The Return of the Club League

Thursday night saw the return of the Club League and now traditional Pine Forrest Time Trial. The day started cold and overcast with the forecasts not filling us with much hope for a dry evening. As the day wore on the newly established WhatsApp group came to life with rumours of snow up the hills.  Would it go ahead? Could it be cancelled? As people arrived on the course messages were replaced by photos of snowy roads. Surely it would be cancelled? A Presidential phone call was made to Dave Mc who was on the spot to check conditions and the thumbs up was given. To quote Cahir O'Higgins "It's always on!"

A cold Easterly wind meant times were good despite the snow. Enough cars had driven the course that the road was clear. 33 nutters gave it a go.

Top honours went to Balacz Galambos with a time of 8.13mins. Paul Forristal finally got to complete the course after being cut off by a car last year and finished second with a time of 8.23 and rounding off the podium was Callum O'toole in 8.43.

First Semi-Scratch was Dick O'Brien in 9.33, first Semi-Limit Dan Coulcher in 10.21 and first Limit Des O'Brien in 9.57. Des's time in Limit was short lived as he gets an instant upgrade and is off to Semi-Limit for next weeks races.

Thanks as always to Dave Mc and the team of marshalls for sticking out the cold and making it happen despite the weather.



The IVCA headed to Kentstown, Co Meath on Sunday to what is a lumpy course. Results are still slow coming through but from the lens of Brendan Culleton's camera and some reports from those on the ground we know of 2 excellent results for Scott Orwell Wheelers. 

In the Purple/Red Race 4 Terry Reilly took a very decisive win sprinting away from the pack and crossing the line with plenty of time for a victory salute.

In Race 1 - the Black/Yellow group - John Twomey improved on his 4th place last week to take second place. It wont be long before he gets up for a win we reckon.

JT on the left in stealth mode! Photo thanks to Brendan Culleton


Waller Cup

Such is the dept of talent in the club that we had competitors in every race from Youths all the way up to A1 at The Waller Cup hosted by Bohermeen Cycling Club on Sunday. 


Our youths started off the day bright and early as the warm up races and inspired by their friends and club mates in Scotland went all out for some medals. Thanks to Stephen Ryan for the Youth Race details:

In the U12’s Oisin won the boys race for the 2nd week in a row . He was made to work hard this time out all the way to the line. Behind him in 3rd place was Luca who rounded the last bend in 2nd but was overhauled before the line. He’ll be a little wiser for the experience. No sooner had Luca crossed than Aine flew in – 5th overall in the combined race and 1st Girl .  Debutant Olga picked up 1st Unplaced Girl and went home smiling with a trophy. Davis lost touch with the 1st bunch but worked hard and came in on his own well ahead of the 2nd bunch. 

In the 14’s Ryan’s margin of victory bordered on the ridiculous. He was so far ahead that we were wondering had the others even started or at least started at the same time. He broke away after 1k and rode solo for c. 14k by the sound of it increasing his lead each k . A small group of 4 or 5 came in next which left the 2nd group fighting it out for the remaining places. As I looked on from the bottom of the hill Christopher led the group into the climb with Killian right on his wheel. I thought that was grand we’d pick up a gong or two but alas it didn’t work out that way as they came in 9th and 10th. Callum rounded out the U14’s still feeling the effects of last weeks cold – and the previous days track training session.

In the 16’s , DavidT was also a little under the weather but put in a gallant shift for 2 laps before calling it a day. Once the break of 6 had gone for this race it was going to be lonely for some out on the course. Dylan was one of those lonely souls. So lonely that he stopped for a nice cup of tea and a couple of jaffa cakes with Gillian and myself before we gave him a (non-literal) clip round the ear and sent him on his way. Although behind the front 6 he was well ahead of the chasing bunch and duly picked up a prize for 7th place.

Women's Race:

Yvonne at the Waller Cup, photo thanks to John Busher

The Women's Race was run as Round 4 of the Women's Intermediate League. This league has seen big numbers line out at every race this year and The Waller Cup was no different. Eva Brennan of Deenside pushed the pace from the start until some of the more experienced riders took control and it settled down. Unforuntately a crash on the first lap with 5 racers hitting the deck caused a spit but it was early enough into the race that riders were able to get back on. Despite number of strong attacks on each lap nothing stuck and so it came down to a bunch sprint. Sinead Molloy of Tullamore was first across the line. Sinead was a guest rider on the Scott Orwell Ras na mBan team last year so we are delighted to see her on the top step of the podium. Yvonne Doran has been in fantastic form this year and once again added to her 2019 envelope collection finishing in 5th place. New Scott Orwell Wheeler Laura McMunn finished 6th - a great start to her racing.


