Weather conditions separates the men from the boys
All roads headed west on the May bank holiday weekend for the Ballinrobe 3 day where Western Lakes staged this a 3 days of cycle road racing using the difficult roads of Mayo and Galway as the battle field.
A change in the format and date resulted in dramatic racing over weekend, normally held in August as a 2 day event this year organisers gambled on moving the race to May where it would have to compete with other large races such as the Tour of Ulster and the Corkman 3 day. Thankfully the changes paid off with 110 riders taking to the start line on a beautiful spring day.
The flat roads between Ballinrobe and Castlebar helped to set the scene for weekend with a group of 12 forming and building a substantial lead over the main peleton, Aaron O’Brien of Mego Raw Cycles (Limerick) won a dramatic sprint win with over Daire Feeley Team iTap with Mike Storan Moda Kingdom 3rd they build up an advantage of over 3 minutes on the hard chasing peloton. Local rider Jason Prendergast of GMIT Cunga CC showed well and took the King of the Mountains jersey and won the most aggressive rider prize, sponsored by Fitzpatrick’s bar, while also taking 5th on the stage.
Stage 2 used the hard hilly roads around Lough Mask, Maam Trasna had to be scaled twice from both sides, the racing was very aggressive with numerous groups going clear but gaining no real advantage until the final climb of Maam Trasna where 8 riders jumped clear their efforts caused huge splits in the field behind.
Donegal man Paul Mc Carter was in great form and attacked his fellow breakaway companions on numerous ossacions, he won the most aggressive rider and stage for his
troubles from local rider Anthony Murray GMIT Cunga. JasonPrendergast put in a bold bid to claim the Polkadot jersey scoring points on both climbs thus retaining the mountains jersey.
After two days of relative good weather the riders were in for a shock on stage 3, Strong cross winds and pelting hail and rain showers made racing conditions super tough, with many comparing the final stage like one that would be in the An Post Ras.
Daire Feeley Team Itap started the day in yellow and looked to have things under control up to the final climb with 30k to go. At that stage only Shane Scully of Nenagh CC and race revelation Eoin O Connell from Kilarney CC were out in front with O Connell virtual race leader on the road as he started the day only 57″ down and was now 1:05 up on the Feeley group of 10 riders. The rest on the bunch was scattered somewhere over the tough Connemara roads some minutes back.
With the Killarney man scenting race victory he turned on the afterburners and turbo boosted himself to the finish line winning alone with 39″ to spare over Scully and opened up a huge gap on the yellow jersey bunch with Caimin Muldoon Aquablue leading the charge to the line for third on the stage some 4:13 back, Feeley was 9th on the stage @ 4:24 thus relinquishing the Champion systems yellow jersey.
Riders crossed the line in dribs and draps for the next 35minutes showing how hard the stage was. It was great to see riders from all 4 provinces taking part, the standard was up a few notches with most of the local Connacht riders finding the stages difficult.
Cathal Moynihan Tralee Manor took the Green Kieran Mc Mahon points jersey
Jason Prendergast Cunga CC won the Polkadot jersey
Aaron O Brien Mego raw cycles won the blue A2 jersey
Derek Bowyer won the A3 red jersey.
Stage winner Eoin O Connell Kilarney CC won most aggressive rider sponsored by Inch’s bar.
Full results on www.westernlakescc.com pictures on Ballinrobe 3 day stage race facebook page.
Western Lakes CC would like to say a big thanks all the helpers and supporters with this 3 day promotion. Without the help of our own club members and local rival clubs the race couldn’t have gone ahead. Sponsors Petal and buds, Fitzpatrick’s bar and champion systems UK generously supported this race.
Picture attached of overall Jersey winners: L to R Blue jersey A2 winner Aaron O Brien Mego racing, Green Jersey winner Cathal Moyilhan Tralee manor, Overall yellow jersey Eoin O Connell Killarney CC, Mountains jersey Jason Prendergast GMIT Cunga CC, Red Jersey A3 winner Derek Boyer.
Final GC Amended Stage 3 and GC Results