Orwell Wheelers Christmas Race

Brass monkeys weather, distant memories of last Christmas on Bondi Beach, and myself and Simon lined up to represent Swords in the Orwell Wheelers Christmas Race. We had been pre-warned by ‘Captain in Absentia’, Sean, that Andre Engermann (St Tiernans) was one to watch. He was reported to be in top form and we were warned that if we gave him 50 yards, it would be ‘bye-bye’ . This warning was confirmed when one of his team informed us that we were riding for second place.

Anyway it would be academic if we didn’t catch the limit group which incl. Seamus Kennedy and Sean Bracken for six min. The scratch consisted of Shane Baker (Usher), Paul Healion (Usher), Colm Bracken (Usher), Stewart Gibson (Orwell), Cian Lynch (BH), Martin Maguire (BH), Andre Engermann (St Tiernans), Phil Finnegan (Cycleways), Alan Lane (UCD) and ourselves. The group worked together well with everyone doing their turn. Cian, unfortunately, found the going a bit hard and blew after about six miles. Simon unkindly offered to by him a compass in the pub afterwards. After a long chase we caught the main group coming up the hill into Drumree on the last lap. There was an immediate attack by Shane Baker, and an immediate response from myself which brought me straight past him. Andre, Simon, Phil Finnegan and Martin Maguire also spotted this move and within seconds the six of us were clear. Simon did a particularily long hard turn at the front to ensure that our gap was decisive. Two miles to go, Andre jumped, and started to get the gap we had been warned about! Simon shouted for me to close. Head down giving it everthing but got him back. Half a mile later Shane attacked with Simon & Andre in close attendance. They got a gap (and I could have a slight rest). Shane kept working hard in fear of my trio coming back, but if we did it was up to the other two as my main man was away, and nobody was going to outsprint him! The final sprint was contested by Simon & Andre, but Simon put about ten lengths into him. You can go like a train, but my man sprints like a rocket! I took the sprint for 4th after my ‘armchair’ ride. Teamwork to perfection!!!!!

Pos. Rider Club
1. Simon Whelan Swords CC
2. A. Engermann St. Tiernans
3. S. Baker Usher IRC
4. J.Lally Swords CC
5. M. Maguire BH
6. P. Finnegan Cycleways