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Photo ©: Schaaf

 UCI codes explained

Shay Elliot Memorial - 1.5

Roundwood, Ireland, April 28, 2002


Lovatt wins Shay Elliot Memorial

By Shane Stokes,

For years the Shay Elliot Memorial has been regarded as one of the most important one-day events in Ireland, but today it moved up another notch with the first running of the contest as a fully-fledged international race.

The event's graduation to the UCI calendar this year meant that valuable world-ranking points were on offer, and the increased attractiveness of the tough competition was reflected in the domination of the foreign Compensation Group team who travelled over from England for the event. It proved a worthwhile journey for them; race winner Mark Lovatt and team-mates Kevin Dawson and John Tanner return home tonight with a large chunk of points, prizemoney, and prestige to show for their trip.

Dawson was in the thick of the action from the start of the 140 kilometre contest, racing clear in a 11 man breakaway as the race headed south from Bray. Also present in the speeding group were former FBD Milk Rás winner Andy Roche (Isle of Man), Richie Cahill (Banteer), Dave Gardiner (Apollo), Ray Clarke (Cycleways Lee Strand), JP Hilliard (Dublin Skip), Stephen Gallagher (Team Ireland), Simon Kelly (Galway Bay CC) and the Cidona Carrick trio Eddie O'Donoghue, Tim Barry and Edward Keogh.

Working well together, the group opened a decisive lead on the bunch behind. By the top of the draining Old Wicklow Gap this advantage had risen to one and a half minutes and with the main field fragmenting behind and no sign of an organised chase, it was clear that this was the winning move.

Just one rider managed to cross the gulf; Lovatt attacked over the top of the climb and rode powerfully to bridge to the leaders. Joining Dawson at the head of the escape, the two rode together with several of the other riders to further fortify their advantage before hitting the base of the steep climb up to the Elliott memorial at Drumgoff.

Dawson was the first to stretch his legs here, driving hard on the pedals and gradually drawing clear of the group. Lovatt allowed a gap of 100 metres to open before jumping clear and, grinding a large gear, closed up to his team-mate and then led up to the top of the climb.

From there to the finish it was a two-man time trial; behind, Cahill went clear on the climb, was recaptured but forged clear again on the run-in to Roundwood. However his effort was in vain - Lovatt and Dawson sped impressively on towards Ireland"s highest village, where the former comfortably outsprinted the latter to take a fine victory.

Cahill held on to take third, while John Tanner first bridged across to the chasing group and then rode clear to land fourth place, 24 seconds ahead of O"Donoghue, Roche, Moriarty and Clarke.

"It was a good race," said Lovatt afterwards. "It was quite windy out there. When the group got away at the start the racing was a bit negative behind, but I was able to get away after the first big climb and then close up on the descent. We worked well in the break, myself and Kevin rode hard and other riders like Richie Cahill and Timmy Barry were quite strong, then on the climb we went ahead and got a good gap."

"We rode well from there to the finish, it is always easier when it is a team-mate that you are away with. We left it to the sprint and I got that handy enough."

Lovatt is happy with his current form, and has hopes of riding well in the FBD Milk Rás in three weeks time. "I think I am going better than this time last year - there had been a lot of disruptions back then because of foot and mouth, but I have got a lot more racing in this season. Hopefully the team will do well in the Rás - it would be good if it worked out like it did 2 years ago in the race, when we were strong and did a lot of attacking."

Richie Cahill was happy with his third place on the day. "I am delighted with how things went", he said. "I went clear on the (Drumgoff) climb near the end but got caught after the descent. I went away again closer to the finish and was happy to be able to stay away."

"Mark and Kevin were very good today. I think we are getting a bit closer to them (compared to the Rás Mumhan at Easter) but they are still very strong. When Mark attacked on the last climb it was something else, very impressive - maybe we could have gone with his acceleration at the start, but you"d be in big danger of blowing up. He was very strong."

By Tommy Campbell, Irish Independent, Sunday Independent, Evening Herald

The dye was cast when Cycling Ireland decided to send an Irish team to the Circuit des Mines. Bray Wheelers CC for all their efforts with backing from a number of sponsors, which also included the Irish Sports Council through the good offices of CI, must have felt miffed.

I have attempted to get a statement but their priority was the staging of a cycle race, not to get embroiled in any thing political. The Shay Elliott event had come of age because it was now an international event with world ranking points. It should have been the case that these points would favour Ireland but instead they went for export. Notwithstanding this, the Elliott turned out to be a classic and the competitors who braved conditions were the real heroes.

Britain's most successful cycling team, Compensation RT were again at their best yesterday when Mark Lovatt won the Shay Elliott Memorial event held in Co. Wicklow. The race had an added bonus this year as on offer were world ranking points but they went for export courtesy of the dominance of the Compensation boys messers John Tanner and Kevin Dawson who contributed to Lovatt's success.

Initially after the start in Bray things were relatively mundane but after approximately 15 kilometres of racing a group of twelve stole a march on the 121 starters. Up front they set a steady pace but on the approach to the Old Wicklow Gap, Lovatt who earlier on had realised that with two climbs ahead it was imperative that he be up front with the leaders. Once he set his stall out there was literally no stopping him.

Mid-way up the Gap he was in contention leaving the break that had been instrumental in spread-eagling the field. They were left in no doubt that he was the one to watch. Ahead now was Glenmalure, which in the past has been the decisive marker, and on this occasion it was no different as Lovatt and Kevin Dawson his teammate set a brisk pace up towards the summit, which left the remnants in disarray.

