Tom Sheehan Memorial A3 and Junior Race

On Patrick’s Day the Tom Sheehan Memorial A3 and Junior Race was run over five laps of a 20KM circuit near Carrick on Suir. It is a classic race that has been won by some illustrious riders, including the current top man, Sam Bennett. To get there from Allihies is a 550KM round trip, so we left on Saturday and stayed in Blarney with some friends. Neil deliberately missed a race on Saturday as he wasn’t feeling his best on Friday, deciding instead to save himself for the Tom Sheehan event. This turned out to be a wise choice as he subsequently went on to win the Tom Sheehan race in fine style. A break went away on lap one and it got a two minute lead before anybody seemed to feel the need to chase. The break was eventually caught though and on the start of the last lap Neil and four other riders broke away.

On the last corner coming into the steep uphill finish, Neil powered on and came home with a good few bike lengths for First place. Neil needed fifth place in the race to move up to an A2 race license. Neil now has 19 points from his two races this year. His next race will be with the A1 and A2 riders so it will be longer and faster. A great start to the season.

The first four in the winning break were

  1. Neil Hodges Killarney CC
  2. Alex Sparrow Bandon CC
  3. Bernard Sweeney Killorglin CC
  4. Conor Coleman Panduit Carrick Wheelers
The chase starts to get the leading break

Up the hill to the line

Some reworked photos of the race

Aaron Wade, NRPT Chill Insurance Vitus
Bernard Sweeney – Killorglin CC
Grace Young – Velo Revolution Strata 3
Luis Mota

Neil now has 19 points from his two races this year. His next race will be with the A1 and A2 riders so it will be longer and faster. A great start to the season.

Richie Maes with his own beer….

Tom Sheehan Memorial A3 and Junior Race

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Ras Luimni A3 and Junior Race

Neil started his 2019 season with a second place in the A3 and Junior Ras Luimni race, which starts in the County Limerick village of Caherconlish. The race was organised by Limerick Cycling Club, and held over three laps of a 30KM circuit. The weather conditions were not very nice with plenty of wind and rain. At the end of lap one a break of seven riders had formed including Neil. Half way through the lap Neil and Jason Kenny from UCD had forged on ahead and that is the way it ended with a comfortable 2 minute gap. Jason got the better of Neil at the end of the last lap and came in a good ten seconds ahead of Neil.

Neil at the front of the initial break
Neil at the front of the initial break

So Neil who is now riding for Killarney Cycling Club has 9 points from one race and needs 6 more to move up to an A2 licence. Jason Kenny had already won a race earlier in the season so already moves up to A2.

Ras Luimni A3 and Junior Race

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Charleville two Day Stage race 2018

West Cork had a good showing at the traditional end of season Charleville 2 day stage race.
The main A2/A3 race took place over two days and three stages. On Saturday there was an 80km road race where Neil  was 24 seconds behind the winner, but importantly at the same time as nearly every other rider. On Sunday morning the 6KM time trial was run and Neil was in the top twenty times.

Watch a short video here….

Charleville two Day Stage race 2018

Time Trial Stage 2, Photo Sean Rowe
Photo Sean Rowe

Stage three was  a tough climbers circuit of 90KM and Neil went hard on the climbs and ended up in a three man break. They had a 38 second lead at the end and importantly the third place rider Tom Shanahan from Limerick was two seconds slower than Neil which meant that Neil was the winner on General Classification by only one second.

Photo Sean Rowe
Bad Weather, break is set up, photo Sean Rowe
Second place but GC won, photo Sean Rowe
Neil, Jeremy Canty and Tom Shanahan at the end of the race.

The rider who won the stage was Jeremy Canty from Bantry riding for Bandon Cycling Club.

Joan and Dan Curtin, Tom O’Connor, Neil, Richie Hodges, Cian Leahy and Conor?

In the A4 race Den Bat O’Sullivan was in the winning team for the race, De Ronde Cycling club from Cork city.

De Ronde win the A4 team prize

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Gorey Three Day Race 2018

Well Neil’s second go at Gorey and what a story. Riding for the Munster team again which had seven riders. Unfortunately two dropped out on day one so the team was left with Tom O’Connor and Neil Hodges from Kanturk O’Leary Stone, Jamie O’Donoghue from Kilarney cycling club, Sean Lynch from Cork County cycling club and Pat Sheehan from Sliabh Luachra. Lot’s of training and extra experience one year on. So a good first stage riding strongly to finish with the bunch. A few lads up the road with over a minute lead. But finishing same time as most riders.

