Handicapping system leads to good bike racing in Ballinrobe
Kildare rider Michael Steed of Murphy Surveyors, Kilcullen, triumphed in a very competitive Castlebar Oil Major Fuels Ballinrobe two-day, hosted by Western Lakes Cycling Club at the weekend.
Steed completed the three stages over Saturday and Sunday in a time of 5 hours, 16 minutes and 46 seconds, which left him with 1 minute and 8 seconds to spare over Tom Flaherty of Earl of Desmond, Tralee.
Local rider Padraig Marrey of Western Lakes rode superbly to come third just two seconds behind Flaherty. The event was a big success with 75 riders taking part, and a novel handicapping system kept the stages interesting to the end.
“We handicapped it so that we had four groups on the roads – Seniors C, Ladies and Veterans in one group; Senior B and Juniors in another; Senior A in the third group; and finally, the three-man professional group consisting of Derek Burke of Murphy & Gunn, Paul Griffin of Giant Asia, and David O’Loughlin of Navigators USA,” said a spokesperson for the host club.
“This led to some excellent racing. For example on the third stage, on Sunday, the professionals were given a two-minute handicap on the Senior As, and David and Paul rode hard for 50 miles and still couldn’t catch them. This is a sign of how well the Senior As rode on the day.”
O’Loughlin set a new course record for the Partry-Ballinrobe Time Trial on Sunday morning when he averaged 32mph to complete the stage in 9 minutes 15 seconds.
Overall – 1 Michael Steed, Murphy Surveyors, 5hrs 16 mins 46secs; 2 Tom Flaherty, Earl of Desmond, Tralee, + 1min, 8 secs; 3 Padraig Marrey, Western Lakes, 1 min 24 secs; 4 Niall O’Brien, Limerick CC, 1 min 24 secs; 5 Michael Dennehy, Kanturk CC, 1 min 29 secs; 6 Michael Hennessy, Fermoy CC, 1 min 32 secs; 7 Chris Troy, Castlebar CC, 1 min 35 secs; 8 Colm Bracken, Murphy Surveyors, 1 min 41 secs; 9 Niall Brosnan, Earl of Desmond, 1 min 43 secs; 10 Anthony O’Brien, Fermoy CC, 1 min 43 secs;
1st Unplaced Senior B – Cian Hogan, Earl of Desmond; 1st Unplaced Senior C – Chris Coyle, Castlebar CC; 1st Unplaced Junior Conor McCarthy, Fermoy CC; 1st Unplaced Veteran – Michael Brady, Covey Wheelers, Westport; 1st Unplaced Lady – Mary Mulchrone, Western Lakes;
Kieran McMahon Jersey for sprinting champion – John Murphy, Fermoy CC; Mountains Champion – Daniel Kirwan, Limerick CC.
Stage 1 – 1 Michael Dennehy, Kanturk CC; 2 John Murphy, Fermoy CC; 3 Niall O’Brien, Limerick CC; 4 Martin Philips, Limerick CC; 5 Anthony O’Brien, Fermoy CC;
Stage 2 (Time Trial) – 1 David O’Loughlin, Navigators USA, 9 minutes 15 seconds; 2 Michael Steed, Murphy Surveyors; 3 Simon Coughlan, Donamon Wheelers; 4 Padraig Marrey, Western Lakes; 5 Vinny Gleeson, Limerick CC;
Stage 3 – 1 Niall O’Brien, Limerick CC; 2 Michael Steed, Murphy Surveyors; 3 Micahel Hennessy, Fermoy CC; 4 Tom Shanahan, Limerick CC; 5 Simon Coughlan, Donamon Wheelers.