Patrick O’Brien needed just a single point to secure his upgrade to A3 heading into the Ben McKenna races near Balbriggan on Sunday (April 3rd) and the star neophyte clinched his promotion in perfect style with a full haul of six points.

After helping to force the seven-man selection at the start of the second of the second of two very demanding 30km laps for the A4s at Ring Commons, ace climber O’Brien relished the uphill finish as he edged clear in the final few metres for his maiden race victory.

With a second and third place finish already to his name this year, O’Brien is now the clear holder of the A4 slot on the Orwell team for Rás de Cymru in July, though he will be well aware he may need to add some more placings as an A3 rider to be sure of his spot.

In a successful weekend of racing in Balbriggan, Brian Ahern got the Orwell prize haul off to a good start with a fine seventh place finish in the Jim ‘Jazzer’ Wherity Memorial Criterium on Friday evening.

Ahern just barely missed the winning four-man break and spent several laps chasing but he retained the strength to finish second in the group sprint for sixth at the end 45 minutes and five laps of hectic racing around one of the more challenging ‘crit’ circuits in the country.

Brian was also in the prizes on Sunday afternoon as he annexed the prize fifth unplaced A2 rider while John Sower also showed good form to survive the epic 130km race and picked up 12th A2 prize for his efforts.
Meanwhile Diarmuid Collins continued his rise to prominence in A3 with a fine ride in the Harry Reynolds Memorial on Saturday afternoon. Collins was clear for five and a half of the seven laps in a break from the A3 and the A4 groups which was caught by the leading A1/A2 riders at the start of the final 7.5km tour.
Despite his exertions, Collins still had enough in reserve to contest the sprint, carrying off the first unplaced A3 rider prize.

Ben McKenna Memorial
Ring Commons, 3rd April
1, Sean Downey (Cotes D’Amour);
2, Adam Armstrong (Eurocycles);
3, Páidi O’Brien (SportActive);
4, Greg Swinand (Usher IRC);
5, Martyn Irvine (Giant Kenda);
6, Mark Downing (Dectek);
7, Thomas Lavery (Comeragh);
8, Anthony Walsh (UCD);
9, Derek Finegan (Liverpool Century);
10, Colm Robinson (Stamullen).

Unplaced A2
1, Sean Bracken (Usher IRC);
2, Damien Shaw (Mullingar);
3, Peter Rimmer (Mullingar);
4, Paul Dolan (Usher);
5, Brian Ahern (Orwell Wheelers);
6, Mark Kiernan (Murphy Surveyors);
7, David Cassidy (Stevens Cycles);
8, Michael Barry (Barnados);
9, Francis Gibson (South Dublin);
10, Shaun Stewart (Four Masters);
11, Geoff Sheehan (South Dublin);
12, John Sower (Orwell Wheelers).

1, Conor McAlwaine (Erigal);
2, Chris Reilly (Bohermeen);
3, David Wherity (Swords);
4, Tony Boyle (Slane CC);
5, Tomasz Gieglis (Henry T Lyons);
6, Darragh Zajdan (Stevens Cyclelogical).

1, Patrick O’Brien (Orwell Dundrum TC);
2, Dermot Keelan (Cuchulainn);
3, Owen McGowran (Dublin Wheelers);
4, Colm Scullion (Ballymena);
5, Sean Loughran (Cuchulainn);
6, Kenneth Berry (Lakeside).

Harry Reynolds Memorial
Balrothery, April 2nd
1, Robin Kelly (Comeragh);
2, Paul Kennedy (Swords);
3, Derek Finegan (Liverpool Century);
4, Javan Nulty (Dectek);
5, Paul O’Keefe (South Dublin);
6, Eugene Murtagh (Lucan);
7, Ryan Sherlock (Giant Kenda);
8, Simon Coughlan (unattached).

1, Declan Kinch (Slipstream);
2, John Mason (Dectek);

1, Diarmuid Collins (Orwell Wheelers);
2, Simon O’Dea (Navan).

1, Dermot Keegan (Cuchulainn);
2, Peter Vester (Apollo).

Jim ‘Jazzer’ Wherity
Balbriggan April 1st
1, Páidi O’Brien (Sportactive);
2, Daniel Clifford (Sporactive);
3, Mark Dowling (Team Dectek);
4, Stephen O’Sullivan (Team Dectek);
5, Anthony Walsh (UCD);
7, Brian Ahern (Orwell Wheelers).