Registration for the 2016 Orwell League will close at the end of February, so make sure you get your entries in before then. To whet your appetite for a bit of racing, we're finally publishing a round-up on last year's league, as well a report on the last round, won by Stephen Barry, with Colin Caesar hot on his heels.

The circuit was a short but punishing one, starting out of Enniskerry along the Glencree Road, turning right onto the Military Road at Glencree, descending right at the Viewing Point, and finishing along the Pine Forest Road into Glencullen.

Winner Stephen Barry takes us through his race...

  "I started with semi scratch. Straight away, Sean Murnane and Stephen Rowan launched an attack. The three of us kept up a good tempo of up an overs up to featherbeds. Rowan began to fade as the work he did in the first half took its toll. Murnane and I continued alone with the drag up to the Wicklow/Dublin border. We could see the lead car from scratch not far behind. Time to drop the hammer. A fast descent with a cross tailwind allowed me an unfair opportunity to drop the Junior who simply didn't have the gears.

  "On the drops using 53x12 and having faith in my brakes allowed 80kph down to the sharp hairpin left onto Cruagh. Brian McNally was marshalling this junction and shouted that there were five lads up the road. Cruagh was dry, fast and car free. Aware that the chase was on behind me I tried to keep the speed up on the climb up to pine forest. I caught Luke Potter and Dan Coulcher on this steep little climb.

  "The lead car was in sight and Colin Caesar was up ahead going strong. I caught up on the flat middle section and the two of us worked together to keep ahead of the chasers. With the line in sight it was time to go and I managed to get across it in first place allowing me to be first in line for a pint to mark the end of a really enjoyable club league."

That win elevated Barry to the overall spot of 4th, and 2nd place for Caesar marked his best result in the league since the opening time trial in April.

Sean Murnane held on for 3rd to seal 2nd overall, while Coulcher finished the league on a high - placing in the final two rounds. It was also a highlight for Robert Dolan in 5th, ending a dearth of results since his win in Brittas in R6. Rowan persevered on the night for 6th, continuing a fine run of form ahead of his upgrade to A3 in the Laragh Classic.

The race was followed by a delicious barbecue in the Golden Ball, organised by Ann Horan, featuring a range of home-made desserts and salads. Those present were given a brief preview of the Scott sponsorship of the club for 2016, with Mel Suthcliffe present and racing on the night.

The final results, including the full BAR table as compiled by Dave Mc, are available at here.

Well done to everyone who raced this year! Of the 167 who were signed up, we had 138 who raced throughout the year. One man signed on for every single event - Kilian Doyle. We had an average of 50 racers across all weeks, with the highest being 78 for R3 in Corkagh Park, and the lowest of 14 for a horrendously wet Brittas race. The best placed league debutante was Mark Holland in 9th.

Club PRO Brian McArdle took the overall competition, with the bottom steps of the podium occupied by Sean and Conor Murnane. For the women, social rep and Rás na mBan veteran Ann Horan won gold, with her sister Helen Horan in the silver spot - the first time there's been a set of siblings in both top three? Bronze went to last year's women's league winner Aideen Keenan.

Thanks to all those who made the 2015 league happen - first and foremost, Eddy Lane and Damien Long who are at the startline and finish line virtually every week, no matter what the weather. They keep everything ticking over, which requires a lot of behind the scenes work with ambulances, residents, CI, organisers, the club committee, etc. Many don't realise the extent of the work they do, and the experience needed to do it as well as they do, but the club is extremely grateful for their efforts every week.

As well as Eddy and Damien, the race organisers week to week were Dave Mc, John Twomey, Denis Gleeson, Dave Hendron, Jen Sheridan, and Paul Tansey. These all went the extra mile to run the races every week, taking on the responsibility of sorting marshals, routes, lead cars, etc. It's not an easy job, but they stepped up and took it on!

Dave Mc has made the TTs his own, and between the seeded start lists, the TTT handicapping system, and the exhaustive lists of PBs, improvements and results, he's really made the events a pleasure to participate in (even if the riders have to suffer on the road). Dick O'Brien organised the marshalling roster, and spent hours of his life keeping tabs on no-shows and swaps, so thanks to him. To the marshals themselves, thank you to those who showed up and filled the roster - without you the league wouldn't run. Brian Mc usually filed a report after the dust settled, and looked after the points and placings each week, which conveniently added up to make him the winner...

The league returns in 2016 with more than 20 rounds of club racing scheduled, including the usual array of time trials, criteriums, road races and more! We'll release full details shortly, but in the meantime get your entry in! And make sure your CI licence is either a Limited Competition or Full Competition type.

 

Orwell League R21: Golden Ball Road Race (20/8/2016)

1 Stephen Barry (SS)
2 Colin Caesar (SL)
3 Séan Murnane (SS)
4 Dan Coulcher (L)
5 Robert Dolan (SL)
6 Stephen Rowan (SS)

Orwell League 2015

Men's medals
G Brian McArdle
S Sean Murnane
B Conor Murnane

Women's medals
G Ann Horan
S Helen Horan
B Aideen Keenan

 

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