Aidan Collins brought home the best results of the weekend for the club, with a 4th in the Stamullen GP on Sunday, and an unplaced prize on Friday. Odhrán Connors and Stephen Barry also featured in Stamullen, while the Orwell women were active in Nenagh, with a TTT win, and placings for Ciara Kinch and Monica Marconi.

Gaybo Howard's team in Stamullen host a superb festival of racing every year, and 2014 was no different, with three races happening over the course of the weekend with a running commentary from Gaybo to entertain the spectators and packers.

Friday was the Brendan Carroll Memorial, a fast and furious handicapped event, which unfortunately featured one particularly greasy corner on which crashes occurred every lap. Some Orwell riders came down, but thankfully nobody was seriously injured.

Aidan Collins was the star of the night for the club, avoiding the carnage and zipping home for 3rd unplaced A3. With no Orwell team planned for the Rás this year, Collins recently downgraded to the third category, ditching his #1 A2 number. That move has paid off, allowing his aggressive style of riding to reap dividends without being smothered by the full-time riders who ride A1.

On Sunday he struck again, breaking away in a group of six on the second climb of Snowtown in the Pat Howard Cup. That move splintered on the final climb, Collins ending up in a chasing move of two with Aaron Swan of the Nicolas Roche team, with two riders up the road. Daire Feeley (Budget Car Rental) soloed to the win, but Collins and Swan produced an outstanding ride to stay away from a hammering A3 bunch.

At the finish it was the younger Swan who nabbed Collins in the sprint, but with his first points of 2014 now notched on his licence, the result should still be a confidence boost to him ahead of next weekend's Rás Mumhan. He also won't be long returning to A2 at this rate, with just three points separating him from an upgrade.

Collins in typical attack mode last Thursday in Corkagh Park (photo thanks to Jules Cantwell)

Also placing on Sunday was Odhrán Connors in the main Stamullen GP. He came home in a group also containing Diarmuid Collins and Pat O'Brien (who had just gotten across before the finish), but Connors was the only one who managed to snaffle a prize from the generous spread at 18th overall.

Some Orwell riders were out for their first ever open race, including Frank Moriarty and Stephen Barry. Barry was the more successful of the two, coming home 11th in the SafeLink Shield-sponsored A4 competition. The race broke up each climb over Snowtown, but came together at Gormanstown, with the eventual critical point being a touch of wheels on the run-in to the finish.

Barry avoided the deck, and sprinted from the reduced bunch to take 11th across the line. He was happy with that, as his winter training was severely diminished when his bike was stolen. Along with his second place in the Pine Forest TT in the Limit group, the placing is a good indication of his returning form.

Barry at right, with Drogheda placer Brendan Lawless

Last of the winners in Stamullen, Darragh Long spent the weekend riding for the Standard Life Nicolas Roche Performance Team, and nabbed himself a neat double, with 1st Unplaced Junior at the Pat and Monie Nolan Memorial on Saturday, and 10th in the A3/Junior Pat Howard Cup on Sunday. He seems to have completely recovered from his recent bout of illness, and father and Orwell legend Damien Long at hand to support and shout encouragement both days.

The other stage for Orwell action was the VisitNenagh weekend, run by the very capable Rene van Dam, comprising of a Team Time Trial and a classic 'Continental-style' road race.

The club had two interests in the TTT event, with one team entirely composed of senior Orwell women – Mags Donnelly, Orla Hendron, Ann Horan and Aideen Keenan – and two Juniors featuring on the Irish development team – Rachael Kaye-Mellor and Naoise Sheridan. With those two teams being the only female competitors on the day, the rivalry was fierce, but it was the seniors who came out on top, beating the Juniors by over a minute.

Time Trial Team: Horan, Hendron, Donnelly and Keenan (photo thanks to Shane Murphy)

There was far more competition on Sunday, with a lumpy course and a 'golden mile' of cobbles and rough road to overcome, as well as the larger field. Orla Hendron was as aggressive as always in the early stages, herself and Roisín Kennedy fracturing the race over the cobblestones, but it was Monica Marconi and Ciara Kinch who made the cut into the move of the day.

