Carrick-on-Suir once again has proved its worth in providing some of the country’s best cycling talents.
Last Sunday, Iverk Produce Carrick Wheelers had but four riders in a field that contained upwards of 150 riders.
But that didn’t deter them.
Along with fellow Carrick-on-Suir man Michael O’Loughlin, riding in the colours of the Nicolas Roche Performance Team, three other Carrick riders found themselves in the day’s breakaway, namely Martin O’Loughlin, Conor Hennebry and Seán Hahessy.
The race was 85km, 5 laps of a 17km course, but the hilly course and windy conditions made for some hard racing.
The group started out with ten riders, all working well to get a maximum gap of two minutes over a chasing bunch.
With one lap to go, the break’s numbers were almost halved. Just six hardmen remained, and the gap to the bunch hovered around the single minute mark.
Despite some furious attacks from all three rider in the green of Iverk Produce, all came to no avail. Mother Nature’s wind proved just too strong for anyone to pull away from the rest of the breakaway.
With 3km to go, a group of three got ten slim seconds over their breakaway companions. 66.6% of the front group had the surname O’Loughlin and hailed from Carrick-on-Suir.
Despite a powerful finishing kick, and an experienced head on his shoulders, O’Loughlin senior had to just settle for second as the youthful exuberance of Michael O’Loughlin romped home for a fine win and left a lot of big names in his wake.
O’Loughlin junior is just 16 years of age, and was racing in a 1st Category race, whilst he himself is only a 3rd Category fledgling, makes his win all the more impressive.
From the remainder of the breakaway, Hennebry was next followed by Hahessy in 5th place.
Carrick-on-Suir came home from Blarney with 1st, 2nd, 4th and 5th places. These riders are no strangers to each other, as all have trained together throughout the winter and are now reaping the rewards.
As if anyone needed reminding, we do good cycling in Carrick-on-Suir.