2004 League & Racing Round-up

A season in review…………..where do I start !!!!!!! I suppose a good place to start is with the ‘young guns’ as this is where the future of the club in top flight racing terms lies. Our league has been a launching pad for quite a few of our younger riders. This year our Club League saw another two young riders, Michael Daly & Stephen Halpin, battle it out all the way to the line each pushing each other to new levels and finishing 1st & 2nd with Stephen taking the honours. These two combined and with the help of Grace took an All Ireland Gold in the team classification in the U/age National C/ship w/end of racing. Michael also added a Silver at U16 in the Leinster C/ship a Bronze in the All Ireland on the Track.
Both Sean Rock & James Whelan pitted themselves against the best in Europe in the Junior Tour. McNally Swords CC had three riders guesting and all did quite well in a field comprised mostly of ‘savage’ foreigners !!!. . (And in case any of ye oldies are out of touch ‘savage’ in todays parlance means awesome ) James Whelan place 19th overall (4th Irish); Derek Burke 16th (3rd Irish); Shane O’Halloran 26th (6th Irish); Urban Monks 64th. As Sean only decided to ride the tour two weeks prior to the event he rode with the Meath team along side Stephen McKenna (Stam MD) with placed 42nd overall and Stephen placing 35th.

We have already seen what Sean & Keith are capable of but lately we have witnessed the emergence of James Whelan who has improved hugely this year adding some great road results to his time trial achievements. This year he won the Club Road Race C/ship in some style and added the 25 Shield for good measure and donned the Green Jersey in Ras Connachta. He then went on to take two Gold & two Silvers at Junior in the All Ireland Track Championships despite crashing heavily in qualifying. Next stop the National Time Trial C/ship in Killorglan when he won the Junior title by a convincing margin. Much credit goes to his family who support him in everything he does and to his coach Aidan Hammond. James follows Aidan’s advice to the letter, as he puts it because he ‘peaks every time Aidan tells him he will’.

Other recent Medal winners were Sean Rock (J) , and Fergus Ryan (C) both taking respective Silvers at the Leinster C/ships. Adriaan & Alister have been upgraded to B Cat while Gearoid ploughs a lonely furrow with A’s. Indeed Alister finally tasted victory, after being so close so often this season, when he won the final race of our club league.

Also great to see our regular visitors doing well with Nathan (Les Jeune) 1st Vet, Gerard Cromwell (Stam MD) 1st B and Darren McMahon (Cycleways) 1st C on a w/end where we had a 1-2 in the Juniors & Ladies with James , Sean , Grace & Coleen.

In the Vets Sean Lally & Karl Naylor were won the A and B races in the IVCA Memorial Cups on the day that Fred Harte sealed overall victory in the IVCA League. Indeed we nearly had a clean sweep in the Vets as Dave Blake was beaten into 2nd spot in the C race by an ex All Ireland Track Sprint Champion. Karl has 4 wins up in the Vets todate (all since he joined our club I might add!!) placed third in the Tuesday League. Sean has 4 road wins, and fastest in the Alfresco 25 and winner of the 50 mile TT Championship. Fred has knocked lumps off his previous TT times and posted a 63 in the 25 and a 2:05:43 in the 50 which must make his the most improved rider in the IVCA. I also must mention Pat Halpin getting his first road win in a race which himself and Anto worked the tactics down to a tee to get a Swords 1-2 in the IVCA (40-49) C/ship (a race won by Anto last year). Report on this race on our website.

As a club we also probably have more ladies than any other club with many of them competed in the Ladies league and four of them Grace, Emma, Caroline & Coleen recently took on an International Field the TQ Papers 2 Day in the colours of Leinster and on the Ireland B team.On the Triathlon scene we have had quite a few results from Brian Crinnion, who organised (…..and won a few) of the Dublin City Duathlon Series races. Good results also from Emma Quirke & Rachel Beck while Caroline Kearney competed abroad this year on the Grand Prix circuit with much success, and I look forward to the day when she unleashes herself on the domestic cycle racing scene!!!! On the Tandem scene we have ‘Pilots’, Bernie McNally and new member Ian Mahon and I have reports posted by both Bernie and Ian on the website. Indeed Ian is representing Ireland as a ‘Pilot’ in the Athens Para-Olympics in Tandem Track Racing.

This year we have had a huge influx of new members, some new to cycling, some returning after a few years and many from the world of triathlon. All seem to have settled well into our League and have gone from strength to strength. The League has brought many of them up to open race standard and in recent weeks there have been many new faces in Swords Jerseys in the Cycling Ireland events. Keep up the training over the winter and I look forward to writing about your successes next year!!!!!