ever seen. A youngster doing his first race whose seat post looked about the same length as my whole seat tube. Good lad to shield behind.

Martin V
Ploughed a lonely furrow for Tiernans in the A3 race after Colm was a forced non starter due to discovering a broken spoke in his rear wheel without any time to do anything about it. Really bad luck, bring a spare wheel to races lads! Happy enough with the race overall, mostly due to not coming down in one of the many crashes. Also seemed to be a serious no. of punctures. The climb wasn’t half as bad as expected and whilst I wouldn’t say I was entirely comfortable on it, was never under any major pressure either. Seemed to be a few lads yo yoing off the front for the majority of the race and was fairly sure a group would stay away to the finish. I tried to lead a brief chase at one point with a few lads but we were going nowhere so sought shelter back in the bunch again. Breaks all got swallowed up anyway aside from some but it didn’t happen aside from some Junior slipping away for the eventual win. I came in with the main chase group for the sprint for 2nd place but bottled out of the sprint after narrowly escaping through two crashes including one big one on the run in. Must have been only 20 left in the sprint as the crashes broke it all up. Regret not giving it more of a go in hindsight but easy to say now. Didn’t fancy the argie barge stuff at the time. Just discovered on stickybottle that 3 of the top 6 were Juniors including one riding with the Vacansoleil pro team and 2 others on the Nicholas Roche development squad. How are we meant to compete with these pro/semi pro’s?! Joke! Anyway, roll on the next one…

Fergal M

I enjoyed that one today. I didnt feel too strong early on, but the legs woke up on the main drag. I was comfortable enough for the first lap but the heat was turned up slightly on the second lap and I went over the top of the drag maybe 100 metres off the leaders.

It didnt look good for getting back on but we got organised immediately and 6 or 7 of us put the hammer down for 5 minutes and latched back on to the leading group. Once we got back on it seemed leisurely. I lashed off the front with about 10k to go but my attack lacked real committment and it was purely a move to get the some tv airtime for the jersey sponsors. Cormac who rode a great race and was in the front 15 all day was more than surprised to see me as I careered past.

It was very cagey stuff after that, no-one was really interested in attacking. I didnt really get myself in the mix on the final sprint and rolled in somewhere between 15th and 20th. Like Martin said, if I could turn back time, i might have positioned myself further forward and contested a bit more.
Did 85k @ 37k/h average, so all in all a great days work. Hard luck to the lads who had mechanicals,
P.S. the a4 race wasnt too crashy this week, but i had one hairy moment towards the end, ended up having to brake suddenly at 40k an hour and missed a wheel in front by 1 milimetre.

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