Report and feature collage photos courtesy of NWCC, all other photos Eamon Doody (SkyView Photography) Munster’s top sports photographer, with thanks to both…
A welcome return after a two-year covid absence for our Classic race, now renamed after PJ O Riordan Memorial RR.PJ was an integral part of NCW cc and passed away all too soon after a brave battle with cancer in 2020. Rockwell Engineering came in as title sponsor for the fixture and the prize money on offer here was the most generous on offer in domestic fixtures in 2022. There was 500 Euro on offer for the main A1,2 winner with the top three A2 riders guaranteed a 3 figure cheque as well.
That incentive saw a big turnout of A2 riders go head to head with some of the county’s top A1 cyclists. This circuit allows for little hiding space so a big turnout of spectators was treated to exciting racing throughout. Daire Feeley from the All Human Velo Revolution was always prominent and hard working. Burren CC arguably has the strongest club lineup in the country this season and today you had Mark Shannon, Paul Kennedy, Danny McDonald, and Jarleth Hassett again working well together. Throw in the likes of Connor Kissane, Conor Hennerby, and Tom Moriarty, and what we got was strong punchy attacks on the climb into Strand with breathtaking descending down Glenquinn. In the end, it was Liam Crowley who took the flag. He opened a gap on the climb on the 2nd last lap and held an advantage to the line. It was a deserved win and impressive given it was his first outing on a return after a broken hand. Tom Regan from the Seven Springs in Galway took second. Fittingly Jordan Luke had the climbing legs for third. Jordan and his brother Joel (who took 8th )began their cycling as u12s under PJs coaching and PJ would have taken great satisfaction in their placings today.
The re-emergence of Blarney as a cycling force was evident again today. They dominated the A3/Junior race with Matteo Manassero, Mark Pinfield, and Kieran Hull manufacturing an early break that the large and predominantly A3 field were never able to bridge. Paul Collins gave the local support great cheer when he took 4th. Barry Sutton’s impressive season continued when he crossed in 8th. Shane Kelly and Paddy Sweeney raced well all day and played their part in Paul’s result. The team peppered the circuit all week so it was satisfying to get the result.
The pre-race talk of the demise of the A4 category could be exaggerated after the strong turnout today. Munster riders accounted for most of a large field and that dominance translated into the final placing. Joe Dunworth from Limerick CC emerged from the uphill sprint for the deserved win.Fergal Fitzgerald took a second consecutive 2nd in NCWcc colours and the home support got further cheered with Garry Carroll taking 5th. We had James Downes, Ciaran Cronin, Ian Gilvarrey, and Dwayne Blenkinsop also in the A4 making it our strongest lineup in a number of years. James And Ciaran crossed just out the placing in a fast-finishing bunch.
The ladies raced with the A4 on the day and it was Carthach McCarthy from Blarney who took that result. Deidre Hynes battled hard to take second with Autumn Collins finishing strong for 3rd.
The presentation took place back in the Tournafulla community center and Pj’s widow Deidre made a heart-felt well-received speech on behalf of the O’Riordan family.In summary, she thanked the large turnout of stewards, drivers, and helpers from the club whose efforts ensured the fixture ran off seamlessly. NCW cc is very much a community-based club catering to all level of cyclists across a wide age span. One of our youngest members, Darragh Collins was on camera duty today and photos will be shared later. Deidre also acknowledged the cycling community throughout the province and beyond, whose support has been a great crutch to the family since PJs passing. Thanks to Eamon Doody who gave his time generously behind the camera lens and to the team from the West Limerick Red Cross who were on Ambulance duty for the afternoon. Popular local Garda Tommy Commane was of great assistance all day and a final word of thanks to the team of comms. Sean Moriarty, Julia Mulvihill, and Dan Curtin were calm heads and contributed to a good day’s racing.
1st. Liam Crowley UCD CC
2nd. Tom Regan Seven Springs CC
3rd. Jordan Luke UCD CC
4th. Mark Shannon Burren CC
5th. Daire Feeley All human-VeloRevolution
6th. Conor Hennebry Team Dan Morrisey-Pactimo
7th. Dermot Radford Black House Racing
8th. Joel Luke UCD CC
9th. Jarlath Hasset Burren CC
10th. Paul Kennedy Burren CC
1st. Matteo Manassero Blarney CC
2nd. Mark Pinfield Blarney CC
3rd. Kieran Hull Blarney CC
4th. Paul Collins Newcastle West CC
5th. Brian Maher Slane CC
6th. Dean Minogue Dolmen CC
7th. David Murphy Blarney CC
8th. Barry Sutton Greenmount CA
9th. Eoin Clifford Blarney CC
10th. Jake Bickerdike Athy Wheelers CC
1st. Joseph Donworth Limerick CC
2nd. Fergal Fitzgerald U/A Munster
3rd. Chris Moseley West Cork CC
4th. Luke Costelloe Killarney CC
5th. Garry Carroll Newcastle West CC
6th. Brian Daniels Seven Springs CC
7th. Darren Tutty Dungarvan CC
8th. Brian Condon Blarney CC
9th. Ricardo Lopes Limerick CC
10th. Michael Lyons Acme CC
1st. Carthach McCarthy Blarney CC
2nd. Deidre Hynes Riverside CC
3rd. Autumn Collins Awol-O’Shea GB
4th. Margie O’Connor U/A Munster
5th. Emer O’Driscoll Blarney CC