The Cycling Pursuits Cup in Broadford Co Limerick was the second race of the year for the Munster peleton.
A bitterly cold day greeted us in Broadford with the sun refusing to make an appearance, it was to be a handicapped race with the A3’s getting 5 min over the A2 group of about 25 and a further 4 min over the A1’s who only had about 15 riders present. I knew starting that there was very slim odds of catching the A3’s the presence of Junior internationals such as Sean Hassey and up and coming juniors such as Cian Dwyer, Dylan O’Brien and Eddie Dunbar in the A3 group ensure that they would have plenty of young lads will to ride hard and plenty of strong old fellas there to encourage the youth to ride just waiting to mug them on the last lap!!!
Iverk Produce Carrick Wheelers had John Kinsella in the A4 race who was joined by Tony Cullen riding his first race in 9 years.
In the A3 group we had Sean Mcilory Sean Hassey and Shem Cullen who I thought would go well on such a hard circuit. Andrew Ahearn fresh off his 10th place in the Lacey Cup joined me in the A2’s while Martin Mizgayski was in the A1 group.
need to work on the facial expressions Shem
The A2 took off at a sedate enough pace upon hitting the climb for the first time the screw was turned a bit and the group got trimmed down to about 12, I thought this was a good sized group to get organised and hopefully chip away at the A3’s advantage, if they rode negatively there may have a being a chance that we could have got across. Unfortunately a lot of negative riding happened in our group, the climb seemed to scare a lot of guys off doing a bit of work on the flat section of the course so they sat on the flat section and then were comfortable on the climb! The climb was a good test this early in the season it was broken into three sections, we turned left off a “main” road onto a gradually steepening section that required the small ring near the top, then we turned right onto a flatter section and after that another left onto a steep enough ramp that signalled the stop of the climb. A fast descent followed that dropped us back into Broadford, this descent provided our group and one rider in particular with a very bad day. One the third lap down it we met a car coming up the previous two laps as we had took a gentle left hand turn the riders would exit the corner on the right hand side of the road to avoid hitting the breaks. On this lap a car was in this spot I was about half way down the group and to be fair the riders at the front called the car and it was no big panic apart from the fact that one of the Castlebar riders seemed to have his line wrong upon seeing the car he locked up the rear brake and skidded into the car, he had most of his speed scrubbed off but hitting a car like that is never good especially upon hearing the tragic stories from up north and over in the UK at the weekend. If you’re even in a situation where your rear wheel is locked up it usually means you’re not in control of the bike fully, release the break for a split second and you might be able to control the bike again….also say a small prayer!!
Hopefully the rider was not too badly hurt and it was a pity as he was riding well, the crash knocked the momentum out of the group and the second last time up the climb the A1 group caught us, there group had also being reduced in numbers due to the climb and I also heard later that a number of riders had crashed out due to meeting another car on the same descent. Once the A1’s caught us they asked how many were up the road and upon being told that there was a lot of A3’s we hadn’t seen yet that was race over and the last lap was done at a sedate enough pace apart from Paddy Clarke going for an imaginary KOH on the last climb!!
Shem Cullen had a good race for Iverk by making the first break of the day and eventually finishing 10th to get the first unplaced A3 prize...as you can see it hurt.