Men's Races:

A lot of posing experience in this group! photo thanks to John Busher

The A1 race was an 8 lap affair and the decisive break came on lap 2 when 5 riders went clear from a split in the field. The eventual top three – Prendergast, Potts and Murnane (ex Scott Orwell now riding for UCD) – were in that group. Paul Forristal made the points finishing in 8th place overall.

In the A2 Race Jamie Busher finished in 3rd while in the A3 race our flying Junior - Conor Murphy Rogers made the senior results with a fantastic 6th. As a first year Junior Conor has had a great start to the year - well done Conor!

Unfortunately no results in the A4 Race this week but we know they arent far away!


Witham Hall Grand Prix Junior Women's 2-day

Despite being in her Leaving Cert year Lara Gillespie is still finding some time to get on her bike and was selected for a very strong Irish Junior Women's team which travelled to England at the weekend to compete in the 3 stage Witham Hall GP

Stage 1 was a short prologue Time Trial. Unfortunately Lara had some bad luck before the start when something bumped her bike during her warm up and resulted in her brakes locking on. Despite everything Lara completed the course but came home in 53rd position - at the end of the field she doesn't get to see often!

Stage 2 was a road race and despite starting in last position Lara kept her head up and rode a strong stage.  The race lit up from the start and a number of riders managed to create a gap of up to 29 seconds after an early crash in the peleton. With only 1 lap to go the gap was down to 11 seconds with a very active peleton chasing hard behind. Team Ireland were very prominent towards the front of the bunch.  With just under 3km to go the last of the breakaway riders was caught and it all come down to a bunch sprint. Lara finished in 10th position and moved up to 35th on GC. Making moves in the right direction.

Stage 3 started on a dry cool morning. A couple of early attacks came to nothing until Lara, Maeve Gallagher and race leader Anna Shackley of England put the food down and rode away from the pack. Working hard at the front the gap extended out to 50 seconds with the 3 riders making big gains on the virtual GC. While the chasing pack tried hard to reel the leaders in each time they came to the drag out of Witham the leaders put more time into the bunch all the while sweeping up the sprint points. At the foot of the finish climb Lara and Maeve went for the win, sprinting clear of Shakley. Lara rode away from Maeve to take 1st and moved up into 3rd place on the Overall GC.

Our congratulations to Lara on a great weekend and on her never say die attitude! That was a fantastic comeback and a lesson to all of us never to give up.


Youth Tour of Scotland

The Youth Tour of Scotland is one of Scottish Cycling's flagship stage race events and will take place between 5th-8th April 2019. After a very sucessful and enjoyable first year Scott Orwell Wheelers were delighted to have secured places for a boys and a girls team again this year!

The Girls Team:
Caoimhe May
Annie Roche
Katie Reilly
Aoife O'Brien (Guesting from Lakeside Wheelers)

Team Manager: Una May
Team Mechanic: Terry Reilly


The Boys Team:
Andrew Ryan
Ronan O'Connor
David Forbes
Ruairi Byrne

Team Manager: Genevieve Sheridan
Team Mechanic: Terry Reilly


Stage 1: Saturday 6th April
Forteviot, Long circuit road race (lap is 6.63KM). Girls: 5 laps (33km). Boys: 9 laps (60km).

The girls were up first and it was particularly great to see our riders up on the front rows at the start - smiling, confident and ready to race! 3 of this team (Ainne, Caoimhe & Katie) raced here last year and have come back this year with a lot of race experience since then.

The wet and cold conditions didn't stop the girls from racing hard as three riders attacked hard off the front on the opening lap. The Forteviot road race course is a lung busting rollercoaster with a corkscrew descent and riders having to chase hard to stay with the bunch. By lap 2 the bunch had split but with Aoife, Annie & Caoimhe still in there, Katie was in full flight leading out the chasing pack.

"Having dominated at the 2018 edition of the Youth Tour of Scotland, and fresh from winning the under-17 Gent-Wevelgem last week, Team Wales rider Zoe Backstedt was a driving force at the front of the peloton with VCL and Scottish Cycling West sharing the load." (YTOS website)

At the line the rain was coming down heavily. Aoife was unlucky to have a broken wheel but still managed to get in the mix for the sprint finish, caoimhe was just behind her with Annie not much further back. Katie was in the next bunch just a little behind.

Stage 1 results: Girls
1. Zoe Backstead, Wales
2. Imabi Pereira-James, Scottish Cycling West
3. Eva Young, Scottish Cycling West
26. Aoife O'Brien, Scott Orwell Wheeelers
29. Caoimhe May, Scott Orwell Wheelers
40. Annie Roche, Scott Orwell Wheelers
59. Katie Reilly, Scott Orwell Wheelers

Team Competition:
1. Scottish Cycling West
2. Wales
3. British Cycling South
10. Scott Orwell Wheelers

FULL Results Stage 1 Girls

The boys were up next and just like the girls they took to the front rows with Ruairi, Ronan and Andrew standing out in their Scott Orwell colours.

