Mark told us: On our last night (Thursday 28th September), despite an initial sunny sky, it became increasingly grey, with the clouds finally opening during the youth race. The youth was a tough slog between 10 hardened competitors, with a fast pace at the start, it was called at four laps once the determination on the riders faces made the commissaires realise the fast pace would not drop. While all the competitors finished within a few minutes of each other the battle at the front between a trio of Orwell riders was tremendous.

(Above photo) Amy giving chase to Chloe in a tightly fought battle seconds behind the leaders

Picture above: Youth rider escaping the turnaround in the trees
The first lap finished with Molly taking a commanding lead and holding off the following wheels of Jaxon and Josh. By the second lap, Jaxon had just managed to take the lead from a determined Molly who was hot on his wheels with Josh only seconds behind the two of them but by lap 3 Jaxon had settled into full TT mode to secure the win. Molly following closely and Josh came in just behind for a well deserved 3rd place finish. Despite the impressive lap times, there was little between them and the rest of the field in what was a tight contest from start to finish.
Picture below: Youth league podium

The Senior race lined out with 45 riders on the line and the weather not discouraging any of them. The wind was a bigger factor than in previous weeks, and the organisers, feeling pity, lowered the planks to 30cm after 3 weeks of full height UCI reg ones.
Colm Bracken took an early lead, with himself and Johnny McCormack holding a commanding gap on the field for the first three laps. As the weather deteriorated, the commissaires struggled to keep the paper dry and with darkness coming in quick on lap 4, there were concerns that they wouldn’t be able to tell who was who in the final lap. While the fast riders of previous races finally made it to near the front entering the last lap, Colm and Johnny still held a lead but only by seconds at this point. With the ground getting increasingly damp, most riders were running the impossible circle and even then struggling to stay upright. With tight turns near the end of the course, it was nearly impossible to see who held the lead until 10metres from the finish line.
With no surprise though, the O’ Leary brothers took the one – two, with Sean taking the top of the podium on the night and Pierce taking 2nd place but the league overall. Colm Bracken rounded out the top 3, with Michael Jordan 4th and Johnny McCormack rounding out the top 5.
Overall top 5 in the league:
1st. Pierce O’ leary – Lucan CRC (photo below)
2nd. Bryan Geary – St. Tiernans
3rd. Ronan Killeen – Lucan CRC
4th. Fionn Crionion – IMBRC
5th. Gerard O’ Donnell – IMBRC

Huge thanks to our main sponsors The Bear group who provided an unimaginable level of support getting everything race ready.
Their support meant we were able to give all youth entries for free and provide each race for the seniors for not much more than a cup of coffee. And our youth race prize sponsors Specialized Ireland, who provided prizes on the night for the youth race and also bike maintenance support for those who needed it throughout the league.
Also our volunteers from multiple clubs, who helped pull it altogether, very much appreciated.
In the next few days we will be reaching out to all the youth entrants and covering their CI license fee next year, to encourage them to come out again to provide some more top quality racing.

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