Orwell were out in numbers at the weekend, chasing results in Balbriggan. They didn’t come away empty-handed, with Brendan Lawless and Philippe Bourdarias taking unplaced prizes, and Neil Whelan and Seamus Nolan placing in the A4 race on Sunday.

The Harry Reynolds Memorial took place on Saturday, six laps of a testing circuit from the Man O’ War pub, with all categories in the mix. The A4s set off first, with Brendan Lawless amongst them. He first got into the leading A4 group, before grabbing the wheels the A3 lads who bridged across. With a lap and a half to go, the A1/2 move arrived, bringing with it a marked increase of pace which shelled all the remaining A4s apart from Lawless.

He nearly missed his opportunity on a sharp bend when his back wheel skidded out, but he unclipped to stay upright. With the front group swiftly moving out of sight, he took a deep breath and began the frantic chase to the finish line, still 5km away. Thankfully he stayed away from the chasers to take the top unplaced A4 prize.

Lawless has been building up to this result for some time - training in the Dublin mountains on a steel Dolan with downtube shifters, before launching into open racing with the Traders’ Cup and the Des Hanlon. He did try a turbo trainer, but said he “was starting to hate the sport”. With an engine like the one he displayed on Saturday, he’ll be in A3 in no time!

Dick O'Brien suffering in no man's land on Saturday (photo with many thanks to Ian Morrissey)

Lawless hanging on in the break (photo with many thanks to Ian Morrissey)

Odhrán Connors at the head of a small group (photo with many thanks to Ian Morrissey)

Sunday saw a new circuit for the Ben McKenna and Jim Jazzer Wherity Memorials, but the same steep finish as last year where Philippe Bourdarias took 5th as an A3. He returned this year, chasing an A1 upgrade, and once again his legs did not disappoint. He described it as “a hard race with tough climbs”, with the finish being “basically a 200m wall”.

A break went early from a large bunch (including some heavy hitters), and when the chase did eventually get organised, it was far too late. Only one move managed to stick, and Bourdarias himself tried to get away in the 6th lap, but was quickly swallowed back up by the bunch. On the last climb, it was the A2s who went to the front to compete for the unplaced prizes, and Bourdarias stayed with them to the close to grab 7th unplaced A2.

In the A4 Jazzer Wherity event, lone rider Risteard O’Hannrachain (UCD) had a long solo break until Garry Blair reeled him back in. Himself and Seamus Nolan worked hard on the front so that clubmate Neil Whelan could keep his powder dry for the sprint. Whelan was feeling strong first time over the hill, and when it came to the crunch, only O’Hannrachain managed to elude him. The UCD man got the jump for the win, leaving Whelan to console himself with 2nd place. Those points will see him upgraded to A3, so a decent result for the sophomore.

Whelan carried points over from his 3rd place in Dungarvan last year, while also placing in Mondello and Mullingar around the same time. He puts his improved form down to a more diligent training regime, with strength work and conditioning on top of the usual base miles. As a new A3, he'll need that fitness to do battle with the infamous juniors!

Nolan had meanwhile suffered a minor mechanical on the lead-on, shipping his chain. That only briefly delayed him, and he surged past several strongmen on the climb to take 4th, only a St Tiernan’s rider managing to get between himself and Whelan. Famed for his climbing abilities - 5th overall in last year's club hillclimb, he enjoys handicapping himself by riding a classic Italian steel Benotto frame, but says he’ll upgrade the bike once he upgrades his category.

Outside of the road racing, Orwell newcomer Aideen Keenan scooped 2nd woman and 10th overall at the Hellfire Duathlon - part of the Wicklow Adventure Race series. Keenan had a very strong bike leg to contribute to her excellent result, but lost valuable time in T1 and T2. Thankfully there are no transitions in proper races, so she'll no doubt be top of the podium in one of those soon!

Next weekend, Drogheda Wheelers play host to two days of racing, but before that the club league is kicking off for 2014. If you haven't registered for the opening TT round, head over to the forum and do it now!


Harry Reynolds Memorial, Man O’War (29/03/2014)

1 Anthony Doyle (Velo Revolution)
2 Javan Nulty (DID Dunboyne)
3 Mark Dwoney (Standard Life NRPT)
4 Colm Cassidy (UCD)
5 Caimin Muldoon (Standard Life NRPT)
6 Fintan Ryan (Standard Life NRPT)
7 Anthony Walsh (UCD)
8 Aaron Swan (Standard Life NRPT)

Unplaced A2s
1 Keith Walls (Navan RC)
2 Joseph Breheny (UCD)

Unplaced A3s
1 Mark McAuley (MAD MTB) 2 Daragh Campbell (Novo Nordisk)

Unplaced A4s
1 Brendan Lawless (Orwell Wheelers)
2 Eoin Woolley (Nenagh)

Unplaced Junior
Craig McAuley (MAD MTB)


Ben McKenna Memorial, Ring of the Commons (30/3/2014)

A1/A2 Race
1 Eoin Morton (UCD)
2 Greg Swinand (UCD)
3 Fraser Ducan (Dave Kane Northern CC)
4 Mark Dowling (DID Dunboyne)
5 Javan Nulty (DID Dunboyne)
6 Damien Shaw (Aqua Blue)
7 Alasdair McAuley (Phoenix)
8 Cormac Clarke (Newry)
9 Sean McKenna (UCD)
10 Andrew Stanley (Trinity)

Unplaced A2s
1 Elitis Civilus (Top team)
2 Darragh Zaidan (Adamstwon)
3 David Watson (North Down)
4 Joseph Breheny (Orwell)
5 Paul Ferguson (North Down)
6 Ronn Killeen (Lucan)
7 Philippe Bourdarias (Orwell Wheelers)
8 Mark kiernan (Kilcullen)
9 Alan Gray (Cuchulainn)
10 Hugh McMahon (Velo Revolution)
11 Gary Sheehan
12 Ross Campbell Grogan (Lucan)

A3 Race
1 Craig McAuley (Standard Life NRPT)
2 Rory Maguire (Phoenix)
3 Paul O’Reilly (Fixx CC)
4 Mark Downey (Standard Life NRPT)
5 Mark McGauley (MAD MTB)
6 Caimin Muldoon (Standard Life NRPT)
7 Declan Kinch (Slipstream)
8 Paul Kinch (Slipstream)
9 Dermot White (Lucan)
10 Frank Billings (Lucan)
11 Cathal Clarke (Newry)
12 Daragh Campbell (Novo Nordisk)
13 Mark McNamara (Lucan)
14 Michael Leonard Lucan)
15 Mark Millar (VCM)

A4 Race
1 Risteard O’Hannrachain (UCD)
2 Neil Whelan (Orwell Wheelers)
3 Louis Twomey (STCC)
4 Seamus Nolan (Orwell Wheelers)
5 Thomas Duffy (Lucan)
6 James Murphy Deenside)
7 John Neavyn (Lucan)
8 Aric Klus (Stamullen M Donnelly)
9 James Quinn (St. Tiernans)
10 David Casserly (LSW)
11 Stephen Carry (Cuchulainn)
12 Paul English (Bohermeen)


WAR: Hellfire Woods 2014