There's a touch of déjà vu about the results this weekend, with both Conor Murnane and Chris Mollaghan taking the only Orwell placings. That did wonders for their ranking points, with Murnane topping the Juniors for a day, and Mollaghan making his way into A3. The snow in Navan was the only thing on people's minds though, with five Orwell women making their débuts in the cold!

Dublin Wheelers were promoting a great set of races in Summerhill on Saturday, with Orwell members taking part in every event. It was Junior Conor Murnane who once again went home with an envelope. After 4th in Monasterevin, and an incredible effort on the wheel of 2nd placed Eoin Morton in Dundalk last weekend, Murnane bided his time before a well-timed sprint from the bunch saw him nab 3rd on the line atop Dorey's Forge. The points from that put him top of the national Junior rankings for the day, and left him second overall after the weekend, a fantastic achievement.

The rest of the Orwell competitors were not so lucky, with two counting among the many who suffered punctures while locals took advantage of the last day of legal hedge-trimming. Outside of the Orwell colours, Darragh Long won the A3/Junior race for UCD (interview on, while Sean McKenna - who also went from Orwell to UCD, but is now riding for Aquablue - won the main event as part of several prizes he's taken already in 2015.

It was Sunday's races in Navan that were the talking point of the weekend. With snow falling on the start line, and temperatures dropping to 2°C, it might be said it was a day for the hard men, but it was the hard women who were out in droves! That race saw the biggest Orwell turn-out, with many making their open race débuts. They were grateful for the support from Toni Byrne of McNally Swords CC on the day, especially given the unpleasant conditions.

Seasoned racers Orla Hendron, Siobhán O'Connor and racing rep Ann Horan were on hand to guide Mary Brady, Breda Horan, Helen Horan, Brianne Mulvihill and Aisling O'Connor to the finish line. Despite the intimidating setting at the beginning, the weather cleared up shortly after the races began, and the women worked well together around the course. Hendron imparted valuable racing knowledge, demonstrating how to ride as the wind changed relative direction, so a productive day for the Orwell racing crew and to quote Helen Horan - "the weather conditions can't get any worse!"

Ciara Kinch took 5th for Towers CC behind Junior winner Ciara Doogan (Errigal CC). You can read more about the race, including many comments from the Orwell woman, over at

Dick O'Brien took home the title of longest distance covered - the only Orwell finisher for the main event, with Brian McArdle and Aidan Collins freezing solid before the chalk. In the A3s, Ronan Grimes and Jamie Busher both came home with the bunch. Grimes was involved in a canine collision, but displayed superb bike handling to remain upright. Michelle Geoghegan marked a welcome return to the domestic scene, jumping in with the men to add an extra dimension to the day's challenges.

The A4 race was the scene for the only Orwell prize for the day, with Chris Mollaghan racing alongside Brendan Lawless and Stephen Barry in a dwindling bunch. Mollaghan used his increasingly well-honed racecraft to nab 6th in the sprint, and was rewarded with a trophy afterwards. That set of three points is enough to boost him to A3, and we're already looking forward to posting further results from the sophomore.

Respect to all the riders who turned out, signed on and raced - with the season starting so early, it's an inevitability of the calendar that some will take place in wintry conditions. Now make sure to rest up, wrap up and stay warm this week!

One of the men's races lining up to start (photo thanks to John Busher)

The women trying to keep warm (photo thanks to John Busher)

The women's race about to begin (photo thanks to Toni Byrne)

Ian Gallahar Memorial, Summerhill (28/2/2015)

A3/Juniors Race

1 Darragh Long (UCD)
3 Conor Murnane (Orwell Wheelers)


Cycleways Cup, Navan (1/3/2015)

A4 Race

1 Craig Longmore (Lucan CRC)
6 Chris Mollaghan (Orwell Wheelers)