Report from The John Holian Cup
The John Holian Cup, hosted by Western Lakes Cycling Club, took place on Friday evening 11th June. Club riders Enda McLoughlin and Keith Raymond made their way to Cong on what was a beautiful evening for racing. Sligo were well represented as a big number of Yeats CC riders also travelled. There was a great buzz around the circuit as locals stood out to watch the race and a large crowd cheered the racers on every lap as they waited eagerly at the finish line.
Enda raced the A4 category which was 4 laps of a fast 11km circuit. The pace was high from the gun and the attacks were constant off the front of the bunch. Numerous breaks tried to get up the road with Enda making it into a couple but to no avail. The finishing straight from Cong to The Neale had a tail wind and the ferocious pace had the bunch lined out and under pressure on every lap. In the end, a strong solo attack from distance by Ryan Keane who was active all day off the front, took the win. He was followed by Stephen Crowley in a solo chase for 2nd place. Unfortunately Enda missed the race winning move as he remained in the bunch which contested the sprint only 10 seconds after the winner. All in all it was a strong.
Keith raced the A3 category which was 5 laps of the same circuit. The A3 bunch had a 90 second handicap on the A2 riders and a further 90 seconds back to the A1 bunch. The line-outs started from the drop of the flag and the first lap had a lot of riders under pressure with the first lap averaging over 45kmph. Eager to try and get up the road, Keith and fellow Sligo man, Brian McMorrow tried to work with a number of other riders to get away but the pace was just too high to make any meaningful move. The scratch group caught the A3 bunch after three and half laps which now meant there was a large bunch of over 60 on the road. The pace surged up and down for almost a lap with numerous attacks trying to get away. In the end, Daire Feeley made a move on the final lap which was quickly followed by four other riders and they held a 20-30 second gap all the way to the finish where Daire won the sprint finish. The remaining bunch sprinted for the remaining prizes with Keith finishing strongly within the group.
Keith takes part in the Castlebar CC Time trial on Sunday 13th June while all club members will be rearing to go on Wednesday 16th June for the first round TT of the Sligo Cycling League.
Next Saturday evening, 19th June a number of club riders will travel to the Athenry GP in search of another good nights racing.