Orwell's poet laureate Paul Perry took an excellent win in Navan on Sunday, with Shane Toman, Daragh Boyd and Kilian Doyle also featuring. On Saturday, Dick O'Brien earned a fine 10th overall and 2nd unplaced A2 at the Naas CC promoted TT, while up north the Orwell representatives endured a run of bad luck in Rás Dhún na nGall.

The Donegal 3 Day kicked off on Friday evening with an Orwell team of four in Jamie Busher, Diarmuid Collins, David Maher and Fionn Sheridan. Conor Murnane was also taking part in the Leinster colours, under the tutelage of DS Damien Long, while Michelle Geoghegan was racing for Sint Martinus. Collins got the weekend off to a great start, finishing on Friday in a small move ahead of the bunch to take 11th on the stage.

Unfortunately, ultimately all Orwells bar Busher had to DNF - Collins and Maher falling victim to mechanical failures, while Sheridan cited medical reasons. Busher battled on despite having to complete one stage almost one-legged, while Murnane had a great race to finish 23rd on the final ripper of a stage and netted 28th overall. Busher was only two minutes behind the deserved winner atop Glengesh, finishing 88th overall. Geoghegan was a super 2nd woman and 100th overall.

After suffering a nasty crash at the end of April, Dick O'Brien slipped from his absolutely motoring form. However, after emptying himself in the An Post Rás before succumbing to illness, he has bounced back strongly. Saturday saw him competing in a 26km TT run by Naas CC, in some very windy conditions. The club's reigning TT champ clocked a time of 37'57", which was good enough for 10th overall, and also won him 2nd unplaced A2.

Other Orwells competing fared well, with Gavin Dodd in the top 20, and Brian McNally, Barry Mooney and Emma Convey putting in good showings despite the gusts. Aideen Keenan togged out for DID Electrical and was fast enough to top the women's podium.

Sunday was the most successful day of the weekend, with Paul Perry taking yet another A4 victory for the club. That marks the sixth win this season. Perry wasn't alone on the podium - Shane Toman joined him on the bottom step, with Daragh Boyd and Kilian Doyle also featuring in the bunch sprint, earning 4th and 7th respectively. For Perry, Toman and Boyd, that's the end of the A4 racing, as all three netted enough points to get their A3 upgrades. Doyle has gotten his winning ways off to a late start, and we hope to see him join the lads by the end of the season.

Perry was kind enough to put pen to paper for a race report, and we'll leave you with that:

  Team Orwell, A4, assemble, smiling, hopeful, expectant. The sun's shining. Blustery cross-winds. Not the snow that met the Cycleways Cup in March. Same course. I was not there. Scott is looking fired up after his solo victory on Thursday night. Wants to know what we are doing rolling out for a warm up at 11.30. We're not racing till 1. I'm too tired to warm up. Had a mechanical on league night, and was glad of it. Fears of a mid-season slump are in my head. Back to the car for me. Sit in, close the eyes, listen to the radio. Fanning talking to someone who'd written a book about the abduction of two Korean film makers. Good listening. Bit of shut eye, bit of quiet. There's Dave Maher, there's Fionn. Out to stretch the legs. Stories of Donegal. An errant seat post, a foot injury. Here comes Dick. Shot the breeze with Stephen B., the man knows the course, inside out. I take a bit in – the drags, the narrow, twisting roads, something about a train track, something about a petrol station. Better get changed, Paul. Fair enough, I'm here now. We roll out. At the start, fair warning about crossing the white line. The Guards are here. Take your time, says the first marshal – youse have 75km to take the lead. We're off. I make my way to the front of the field, safest place. The race is a blur – of wheels, of calls, and passing cars, of a long hard drag, and fast descents. There's Jules D. working hard. There's Ken. He breaks. Is reeled back in. Killian fires himself to the front. Shane is hiding at the back, waiting to pounce, Malcolm makes his way into contention, Daragh is positioned like a pro, canny, watchful. Ken breaks. Is reeled back in. And there's the bell, off we go again, slow, fast, faster, slow, fast again. It's up and down. All quiet on the climbs. Ken breaks. Is reeled back in. There goes Killian again.

