The racing season is barely a month old but a lot has happened in that month.
We have had club members competing every weekend up and down the country and there have been some notable results. It has to be the best starts to the season that the club has ever had.
Donal Harrington has had some great results placing third in Braodford and fourth in Loughrae.In Loughrea Donal rode out of his skin and was up the road with Charles Prendergast, Paddy Clarke and Liam Frawley for the day when he punctured on the final lap. Donal still managed to hold on for fourth on what was a tough race in brutal conditions. Donal has now upgraded to A2 and the way he is going at the moment it wont be long till he is up to A1.
Sean O Malley has also put in some huge performances in the A4 category.Two great wins in Loughrea and Westport earned him an upgrade to A3, but beating Padraig Marrey into second at the first Western Lakes Covey TT is a result that shows that the best is yet to come from young Sean. Michael Gilvarry rounded of the podium to make the TT a great day out for the club.
In the Cycleways cup Mark Quigly bridged across to the break with pro rider Ryan Sherlock and Ian Richardson to take the prize fro first A2 rider. This is a great result for Mark which shows what he is capable of. Its great to see Mark back where he belongs in western lakes colours winning races.
Kieran Heneghan put in a great ride on the Paddys day TT to get the prize for first junior and showed that he can recover well by taking the first unplaced junior on the following day. Kierans dad Pat has also driven backup for the club on a number of occasions and had a part to play in Donals fourth in Loughrea.
Padraig Hughes finished third behind Sean in Westport. Its great to see Padraig getting results for all the hard work he puts in and there is surely a few more great results to come. Cathal Usher finished fifth in Westport. Cathal came from riding mainly club races last year and has shown a huge progression since taking up the sport, if he continues to improve at this rate he will be one to watch for the season.
Shane Gilligan has had a tough start to the season, but if he manages to stay upright for a whole race who knows what might happen? Shane also put in a notable performance in the westernlakes/ Covey TT where he finished 2min 56 down, not bad considering he was on the phone for half the TT, bought a house, planted 40 acres of forestry and came over the line dragging two boilers and a washing machine for the scrap collection.
Michael Gilvarry, John James Flaherty, Padraig Marrey, Donal Harrington and Mark Quigly are on the road to the RAS. They have been working hard on and off the bike. All of the lads have been training hard and racing hard every weekend and the results are there to show the work they have been putting in on the bike. Next weekend the lads will be heading down to Ras Mumhan, after that is the Tour of Ulster and then its the big one.
Padraig has secured John O Halloran as the team manager and a car has been sourced for the RAS. The lads have made a huge comitment on and off the bike and have also been busy raising money and looking for likely sponsers.Padraig Marrey, Shane Gilligan, Dave Mac, Sean O Malley and others have done serious work and have raised a lot of funds through the scrap collection which will go to the western lakes racing team. Mark Quigley will be putting his artistic talents to use to design the logos for the car and the RAS jersey. This year the club will be building on the success of last year and will be putting a full Western Lakes team in the RAS. Looking at the riders coming through at the moment there will be serious competition for next years team.
The club is going from strength to strength and we have have great numbers racing every weekend.
Everyone is encouraged to give racing a go and see if they enjoy it. The Club's own league starts on Tuesday the 16th of April with a short 15k Time Trial so great time to get into a bit of racing with no pressure.
Remember dead last is better than DNF is better than DNS so if you think you might like it then give it a go.