The grass roots of cycling…our youth came together in South West Limerick this time, coming from all corners of the Island

Foreword Dany ” A long weekend who started for me with a visit to Ennis on Friday (Junior Tour) and arriving in Abbeyfeale late afternoon, getting settled in the Hotel (Leens) and being collected by the race directors wife Theresa Finn for a coffee and apple tart in their lovely home, and a lookaround the very demanding course and the HQ in Tournafulla, a sleeping village near Newcastle West (well it Saturday morning was relaxing, the race started noon, and didn’t had to get up early for a change…setting up my PA system in the carpark of the community centre, this for announcements and a few tunes to get riders and their supporters entertained before the noon it was already 24 Celcius, and the 2 first stages was raced in very warm conditions, but all kids took it in their stride…I was pleasantly suprised to see so many families from my part of the country, it made my job a bit easier with names, and with the help of the organisers and supporters the names of the kids I didn’t knew to well, I got by… Back to the Hotel, which I would highly recommended for families or couples, a bite to eat and a visit to the pub next door (The Ploughman Bar) for a bit of live music and a pint, and early to bed, as an early start on Sunday morning…The town was dressed up green and white for the coming match, and the sun already blazing…the 30 celcius heat was coming…early TT, a wee break and the last stage (4) was a fact…the young competitors, but friends before and after the race got a great weekend, so heart warming to see the bond they all have, and with the parents mostly all friends of eachother, you just feel the love for the sport…this is where it all start and need to be supported, our future champions will come from such races!! A trophy and prize presentation in the hall and off home for the families and riders. For me it was back to the Hotel, as I had decided to stay an extra night, this to soak up the atmosphere of the Limerick winning hurlley team, the town was just one mad place, a lot of happy and tipsy people (to put it mildly!!) Disco next door, so off for a few pints, and not to late in bed…A drive back home via Gort yesterday, this to visit some old friends, and arriving home early evening in Ards, the heat of the day in my bones and straight to sleep in the satee, so a late report, I am far behind my schedule of reports, but hey sometimes you need a bit of time for yourself and family too…Well done Newcastle West CC and all your volunteers, this event could grow to a massive event, to me it was already one!!!

Peter Finn (Race Director) with the Red Cross crew
Some of the VC Glendale Youth academy families before the race
One of the most furtherst travelled families, the Quigly’s, all the way from the Derry club Foyle CC
Shauna Finn NWCC (Irish Track champ and multible medallist at the Junior champs) and U16 Hannah Hayes (Tc Racing) who won a race in Belgium 2 weeks ago, Hannah won the U16 event this weekend!!
A mystery club from the Dungarvon area…we are investigating Mr Tutty
Stage 2 U12’s on their way
Sprint finish Sam Bennet style
Mum Theresa and daughter Shauna working at recording results and nrs
The All green and white family in support of the race
A thank you to the Sliabh Luachra Cycling Club for the donation towards my car fund…unexpected and very much appreciated!!
Ready for a hard uphill TT
Some of the Ulster supporters
Ex Irish MTB champ Scott Aicken-Johnson with his daughter Lacey from NDCC
Local hero’s and brothers Michael & Sean O’ Sullivan memorial statue in Tournafulla
Even I am a Bioracer man (my main sponsor) this jersey from VeloRevolution is certainly beautiful and so easy to spot as a photographer