McNally Swords Road Race Championship
A last minute switch to 3 laps of the Blackbull-Batterstown-Dunboyne course by Race Director Richie McNamara due to temporary traffic lights on the intended one and the field of 35 riders were off. Some early skirmishes were followed by Simon Whelan attacking and going clear on the first lap. This took the field(who had intended to work him over) by surprise but now they had to chase him down. The gap went up to 40 sec but a lot of hard work by the bunch eventually reduced and held it at 15 sec. Simon was clear now for more than a lap but quickly realised that the bunch were within striking distance and were leaving him out there to fry, so he returned to the fold. Things didn’t stay quiet for long as Garoid Lougnane seized the initiative, attacked and Simon once again launched himself. This duo dangled about 10 sec up the road and Anto McMahon tried his damnedest to get across to them but to no avail. More hard work from the bunch and everyone was back together again. Simon definitely wanted this bad and was unwilling to prove his prowess in sprinting to get it, as he made his final and decisive attack on the last lap went clear and stayed clear to the finish. Who worked over who? Now the race was on for the podium places. Just coming out of Dunboyne as the bunch was eyeing each other up, Fran O’Sullivan made a decisive move that caught all bar Brendan Conway by surprise. Fair play to Fran who only recently has come back to racing for having the balls to make a race of it! Bren & Fran(Mr. Smooth on the bike) stayed clear to the finish with Bren, moving up one place from last year, rounding him in the sprint. An attack from ‘new boy’ Tony O’Malley brought him clear for 4th place with Sean, who had trouble with his gears all night, 5th and Garoid Loughnane 6th. A great race where a perhaps slightly nervous Simon showed his true class, and where all the placings were fiercely fought for.