The Newbridge GP took place on Sunday 18th March, with 4 Tullamore CTC members taking part. Myself and Mick Scully headed off with the A4 Group with Peter Gillespie and Ollie Daly racing with the A3’s.
The circuit was 17km long and took in the climbs of Boston Hill and Dunmurray Hill. The A4’s tackled this 3 times with the A3’s doing an extra lap. The A1’s and A2’s would take this circuit on 6 times.
After sign-on we rolled out down towards the Curragh for a warm-up. I began to notice an awful squeak coming from a bike. I thought for a minute it was Ollie’s or Mick’s but it soon became apparent that it was my front wheel. Upon inspection my wheel bearing’s were as stiff as hell and crying for oil. Cue perfect excuse for my race performance if I got dropped latter on.
At 12:00am everyone rolled out of the sign on area and onto the race start past the Curragh Racecourse. It was an amazing site to see 300 cyclists snaking towards the race start. The A1’s and A2’s headed off first followed by the A3’s and then our A4 group. The race started frantically enough with a good speed down towards Boston Hill. The group was a lot better behaved than in Navan a couple of weeks ago and this made the race a lot more enjoyable. At this point I was feeling fairly good heading for the drags. Boston Hill is a short, sharp climb that thinned out the group. I moved forward near the top in order to get in a good position for the descent. The decent was nice and quick with the group well strung out. Once back onto the Rathangan Road, Dunmurray Hill starts straight away. This is a shallow climb but goes on for a bit and is probably harder than Boston Hill. The A4 group kept a good pace on the hill which put a good few people in trouble. Again I went towards the front for the descent in order to get into a good position for the downhill. A quick run down towards the finish line off the top and over the finish line and the start of Lap 2.
The 2nd lap went past without much incident. A few groups tried to get away put were never allowed any distance before the bunch reeled them in. On the final lap The pace on Boston Hill was noticeably increased over the previous 2 laps. The bunch stayed together and I managed to stay in the top 20 coming in Dunmurray Hill. Once on the hill a few guys pushed it on at the front. The group split heading up to the top and 5 guys managed to get away. I was about 20 metres back when the split occurred and tried to get onto the back of them heading over the top. On the descent they began to pull away from me. I was joined in the chase buy a second rider and he did a huge pull on the front. By the bottom we were only 10 bike lengths behind but still couldn’t make the gap. At 2km to go the rest of the bunch caught up and we looked on as the 5 guys fought for the outright victory. A bunch sprint ensued which I didn’t really bother with and I rolled home in the top 20. Mick finished just behind which was a good result on a course that doesn’t really suit him.
Overall I was happy with the race but could of finished higher if I was a little more alert on the last climb.
Garmin stats – Distance: 51.40km, Avg. Speed: 37.7km/h
The A3’s finished soon after our race with Thomas Fallon taking the bunch sprint again. Ollie and Peter rolled over the line in the main group in what turned out to be a fast, hard race.
Next weeks open race is the Des Hanlon Memorial in Carlow. The Vets racing starts next week with a DMS in Warrenstown. Best of luck to everyone taking part.
Sunday Group Spins
Groups A & B
I have no reports yet from the A & B spins on Sunday. I will edit this if I get any reports later on this week.
This report is thanks to my mother. 6 cyclists headed off with the C Group on Sunday morning. They firstly headed off towards Mucklagh and then taking a left at Screggan Cross and onto Mountbolous. The 6 then headed for the short, sharp climb of Knock Hill. This little hill is a real leg burner and tests the best of us. The Group continued on through Cadamstown and Clonaslee before heading back to Tullamore. Anyone beginning to cycle or getting back into the sport the C Group is the perfect Group to start off with.
Ride Stats – Distance: 67km, Avg Speed: 24km/h