Once over the top it was the two in tandem that were in the ascendancy as they forged ahead through Large and onto the finish in Roundwood for Lovatt to add yet another win to his CV.

Doubtless this win must rank amongst his best, which in his opinion is the Tour of the Cotswolds when he beat Matt Stephens a couple of years ago.

Ritchie Cahill of Banteer kept the home flag well to the fore when he finished in third place behind Kevin Dawson who was second.

On the evidence of the result sheet, it proved beneficial for the Compensation boys with John Tanner getting forth slot. I'm sure they are looking forward to another raid here with the upcoming FBD Milk Ras next month.

Results - 140 km (87 miles)

1 Mark Lovatt (GBr) Compensation Group RT             3.39.08 (38.33 km/h)
2 Kevin Dawson (GBr) Compensation Group RT               0.02
3 Richard Cahill (Irl) Banteer CC                        2.36
4 John Tanner (GBr) Compensation Group RT                3.21
5 Edward O'Donohue (Irl) Cidona Carrick Wheelers         3.45
6 Andrew Roche (Irl) Team Isle Of Man
7 Patrick Moriarity (Irl) Team Ireland
8 Raymond Clarke (Irl) Cycleways Lee Strand
9 Tim Barry (Irl) Cidona Carrick Wheelers                3.48
10 Denis Easton (Irl) N.Ireland Commonwealth             6.41
11 Brendan Doherty (Irl) N.Ireland Commonwealth
12 Eugene Moriarity (Irl) Cycleways Lee Strand           7.24
13 Andrew Donnellon (Irl) Dublin Wheelersrs CC
14 David Peelo (Irl) Usher Irish Road Club               7.36
15 Kieran MacMahon (Irl) Team Earl Of Desmond            7.56
16 Dennis Raadtgever (Ned) Breda Knooppint
17 Rob Holden (GBr) Team Isle Of Man
18 Vincent Gleeson (Irl) West Clare CC
19 Thomas Hogan (Irl) Team Ireland                       8.05
20 Elliot Baxter (GBr) Team Isle Of Man
21 Keith Gallagher (Irl) N.Ireland Commonwealth
22 William Byrne (Irl) Hillcrest Hire Kilcul            10.34
23 Conor Murphy (Irl) Team Ireland
24 John Horgan (Irl) Triton Ventilux St Fi
25 John Peppard (Irl) Mc Nally Swords
26 Stephen O'Sullivan (Irl) Naas Fig Roll
27 Micheal Mulcahy Jnr (Irl) Dan Morrissey CC
28 Michael O'Donnell (Irl) Les Jeunes
29 David Gardiner (Irl) Apollo Crt                      11.11
30 Frank O'Leary (Irl) Usher Irish Road Club            11.16
31 Brian Hammond (Irl) Usher Irish Road Club            12.05
32 Sean Farrell (Irl) Hillcrest Hire Kilcul
33 Mark Quigley (Irl) Mayo Wheelersrs
34 Kealan O'Connor (Irl) Fermoy Cc
35 Shane Prendergast (Irl) Naas Fig Roll
36 Sean Lacey (Irl) Team Ireland
37 Philip Finegan (Irl) Cycleways Lee Strand
38 Mark Kiernan (Irl) Total Cycling
39 Mark McLeavey (Irl) Les Jeunes
40 Tom Fanning (Irl) Imbrc                              13.42
41 John Dempsey (Irl) Team Earl Of Desmond
42 Donal Byrne (Irl) Orwell CC
43 Graeme Hatcher (GBr) Team Isle Of Man
44 Ciaran Kelly (Irl) Dublin Wheelersrs CC
45 Paddy Sweeney (Irl) Navan Avonmore                   13.53
46 David Byrne (Irl) Usher Irish Road Club
47 John Paul Hilliard (Irl) Les Jeunes
48 Paul Healion (Irl) Usher Irish Road Club
49 Shaun Reed (GBr) Southdown Velo
50 Stuart Gibson (Irl) Orwell CC
51 Francis Ennis (Irl) Lucan CRC / Stagg Cyc            15.43
52 John Mason (Irl) BH Raleigh CC
53 Daire Mc Caughley (Irl) Clann Eireann
54 David Ryan (Irl) Lucan CRC / Stagg Cyc
55 Adam Kelly (Irl) Bray Wheelersrs CC                  17.11
56 Paul Reid (Irl) Ravens CRT Team A                    17.56
57 Laurence Roche (Irl) BH Raleigh CC
58 Declan Hanrahan (Irl) Autoview
59 Kenneth Norgrove (Irl) Dublin Wheelersrs CC
60 Tony Brady (Irl) Navan Avonmore
61 Graham Thomas (Irl) Dublin Ravens (West)
62 Edward Keogh (Irl) Cidona Carrick Wheelers           18.10
63 Tony McConville (Irl) Apollo Crt                     21.07
64 Leonard Kirk (Irl) Ards                              21.38
65 Adrian Hedderman (Irl) Cycleways Lee Strand
66 Feargal Kelly (Irl) Bray Wheelersrs CC               24.20
67 Matthew Dempsey (Irl) Imbrc
68 Niall Quinlan (Irl) MAD/Cycle Ways
69 Colm Bracken (Irl) Usher Irish Road Club
70 Jonathon Malone (Irl) Newbridge CC
71 David Lane (Irl) UCD
72 Luke Myers (GBr) Southdown Velo                      25.42

Number of Starters: 121
Number of Finishers:  72

Courtesy of Seamus Shortall/