National Vets Championship

This years Vets C/ship was an exciting race from start to finish with a top quality field, incl 6 of the best from Swords, contesting the honours. Our team comprised Sean Lally, Joe McNally, Anto McMahon, Brendan Kennedy, Mick Rock & Gerry Martin. Many of us came straight from the IVCA race to cheer on our team mates and they did give us plenty of reason to cheer! As we drove across we met the race on its first lap and already the attacks had begun. There were three riders with about 15 sec gap with another three (incl Sean Bracken) trying to bridge with the bunch in hot pursuit. This break was soon neutralised and the bunch stayed together for some miles until our own Mick Rock got clear with two other riders. These three did well for a while but when they turned into the wind three riders weren’t enough! The next major move half way into the second lap, four riders attacked and went clear at the elbow. This break looked good and incl Sean McIlroy (Carrick Cidona), Dave Woods (Usher), Brian Holmes (Slane Cycles), and a rider from Cork. When these looked like staying away, Sean Lally launched himself in pursuit. Catching them proved quite difficult and it took a few miles to get on. Sean admitted later that it was the fear of the embarrassment of being swallowed back up by the bunch that kept him going in his effort to get across. These five now stayed clear until the last lap when they were joined by a group of about ten riders incl most of the pre race favourites. Up the hill and five riders broke clear but were once again pegged back. On the run in it was attack after attack until on a slight rise about a mile and a half out, Sean Bracken made the decisive break and came in a clear and worthy winner. Bo Graham (Provision) won the sprint for 2nd from last years winner Norman Campbell (unatt), with Hugh Davis (Eagle CC) 4th, Terry Ferris (DWCC) 5th , and Sean Lally (McNally Swords) 6th — after being in the break all day. All our riders finished in the main bunch except poor Brendan who punctured with 1 lap to go. He also punctured on the same circuit in our Club C/ship and to add insult to injury its his ‘local’ circuit. The team prize was also a close run thing with Usher IRC just edging out the host club, Garda Motorway, by one point! All those who turned up to watch were treated to great racing also from the U23’s and Juniors with Gabriel Howard doing MC & commentary adding to the excitement. Hero of the day, Kanturk Junior rider , who was 2 min clear for at least 4 laps of the 6 lap race in searing heat. Didn’t end up in the medals but a class act.