On Saturday 19th June two Bottecchia riders travelled to Galway to compete in the Athenry GP hosted by Galway Bay CC. The race was very well organised by Galway Bay and once again it was a perfect evening for racing on fast 15km circuit.
Athenry GP A4 Race Report – 6pm (45km)
After a strong showing at the mid week TT to Coolaney, Enda started his second A4 open race of the season in a field of over 50 riders. A number of attacks went off the front on the first lap but nothing was sticking. Primes were available to be won on lap one and two so a number of riders contested these which lined out the bunch coming into the finish on each lap. Our man Enda decided not to contest the primes in order to try and save his legs for the bigger prize at the finish on lap 3.
On the final lap Enda and another munster rider attacked with about 7km to go and worked together for 5 minutes to try and hold off the chasing bunch. The chase was successful and with about 5km to the finish it all came back together. Positioning into the final 90 degree turn was very important and Enda was second wheel coming into the final 500m. Galway bay rider, Ronan Burke launched his gallop from 500m out and Enda had no choice but to react and follow. After a savage effort at the finish our man Enda finished 4th with only half a bike length up to 2nd place. This was a brilliant result after a great evenings racing and the first few cycling Ireland points on the board for Enda as he heads towards the A3 category.
A4 Race results
1. Ronan Burke Galway Bay Cycling Club
2. Derek Dennehy Sliabh Luachra Cycling Club
3. David Hayes Bikeworx Celbridge
4. Enda McLoughlin Bottecchia Racing Club
5. Paul Geraghty Covey Wheelers
6. David Culloty Killarney Cycling Club
7. Jack Lyne Dunboyne Cycling Club
8. Alan Lyne Dunboyne Cycling Club
* Daniel Elstone Castlebar CC
1. Richael Timothy Castlerea CC
2. Jean Mullen Drogheda Wheelers
3. Orla Sands Galway Bay CC
Prime Lap 1
* Ronan Burke Galway Bay Cycling Club
Prime Lap 2
* David Culloty Killarney Cycling Club
Athenry GP A1/2/3 Race Report – 7pm (60km)
Keith also started his second A3 race of the season with a large group of 40+ riders who got a 3 minute handicap on the A1/2 riders, another group of 30-40 riders. The first lap was ferocious stuff averaging almost 45kmph with a fast sprint to the finish on lap 1 to contest the first prime. It was Keith’s plan to contest the first prime but found himself two far back on the final corner and the first prize of the night was won by Calum Kenny from Galway Bay CC. Following this, the pace seemed to ease off a lot which allowed the A1/2 riders to make serious ground the A3 bunch. At this point Keith jumped to the back of the A3 bunch to take a drink and a gel as this was possibly going to be the last opportunity to do so as the real racing was about to begin.
Half way through lap 2 the A1/2 riders caught the A3 bunch and immediately the attacking and line outs started and this was the story for the remaining 35-40km, it never stopped. Luckily Keith followed the wheels to the front of the group as there was a split soon after with over 40 riders losing contact leaving only four A3 riders amongst some of the top domestic riders in the country including Daire Feely, Mitchell McLoughlin, Eoghan McArdle Ruane and Matthew Devins.
On lap three a break of about 10 riders went clear with a lead of about 20 seconds and they seemed to be rolling nicely together. However, not going to let their home race slip away a number of Galway Bay riders chased this down on the cossaun – athenry turn stretch which left the peloton lined out for over 5-6 minutes at almost 50kmph. Thankfully it all came back together and Keith was still there with good legs. Nonetheless, as was the story of the evening, the attacking continued and the race winning break of 5/6 riders shot off the front with just over 5km to go from which Daire Feely took his third win of the season after a sprint finish.
Only 10 seconds behind leaders, the focus for Keith was now on the A3 prize and his eyes were only on the yellow numbers. The pace was frantic with Matthew Devins drilling it around the final 90 degree corner and Keith, once again, found himself too far back in the sprint to catch Derek Joyce who finished a bike length ahead to take the first unplaced A3 prize.
A1/2/3 Race Results
1. Daire Feeley All human-VeloRevolution
2. Cillian Murphy Galway Bay CC
3. Mitchell Mc Laughlin Unattached Ulster
4. Mark Mc Ginley Four Masters CC
5. Cian Noone Challenge CC
6. Mark Shannon Burren Cycling Club
7. Eoghan Mc Ardle Ruane Galway Bay CC
8. Ronan Killeen Lucan Cycling Road Club
9. Micheál Fitzgerald Unattached Munster
10. Danny Mc Donald, Burren Cycling Club
1. Micheál Fitzgerald Unattached Munster
1. Mikey Flaherty Lakeside Wheelers Mullingar CC
Prime Lap 1
* Callum Kenny Galway Bay CC
Prime Lap 2
* Ronan Killeen Lucan Cycling club
Prime Lap 3
* Cillian Murphy Galway Bay CC
Next up for all the club riders is the first road race of the Sligo league on Thursday 24th June. The race is being hosted by our own club this week and the route will be from Union Hill to Ballyfarnon and back. It will be interesting to see how the night goes as this will set the tone for the remaining races in the league. With a number of strong riders in every category, the Bottecchia jersey will hopefully make the podium on the night 🏆🏆