Brian Ahern announced his comeback in emphatic style in Dunboyne yesterday as the star sprinter scooped the honours in the Irish Road Club St Patrick’s Day race.

In a trademark display of power that recalled former glories, Ahern worked hard to keep the A2 group clear of the A1s and then spent several kilometres on a solo soujourn clear of the bunch before gathering himself for a final surge to the line. Having misjudged the finish somewhat, Ahern and club mate Dave McLoughlin began the final kilometre at the back of the bunch getting set to fight out the finish of the 63km race.

For a full report see Brian’s eloquent contribution on the club forum

It was the former Junior Tour winner’s first open race win since the Stephen Roche Grand Prix in 2003 and comes just a couple of weeks into his comeback to open racing. His last ‘proper’ season of open racing was 2007 when he recorded a sixth place finish on a stage of the FBD Ras.

The win also puts Ahern into a clear lead in the race for one of the two A2 positions on the Orwell Ras de Cymru team although, at his current rate of progress, he could well be ineligible for the event by winning promotion to A1 before then.

On a busy day of racing, Aidan and Diarmuid Collins spent separate periods of the A3 race clear of the bunch but the race was also notable for the accidents to John Latham and Eddie Lynch, fortunately without serious injury.

The 12-rider break in the A4 race included no less than four Orwell riders, although none managed to make the top six cut off for prizes.

Usher IRC Patrick's Day Race,
Dunboyne, Co. Meath
17th March 2011
1, Brian Ahern (Orwell Wheelers CC);
2, Paul. Kennedy (McNally Joinery/Swords CC);
3, Paul O'Keeffe (South Dublin CC);
4, Jason Howick (Bray Wheelers CC);
5, Javan Nulty (Team Dektec);
6, Patrick Deegan (EuroCycles).