  A few riders risk it – over the white line for a few extra places. There's an oncoming lorry. Ken shouts out: 'it's only a cup.' I'm switched on, ready to go, thinking, 'yeah, but it's my cup'. I'm spinning fast, trying to hold back the adrenaline from pinging me off the front. Ken breaks. Is reeled back in. Second lap, last climb, I'm away with six others. We crest, are reeled back in. Descending, we gather speed all the time, faster and faster towards the finish. Riders passing, and fading, and passing again. It's getting faster all the time. Over the train tracks now – 800 to go. I sit on the leader's wheel. I'm waiting, steeling myself for the right moment. Not too early, not too late. 300 to go: wait, wait, the coil is wound , the spring about to give. The tension is at breaking point. I see a wave of riders rising from behind, to my right. I let go, sit up and out of saddle, hammer on the pedals. No going back. I have the lead. One man on my wheel. We have a metre, we have two. He's to my right, gaining. The finish line is hurtling towards us. The chequered flag is up and waving. The crowd is calling out. He's creeping up on me. Closer and closer, I dig deep, dig again, I pull on the bars, lunge with my body, put everything into it, dig deep, dig again, holding, digging, held: I have it.

Doyle, Boyd, Perry and Toman in Navan (thanks to Daragh Boyd)


Rás Dhún na nGall, Ardara (5-7/6/2015)

Stage 1
1 F Honore,Mikkel ERR Errigall CC 1h20'24"
11 Collins,Diarmuid ORW Orwell Wheelers CC @19"
52 Murnane,Conor LEI Cycling Leinster @33"
61 Sheridan,Fionn ORW Orwell Wheelers CC @s/t
93 Busher,Jamie 3 Orwell Wheelers @s/t
109 Geoghegan,Michelle L Saint Martin @03'30"
111 Maher,David M50 ORW Orwell Wheelers CC @04'07"

Stage 2
Not available at time of posting

Stage 3
1 F Honore,Mikkel ERR Errigall CC 2h15'23"
14 Murnane,Conor LEI Cycling Leinster @02'38"
99 Geoghegan,Michelle MAR Saint Martin @18'13"
113 Busher,Jamie ORW Orwell Wheelers CC @21'13"

Stage 4
1 Cunningham ,Derek M40 BIK Team Bikeworx Celbrid 2h46'30"
23 Murnane,Conor LEI Cycling Leinster @01'02"
69 Busher,Jamie ORW Orwell Wheelers CC @01'59"
99 Geoghegan,Michelle MAR Saint Martin @09'10"

Final GC
1 F Honore,Mikkel J Errigall CC 6h31'24"
28 Murnane,Conor J Cycling Leinster @06'00"
88 Busher,Jamie 3 Orwell Wheelers @25'13"
100 Geoghegan,Michelle L Saint Martin @34'46"


Naas CC 26km TT, Naas (6/6/2015)

1 Colm Cassidy (Aquablue) 34:10
10 Dick O’Brien (Orwell Wheelers) 37:57
20 Gavin Dodd (Orwell Wheelers) 40:31
23 Brian McNally (Orwell Wheelers) 40:42.4
35 Barry Mooney (Orwell Wheelers) 44:27.0
43 Emma Convey (Orwell Wheelers) 50:39

Unplaced A2s
1 Richie McDonagh (Bikeworx) 37:15
2 Dick O’Brien (Orwell Wheelers) 37:57


Sean Nolan GP, Navan (7/6/2015)

A4 Race
1 Paul Perry (Orwell Wheelers)
2 Paul Whelan (McNally-Swords CC)
3 Shane Toman (Orwell Wheelers)
4 Daragh Boyd (Orwell Wheelers)
5 Brendan Harte (Bohermeen CC)
6 Conor Kenny (Blanch Wheelers)
7 Kilian Doyle (Orwell Wheelers)