Brennan wins cycling league title

David Brennan who started the season injured came through strongly in the closing rounds of the Mayo Cycling League to win the league outright, consistency was the key by racing hard in all of the eight rounds spread around the county. Brennan scored points in all bar one round, showing super concentration and wily tactics. The league comprises 16 time trials, six road races, with some of them handicapped, and finishes with a 10k hill climb. To win the winner has to be a complete all rounder while making the best use of his/her club to help secure points.

The ladies’ overall league title was won by Elaine Rowley of Castlebar Cycling Club, with Noreen O’Toole from Westport Covey Wheelers in second place, and Ann Marie Egan also from Westport Covey Wheelers in third place.

The last round of the league (RD8 ) was a 10km hill climb from Castlebar town to the top of the Windy Gap. Con Doherty, Westport, showed he is no ordinary talent and that he can mix triathlon and road cycling in equal measure. Doherty galloped up the 10k climb in 17 minutes and seven seconds. Sean O’Malley from Western Lakes CC pushed the Westport triathlete close as he was only three seconds slower in 17:10 minutes. Third place went to the evergreen Chris Troy (Castlebar ) with a time of 17:16, he held the yellow jersey in the earlier rounds. First A4 was Jonathan Caulfield (Swinford CC ) in 18.37, first u16 was Ben Walsh (Westport CC ), and the first lady was Lauren Gourlay (Castlebar CC ).

This year the league had unprecedented numbers racing with fields averaging about 55 riders, and with some 130 riders taking part in one or more rounds the future of cycling in the county looks bright, there was a notable increase in the standard of racing, this has risen considerably over the past year, long gone are the massive handicaps with the same riders scooping all the points. The 2014 league saw different winners at each round, with the exception of the talented and aggressive Sean O’Malley (Western Lakes CC ) who won two rounds.

It was also encouraging to see young riders make an impact, with sterling performances by triathletes Aichlinn O’Reilly and Con Doherty both from the Westport Covey Wheelers.

Ladies’ numbers taking part in racing has also increased, and there was a great battle between the Castlebar and Westport ladies, this is an area where huge gains can be made by other clubs.

With a promotion of a race in eight different towns around the county the local club gained the most with racing on its doorstep, it got to organise a round locally with the support of the Mayo cycling committee, while also having the opportunity to field as many local riders as the club could muster.

There are two more fixtures on the Mayo calendar, the team time trial will take place in Westport on July 30, with teams comprising up to seven riders, with the time of the fifth rider across the line taken as the team’s time. Clubs can enter as many teams as they wish, however only two teams’ points from one club will contribute towards points in the team classification.

The 2014 Mayo Cycling championship event will be hosted by Cunga CC in Cong on Wednesday August 6. The competition is open to all category racers and there will be a team prize also. Sign on will be open from 6.15pm at the Neale GAA grounds Lisloughrey, Cong, race starts at 7pm sharp. The route will take in two laps of a circuit going through Cong, Clonbur, Cloughbrack, Cornamona, Ardaun, and back to Cong.

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