Race report from Day 2 of the UCI C2 Clonmel

Day 2 of the UCI C2 Clonmel cyclo-cross race took place on Sunday 16 October 2022 at Powerstown Park in Clonmel. It was an early start for Day 2 with registration opening at 7:30 am and the first races of the day starting at 9 am. The 3 km course benefitted from yesterdays races with the track bedding in well. However, the big talking point was around the weather. We knew there was heavy rain due in the afternoon but it couldn’t be certain when it was coming.

The first race was for the Under 50s and Under 60s men. Both had 5 laps to complete with the M60s starting two minutes behind the M50s. Leading for the first 3 laps in the M50s race was James Wilson (Velocity Road Club) but it was Des Woods (Newry Wheelers CC) who was closing in each lap and took over the lead on lap 4 and held it to the line. James finished second. Jason Henry (Inspired Cycling) and Fearghal Regan (Kilcullen Cycling Club Murphy Geospacial) were battling for third with Jason getting the sprint in the end. Bill Kay (Reifen Racing) finished fifth to round off the podium. In the M60s race it was Johnny McCabe (Cuchulainn CC) who had the early lead but newcomer to this age category, David Lawless (Team Worc), put in a great lap 3 to take the lead and the eventual win. Johnny had to settle for second. Paul Birchall (Verge Sport Pi Cycles) was third with Micheal Corkery (De Ronde Van Cork CC) fourth and Christopher McCann (Banbridge CC) fifth.

The Under 40s race saw 28 riders take to the start line for their 5 lap race. Leading from start to finish was Mark Pinfield (Blarney Cycling Club). Marcus Flavin (Dungarvan CC) was out on his own in second place for the whole race. The main battle for the day was for third with five riders in contention. Luis Mota (Blarney Cycling Club), Colm O’Byrne (Ivca Cycling Club), John Lord (Breffni Wheelers), Stephen Pollock (Team WORC) and Brian McCarthy (MBCC). Luis and Stephen dropped off the five man group which came down to a sprint with Colm O’Bryne getting third, John Lord fourth and Brian McCarthy fifth. Luis and Stephen picked up 6th and 7th respectively.

The third race of the day was for the Junior men which was also held over 5 laps. From early on a breakaway of three riders was formed. Visitors Oli Akers and Seb Grindley, both from(Garden Shed – Ribble – Verge Sport, and the current Irish national champion Liam O’Brien (Fermoy Cycling Club). These three were together until the final lap bell was rung when Oli Akers pulled away to finish ahead of Seb Grindley leaving Liam O’Brien to pick up third. Fourth place was contested between Travis Harkness (VC Glendale) and Curtis Neill (Carn Wheelers) with Curtis ahead of Travis for the first three laps but then Travis took over this position to the finish line. Curtis was fifth.

The Elite Women’s race was held at 13:40 with a great turn out of 21 riders. The top 3 were decided after the first of 5 laps with Anna Kay (777) setting a blistering pace from the start, Xan Crees (Spectra Wiggle) out on her own in second and Libby Bell (Garden Shed – Ribble – Verge Sport) out on her own in third. THe real battle for positions came down to five riders, Aine Doherty (VC Glendale), Roisin Lally (Scott Bright Motor Group), Darcey Harkness (VC Glendale), Hannah McClorey (RFDA) and Kimberley Coleman (Green Montain CX Team). These five stayed together over the first 3 laps. By the end of lap 4 Aine had been dropped from the bunch. At the finish it was Roisin Lally taking fourth, Hannah McClorey fifth, Kimberley Coleman sixth and Aine Doherty seventh.

There had been some showers throughout the day, but the expected heavy showers arrived for the Elite men’s race. There was rain upon rain with some gusty winds thrown in for good measure. Not a great day for the support crews standing out exposed in the pits or to the marshals around the course. The spectators were wise to stay in the forest watching the action at the new section built for this year’s race. The race itself saw 37 riders lined up for a 7 lap race. Like the Junior men’s race, there were three riders in a breakaway and they were the visitors, Toby Barnes and Jenson Young, both from Garden Shed – Ribble – Verge Sport and Ben Chilton from Spectra Wiggle. Tody Barnes came out on top to a solo victory down the finish straight. Behind him there was a sprint for second place with Ben Chilton taking second leaving Jenson Young with third. Dean Harvey (Spellman-Dublin Port) spent most of the race alone in 4th place. Joe Coukham (Garden Shed – Ribble – Verge Sport) took fifth with Darnell Moore (Team Caldwell Cycles) sixth.

With the wind and rain still battering the venue there was a rush to get packed up and go home. A huge thanks to John Dempsey and to all at Clonmel Cycling Club for hosting this race. A massive effort and we do hope that it will return next year. Well done to all the riders today and congratulations to those who made it to the podium.

Commissaires: Gary McIlroy, Anthony Keneally, Richard O’Gorman, Mick Twoney and Martin Grimley.

Full results from Day 2 here

Race report by Martin Grimley

Sean Rowe (Facebook) – Junior men, Elite Women, Elite Men

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