Carrick-on-Suir cyclist John Hodge retains national road race title

Carrick-on-Suir cyclist John Hodge retains national road race title

John Hodge shows his delight as he crosses the line in Shannon.

Shannon in County Clare hosted the A3/Masters National Road Race and Time Trial Championships. 

The racing kicked with a 24km Time Trial. Panduit Carrick Wheelers had only one member competing in this event, Sean McIlroy.  McIlroy was competing in the M60 category and came home in a time of 00:36:47 which was enough to earn him the Bronze medal.

So with one medal already in the bag, the road races took place on Sunday morning.  

The club was well represented in this discipline with riders in each of the four categories, M40, M50, M60 and A3.  

However, the day belonged to John Hodge in the M40 event. 

   The race was run over a mostly flat 17km course with seven laps to be completed in total.  There were plenty of attacks from the outset but it was not until the third lap that a group of twelve riders managed to get away. 

 They had  a gap of forty five seconds on the main bunch before being reeled back in by the end of the penultimate lap.

 A flurry of attacks ensued resulting in a group of three riders taking flight from the peloton.  Sensing danger, Hodge attacked as the group passed through the finish line, taking the bell.  

He rode over to the lead group with one other rider in tow.  The break now consisted of five riders who worked very well together to stay away for the last lap.  

With the finish line in their sights, Hodge  led out the sprint and managed to hold on to claim his second National Road Race Champion title in a row.

These National medals come only two weeks after both Hodge and McIlroy won gold at the Munster Road Race Championships in Blarney in their respective categories.   

Many congratulations to them both, they have well earned their end of season break now.