Neil Hodges - Gorey Three Day Cycle Race 2018
Neil stage one on one of the climbs that counted for the climbers points

Second day had the time trial and 99 KM road race. The time trial was not too bad and made up some time on other riders bringing him up the GC rankings. A few lads with some very top class Time Trial bikes made it hard for others to be competitive, maybe fairer if all riders at this level had to use the same bike for all stages…

Tom O'Connor - Gorey Three Day Cycle Race 2018
Tom O’Connor TT
Neil Hodges - Gorey Three Day Cycle Race 2018
Neil TT
Pat Sheehan - Gorey Three Day Cycle Race 2018
Pat Sheehan TT
Sean Lynch - Gorey Three Day Cycle Race 2018
Sean Lynch TT

The road race some some aggressive riding with a group finishing ahead of the main bunch, Neil was chasing this group with an other rider so got 50 seconds advantage on the main bunch which put him into 14th position on GC.

Neil Hodges - Gorey Three Day Cycle Race 2018
11th on Stage Three
Jamie and Neil - Gorey Three Day Cycle Race 2018
Jamie and Neil Stage 3
Pat Sheehan - Gorey Three Day Cycle Race 2018
Pat Sheehan Stage 3
Tom O'Connor - Gorey Three Day Cycle Race 2018
Tom and his father, Tom got back onto the bunch after a hard chase, good effort

Tom O'Connor - Gorey Three Day Cycle Race 2018

Third day the weather was terrible and the bunch finished together with most riders getting same time as winner. The 14th place on GC was held and the race was over. These stage races really make for great races and interesting weekends. The next one will be the Kanturk Three day beginning of May. Between then and now though a few Sunday races.

Paul Forristal winner of stages three and four

Gorey Three Day Race 2018

 

Jamie O Donoghue - Gorey Three Day Cycle Race 2018

Neil Hodges - Gorey Three Day Cycle Race 2018

Pat Sheehan - Gorey Three Day Cycle Race 2018

Paul Forristal - Gorey Three Day Cycle Race 2018

Tom O'Connor - Gorey Three Day Cycle Race 2018

Watch a short video here

All the photos from the Weekend

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Irish National Junior Cyclo Cross Race 2018

Irish National Junior Cyclo Cross Race 2018 was a tough one, did not do well at all, ah sure there is always next year. Time to put the focus back on training for the road.

Watch a video of the Junior Race here

Irish National Junior Cyclo Cross Race 2018

The race was won by Thomas CREIGHTON, with my old team mate Archie RYAN in second place, good man Archie.

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Munster Cyclo Cross Championships

Rode in the main race as a Junior and won the junior race, sadly with not enough Juniors riding with the seniors it does not count as a medal just a  race win. Very muddy conditions but nice circuit.

Watch a video of the race below

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First cross race and a win

Took part in the B race of the De Ronde cyclo cross race located at the Tramore Valley Park on the outskirts of Cork city. I was told to get to the first corner first and work from there. It worked out fine and I built up a strong lead until the finish line where I got first place.

Delighted

Watch a short film below

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Gorey Three Day Cycle Race

Gorey Three Day Cycle Race was great experience. Three stages of 103KM, 123KM and 93KM over the bank holiday weekend. Had a bad stage one but did well on stages two and three. Here are some pictures of the race and a short film of the start and finish of stage 3.

The average speed for the whole race was 40KMH, not too shabby.

Watch a short film here below.

Gorey Three Day Cycle Race

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Hunt Aero Wheels 31 Deep 24 Wide

Hunt Aero Wheels 31 Deep 24 Wide just arrived here un boxed and got ready for use. I used a pair of nice Shimano Ultegra wheels last year for racing that were very good value for money at 300 €. These wheels are a bit more and like my Ultegras I now have them ready to go with Schwalbe Pro One 25MM tyres with 25ML of sealant and an Ultegra cassette 14-28 for Junior gearing.

Watch my review on the bike…

Watch the un-boxing set-up info video here