Without a doubt 2013 was a season to remember for the Western Lakes Cycling Club with a host of activates organized from January to October for both its leisure and racing members.
Last Saturday, with the finish to the season in sight, the club held its Club Championship and annual end of year awards night. The night out is a chance for all the riders to relax and reminisce about races won and lost, miles covered and more importantly laugh at other cyclists misfortune during the year (all in good humour I assure you) but prior to the festiveness the club road race championship were held with this race being more of a leisure spin with a short handicap race at the end to liven things up.
With it been held late in the year it’s always hard to predict who is in form and has the fitness to win with the 2013 race proving no different.
On the leisure spin ¾ the way around Lough Mask, Kieran Heneghan wanted to prove he was on the mend after a heavy fall at the Tourmakeady race and whistled his way over Maam Trasna in first place, he showed his hand early and was then a marked man for the race itself.
The race started proper in Clonbur with 5mins separating the 3 groups made up of ladies, leisure and racers, the 11 km of flat road into Ballinrobe would find out who would be the club champion for 2013.
The 2nd group made up of mostly leisure riders made great headway hunting down the ladies after 6k, at the back the scratch group found the going tough with only Michael Gilvarry and David Mac Dermott trying to close the gaps on the two front groups
Up front a huge attack by Gerry Sheridan on Ferrick’s hill managed to split up the group with only Mary Mulchrone able to respond, a pursuit by Ger Coyne and John Hughes was able to close the gap down to under 100m but Sheridan was in no mood to be caught and had the strongest kick for the line and beat Mulchrone for the win, behind Ger Coyne made the most of John Hughes slip stream to win the battle for third with Monica Nee making it a great day for the ladies in 5th place.
Later that evening a BBQ was held at Inch’s bar, one of the clubs main sponsors, the club chairman David Mac Dermott gave out his awards for the year and highlighted some of the great achievements the club had in 2013.
In the individual awards Sean O Malley won club racer of the year, Sean was one of the few riders in the country to go from Category A4 to A1 inside the season, a marvellous and extremely difficult achievement, as part of his thank you speech his friend “the Worm” translated Sean’s words which were as follows” Thanks to all my team mates for helping me throughout the year” Sean was understandable very emotional on excepting the award.
John Hughes won Leisure rider of the year for his endeavours in promoting leisure cycling activity in the area. John was involved in the running of three sportifs this year alone.
Padraig Marrey was awarded club person of the year for his work in the club. Between running events and training cyclists there is not a member that has not benefited from his effort.
Finishing the speeches David Mac Dermott thanked all the committee members and sponsors for without there help there would be no club. With the 2013 season officially over members were told to enjoy the night as training for 2014 would soon begin in earnest.