"The rain stopped just in time for the flag to drop on the boys race. Two riders clipped off the front straight away, but Scotland Green was having none of it, shutting the move down instantly. The technical decent and damp roads caused the peloton to string out. Some riders struggled with the pace early on, fighting hard to stay in the race in order to start tomorrow." (YTOS Website)

Racing was fast and furious from the start - Ronan's strava shows an average speed of 38kph. Despite the high speeds the peleton stayed together for the first few laps. As there were points for sprints during the race there were multiple attacks but coming towards the last few laps a big bunch formed and the pace lifted for the stage to finish in a bunch sprint.

Stage 1 results: Boys
1. Daniel Kain, Scottish Cycling North East
2. Benjamin Peatfield, Green Jersey RT
3. Joshua Giddings, British Cycling East Midlands
33. Ronan O'Connor, Scott Orwell Wheelers
49. Andrew Ryan, Scott Orwell Wheelers
58. David Forbes, Scott Orwell Wheelers
63. Ruairi Byrne, Scott Orwell Wheelers

Team Competition:
1. Scottish Cycling NE
2. British Cycling EM
3. British Cycling Eastern
16. Scott Orwell Wheelers

FULL Results Stage 1 Boys

Stage 2 details: Sunday 7th April
St David’s, Team time trial (6.9km Circuit) Girls: 1 lap (6.9km). Boys: 1 lap (6.9km). Aero equipment was not permitted, standard helmets must be worn and time trial handlebars were not permitted. The start order was reverse order of the team classification, with the exception that the team with race leader started last.

The Girls were up first and finished in 12th position which has moved them up into 10th place in the Team Competition.

The boys followed with another great ride and finished in 17th and have moved into 16th place in the Team competition


Stage 3 details: Sunday 7th April
St David’s, Long circuit road race (lap is 6.9KM). Girls: 5 laps (34.5km). Boys: 9 laps (62km).

Another fast and furious stage - despite the TT in the morning the riders were in good form and raced hard and fast. The pace was hot from the start in the girls race with Zoe Backstead breaking away early and staying away to take a convincing win. Aoife O'Brien showed great consistency finishing in the top 20. In the boys race the average speed topped 38kph and was full of attacks from the gun. Andrew Ryan came home best of the Orwell boys today with David Forbes not far behind.

Girls Race:
1. Zoe Backstead
19. Aoife O'Brien
48. Caoimhe May
61. Katie Reilly
67. Annie Roche

Boys Race:
1. Ben Partridge
43. Andrew Ryan
44. David Forbes
53. Ronan O'Connor
68. Ruairi Byrne

Stage 4 Details: Strathallan, Short circuit Kermesse race (lap is 2.55 KM) Girls 10 laps(25.5km). Boys 16 laps(41km).

A Kermesse is a race with short laps and is usually very fast and exciting and this didn't disappoint! The girls race was an average speed of 35.3kph and the boys averaged 39.8

Stage 4 Race Report on British Cycling Website

Girls Results Stage 4:
1. Zoe Backstead, Wales
30. Aoife O'Brien, Scott Orwell Wheelers
48. Caoimhe May, Scott Orwell Wheelers
56. Annie Roche, Scott Orwell Wheelers
75. Katie Reilly, Scott Orwell Wheelers
Team Position: 14th

Boys Results Stage 4
1. Joe Keily, British Cycling Eastern
34. Ronan O'Connor, Scott Orwell
51. Andrew Ryan, Scott Orwell
55. David Forbes, Scott Orwell
65. Ruairi Byrne, Scott Orwell
Team Position:15th

1. Zoe Backstead, Wales
23. Aoife O'Brien
47. Caoimhe May
54. Annie Roche
64. Katie Reilly
Team Position: 14th

1. Aidan Lawernce, Green Jersey RT
27. Ronan O'Connor
44. Andrew Ryan
46. David Forbes
65. Ruairi Byrne
Team Position: 14th

Congratulations to all our riders, what a huge improvement from last year and once again the compliments were coming in on what great team mates they were, giving one another support both on and off the bike. You make us very proud.

Thanks also to the people behind the scenes - Gen McLoughlin Sheridan, Una May and Terry Reilly who gave up their weekend to support the racers. Without the support of the club and people such as Gen, Una & Terry we would never be able to send teams to events such as these. So to all involved we say "Chapeau"