On Sunday the main show was obviously the Ras which started in Dunboyne and with UCD having a team on the startline for the 4th year in a row, it was left to Sean and Ciaran to represent the club in the Emyvale GP in Monaghan.
It was clear from when they rolled to sign on that this wasnt the procession to the prizes that they had hoped for with any Leinster rider, who wasnt riding the Ras, being there. In the warm up Ciaran told Sean that he wasnt feeling good the last 2 days and he was happy to help him during the race in any way. As always, Sean got in the first move and was very active. It was surprising that this move came back together but this can happen with the northern teams keeping tabs on each other.
More breaks formed and came back with Sean being in most of them. When a group of 12 got away at the 50km mark Ciaran decided that although he was feeling bad he may as well give an effort to get across as it was race over anyway. After getting over with 3 others the group worked very well together and it was almost like a normal Leinster race with only 3 Ulster riders there.
The course was incredibly rolly with a 2km drag to the finish. ON the back section with 20km to go Greg Swinand went away with Dave Wherity of Stamullan. When Neil Delahaye and an Antrim rider got away in chase everyone knew these were the danger men and Ciaran set off solo to bridge the gap. He got on just as they had started to work together which took 7mins of chasing. Straight away they had a gap on the bunch and they hit the finishing climb for the penultimate time. Ciaran hung in through that and over the next hilly section and then the attacks begun. After 3 or 4 failed attempts, which caused the loss of Wherity from the group, they started working together again with Dell and Greg doing the biggest pulls and looking very strong.
They hit the last 2km drag together and Dell immediately went for it. Hesitation stalled the group with greg looking but not getting any help in chasing him down. Once Dell was brought back the Antrim rider attacked with Ciaran on the wheel and that continued until 500 to go where Greg was just about on parity when the sprint started which Ciaran won and took his first win of the season and the clubs 5th. Sean got 4th in the gallop and got 9th and 1st A2 and they both celebrated with prizecreams on the long drive home.
Ciaran O’Conluain (UCD)
Glenn Kinning (East Antrim)
Greg Swinand (Usher IRC)
Neil Delahaye (Dunboyne)
David Wherrity (Stamullan)
Craig Sweetman (Stamullan)
John Kenny (Navan RC)
Sean Bracken (Usher IRC)
Sean McKenna (UCD)
John Murray (Lakeside Mullingar)
On the same day UCD had a Barrick finish 36th on stage one of the Ras and Con was in the main break of the day and later finished in the bunch. A great day for the club.
Photos courtesy of Marian Lamb/cycling Ulster and Raffoto.com Many thanks to Emyvale CC for a very well organised race.