John Sower achieved a long held ambition by successfully completing An Post Ras in Skerries on Sunday afternoon.
Sower, guest riding with the Meath Stamullen M.Donnelly squad, was accompanied on his voyage of discovery by Orwell’s Odhran Connors (Barnardos) who is fast becoming a Rás veteran as he completed his third consecutive eight-day epic.
But for Sower the finish line in Skerries was uncharted territory. He started the '05 race only to crash out on the first stage and finishing a Rás was very much unfinished business for him. He is to be applauded for coming back from the long term injury received in that crash to achieve his goal.
John's first Rás completion comes at the end of a long, hard winter of training and a spring filled with tough racing as he inured his muscles to the rigours of a week-long stage race.
From the comfort of the Orwell editorial chair it appeared that he was relatively comfortable in finishing 116th overall out of 172 starters and an excellent eighth overall out of 29 finishers among the Category 2 riders.
However, one suspects that John will use alternative vocabulary to describe the ordeal in the company of a peloton peppered with professional riders when we receive his extended race report.
Meanwhile at the Frank O’Rourke Memorial event promotion in Wexford on Sunday, Naoise Sheridan sprinted home for another fine road race victory in the Under 12 race, her latest win coming hot on the heels of victory at the final round of the Orwell Women’s Criterium League in Sandyford last Tuesday.
Also in Wexford, Barry Dunne sprinted in for an excellent fifth place finish in the A4 race. Dunne was third in the mass group sprint behind the lead duo who were just clear of the pack at the finish line.
Elsewhere, David Tansey showed impressive form in hanging on for fifth after leading out the sprint at the conclusion of the IVCA 80km CP that finished on Dorey’s Forge, Meath on Sunday morning.
Tansey was quick to pay tribute afterwards to his Orwell club mates who, in an impressive display of team solidarity, kept the pace high and shut down all the late attacks from the green and white numbered groups which fought out the victory.

An Post Rás
Final Overall
116, John Sower (Meath Stamullen M.Donnelly);
132, Odhran Connors (Barnardos);

Frank O’Rourke Memorial
Wexford May 29th.
Under 12
1, Naoise Sheridan (DTC Orwell Wheelers);
2, Darragh Jennings (Slaney CC);
3, Elliot Young (SERC).

1, Damian Farrell (Garda CC);
2, Joe Rossiter (Wexford Wheelers);
3, Vinnie Maher (Worldwide Cycles);
4, Keith Barnes (Comeragh CC);
5, Barry Dunne (Orwell Wheelers);
6, JP Sexton (Worldwide Cycles).

Summerhill, May 29th
5, Dave Tansey (Orwell Wheelers);