All Ireland Criterium Championships draws big guns to Claremorris
Criterium racing is explosive, exciting and very fast, experienced cyclist use skill, bravery and speed to negotiate a tight circuit usually held in a town centre, Claremorris was lucky to get the nod from Cycling Ireland to host such an elite championship and to make the most of the occasion the brilliant Maria Walsh of Mayo and the then current Rose of Tralee launched the event back in February.
The Championship draws the best Criterium racers in the country and with them all descending into town for a crack of winning a national title the scene was set for an exciting evenings racing.
Names like Padi O Brien Cork, Damien Shaw Wesmeath and Mark Dowling Dublin were all past medal winners and were sure to lit up the show.
Team ASEA on paper looked by far the strongest team and were expected to control things for the current road race Elite champion Damien Shaw.
As the race progressed Team ASEA raced aggressively and the race looked to be splitting up on several occasions but the ever astute Paidi O Brien and the Itap team helped to bring things back together with a bunch sprint the lightly outcome.
After 45 minutes of racing and with 5 laps to go and with the light fading Mark Dowling of the DID team took a flier and immediately opened up a gap, the bigger teams looked at each other and in the flick of an eye Dowling was opening up a race winning lead.
On the final lap Dowling held a precious 10second lead which he held to the Finish line to come home alone, the sprint for 2nd was frantic with Padi O Brien Osbourne meats Cork taking it followed by Conor Hennebry Carick on Suir.
The team prize was won by the young Itap squad of David Broady, Darragh Bailey and Darragh Feeley.
The organiser Western Lakes CC would like to thanks Mayo County Council, Claremorris Chamber of Commerce, The Claremorris men’s shed group, the Gardai, Red Cross, Claremorris CC, Hollymount Wheelers for their help.
The event was sponsored by PJ O Connor Florists, Claremorris Credit union, Flynn’s Pharmacy, Cummins Home Value, Smyth’s Newsagent, Cummins Super value and O Brien’s bar.
1st Mark Dowling DID Dunboyne
2nd Paidi O Brien Osbourne meats
3rd Conor Hennebry Carrick Wheelers
4th David Reilly South Dublin
5th Chris Reilly Team ASEA
6th Derek Finnigan Keevan CC
Team Result ITap, Broady, Feeley and Bailey
1st Prime Darragh Bailey Team Itap
2nd Con Collis UCD