An initial six riders were eventually whittled down to four - Marconi was dropped over the hillier sections with back pain. She soldiered on in a chase group, which also included Aideen Keenan. At the front, the remaining four worked well and stayed together to the end, where the sprinters edged out Ciara Kinch into 4th. Marconi took 4th in her chasing group of six to nab the final prize of 8th overall.

With another weekend of racing done, the season moves on for Easter to the stage races around the country. Every province has their own event - Rás Mumhan in Kerry, the Gorey 3 Day for Leinster, Rás Chonamara for the west and the Tour of the North in Ulster. For the women, there's Rás an Laois on Easter Sunday - round two of the Joe Daly Cycles National League. Best of luck to all the competitors!


Brendan Carroll Memorial, Piltown (11/04/2014)

1 Mark Dowling (DID Dunboyne)
2 Anthony Doyle (Velo Revolution)
3 Paidi O’Brien (Osborne Meats / Edge Sports)
4 Simon Ryan (Nenagh)
5 Con Collis (UCD)
6 Ken Tobin (McNally Joinery Swords)
7 Gary Gorman (Stamullen M.Donnelly)
8 Gareth McCullough (Newry)
9 Mark Reilly (Navan)
10 Ben Delaney (SDCC)

Unplaced A2s
1 David Dargle (Stamullen M Donnelly)
2 Ciaran Kelly (Bikeworx)
3 John Lyons (South Dublin)

Unplaced A3s
1 Terry O’Malley (UCD)
2 Ciaran Campbell (Drogheda Wheelers)
3 Aidan Collins (Orwell Wheelers)

Unplaced A4s
1 Martin Higgins (Stamullen M Donnelly)
2 Paul Hunter (McNally Joinery Swords)
3 Keith Hughes (Bikeworx Celbridge)

Unplaced Juniors
1 Barry Tate (Kilcullen)
2 John Reynolds (Stamullen M Donnelly)
3 Simon Jones (Drogheda Wheelers)
4 Patrick Gibbs (Stamullen M Donnelly)


Pat and Monie Nolan Memorial, Balscadden (12/04/2014)

1 Fintan Ryan (Nicolas Roche Performance Team)
2 Chris Reilly (Liquidworx Fitscience)
3 Simon Twomey (Cork County)
4 Simon Ryan (Nenagh)
5 Paidi O’Brien (Osborne Meats / Edge Sports)
6 Craig Sweetman (Stamullen M Donnelly)
7 Stephen Halpin (Bikeworx Celbridge)
8 Anthony Murray (Subaru)
9 Danny Bruton (AC Bisontine)
10 Mark McGauely (MAD MTB)

Unplaced A2s
1 Keith Walls (Navan)
2 Gareth McCullough (Newry)
3 Damien O’Farrell (Garda / Richies Bike Store)

Unplaced A3s
1 Brendan Stewart (Lucan)
2 Matt McCullough (Sundrive Track)
3 Gareth Dargle (Stamullen M Donnelly)

Unplaced A4s
1  Shane Farrell  (Bikeworx Celbridge)
2 Martin Higgins ( Stamullen M Donnelly)
3 Stano Baca (Dublin Wheelers)

Unplaced Juniors
1 Darragh Long (Nicolas Roche Standard Life Performance Team)
2 Seamus Sinnott ( Wexford Wheelers )
3 John Reynolds (Stamullen M Donnelly)


Stamullen Grand Prix, Stamullen (13/04/2014)

Joey Whyte Cup (A1/A2)
1 Greg Swinand (UCD)
2 Adam Armstrong (Dave Kane Cycles / Northern CC)
3 Mark Kane (Dave Kane Cycles / Northern CC)
4 Conor Murphy (Caldwell Cycles)
5 Paidi O’Brien (Osborne Meats / Edge Sports)
6 Anthony Murray (Subaru)
7 Mark Dowling (DID Dunboyne)
8 Daniel Stewart (East Antrim)
9 David Watson (NDCC)
10 Sean McKenna (UCD)
11 Danny Bruton (AC Bisontine)
12 Fraser Duncan (Dave Kane Cycles / Northern CC)
13 Elijus Civilius (Top Team)
14 Chris reilly (Liquidworx Fitscience)
15 Marc Potts (Omagh)
16 Art McManusa (UCD)
17 Andre Stanley (Trinity)
18 Odhrán Connors (Orwell Wheelers)
19 Craig Sweetman (Stamullen M Donnelly)
20 Joseph Breheny (UCD)

Unplaced A2s
1 Stephen Byrne (Navan Road Club)
2 Darragh Zaidan (Adamstown)
3 Keith Walls (Navan Road Club)

Pat Howard Cup (A3)
1 Daire Feeley (Budget Car Rental)
2 Mark McGauley (MAD MTB)
3 Aaron Swan (Nicolas Roche Performance Team)
4 Aidan Collins (Orwell Wheelers)
5 Fintan Ryan (Nicolas Roche Performance Team)
6 Eoin Lynch (DID Dunboyne)
7 Sean Bracken (Irish Road Club)
8 Constantin Bartles (St Tiernans)
9 Patrick Michel (Team WORC)
10 Darragh Long (Nicolas Roche performance Team)
11 Darragh Campbell (Novo Nordisk)
12 Donal Daly (Garda-Richies )

Unplaced Juniors
1 Ben Dunne Tullamore)
2 George Graham (Ballymena)
3 Dermot White (Stagg Cycles Lucan)

SafeLink Shield (A4)
1 Alan Bingham (Cuchulainn)
2 Sean Feeney (Donnybrook)
3 Patrick Egan (Unnatached)
4 Conor Kavanagh (Unattached)
5 Keith Hughes (Bikeworx)
6 Shane Farrell (Bikeworx)
7 John Fitzpatrick (Unattached)
8 Roy Carey (Lakeside)
9 Aric Klus (Stamullen M Donnelly)
10 Ivan Harmsten (Dublin Wheelers)
11 Stephen Barry (Orwell Wheelers)
12 Paul Woods (Carlow)


VisitNenagh Team Time Trial, Nenagh (12/4/2014)

1 NWVG Bike4Air 35'57"
2 UCD 36'03"
3 National Junior Dev Team 38'04"
4 Kilmallock CC A 38'36"
5 Marrey Bikes Western Lakes 39'17"
6 Connacht Cycling 39'47"
7 Visit 41'43"
8 North Tipperary Wheelers 43'02"
9 Kilmmallock CC B 47'24"

Women's teams
1 Orwell Wheelers 48'18"
2 Irish Junior Development Team 49'45


VisitNenagh Classic, Nenagh (13/4/2014)

A2/A2 Race
1 Damien Shaw (Aqua Blue)
2 Sean Lacey (Aqua Blue)
3 Dylan Foley (Aqua Blue)
4 Ronan McLaughlin (Dig Deep / Inspired Cycling)
5 Stephen Murray (Dungarvan CC)
6 Coen Rijma (bike 4 air)
7 Owen Cummins (Osborne Meats/ Edge Sports)
8 Jos Harms (bike 4 air)
9 Colm Cassidy (UCD)
10 Eoin Morton (UCD)

Ladies Race
1 Fiona Meade (Blarney)
2 Mel Spaih (Leinster)
3 Fran Meehan (Aquablue)
4 Ciara Kinch (Orwell Wheelers)
5 Josie Knight (Ireland juniors)
6 Sarah Piner (DID Dunboyne)
7 Emma Walsh (Dungarvan)
8 Monica Marconi (Orwell Wheelers)

A3 Race
1 Eddie Dunbarr (Irish Junior Dev)
2 Micheal O’Loughlin (Irish Junior Dev)
3 Craig McCauly (Ulster Junior Dev)
4 Stephen Shanahan (Irish Junior Dev)
5 Dylan O’Brien (Irish Junior Dev)
6 Cathal Clarke (Ulster Junior Dev)
7 Micheal O’Shea (Killorglin CC)
8 David McCarthy (NRPT)
9 Paul O’Reilly (Fixx Rouleur)
10 Rory Maguire (Ulster Junior Dev)

A4 Race
1 Simon Doggan (Aqua Blue)
2 Alan Ryan (St Finbarrs)
3 Will Hennebry (Iverk Produce Carrick)
4 Eosin O'Shea (Comeragh)
5 Dan Hogan (North Tipperary Wheelers)
6 Aidan Bourke (Ossory CC)