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Photo ©: Sirotti

Regional Cycling News for July 1, 2004

Edited by John Stevenson

Nicole Reinhart Sprint series at Superweek

The women's events at the 2004 International Cycling Classic (aka Superweek), July 9 - 25, will feature a daily leader's jersey for the first time, and a new sprint series for the cat 1/2/3 women and category 3/4 women. The leader jersey is sponsored by the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board (WMMB) while the sprint contest honours Nicole Reinhart, the top American sprinter who died in a crash in September 2000. An overall prize bonus will be awarded to the top three women in the overall and sprint series.

The Nicole Sprint Series for category 1/2/3 women is underwritten by WMMB and the Nicole Reinhart Memorial Fund Inc. Sprint points will be contested at six criterium events and a jersey awarded to the sprint leader after each criterium. In addition to the leader and sprint leader jerseys, WMMB and Nicole Fund will provide a seperate purse for the top three women in the overall and the sprint contests. A leaders jersey will also be awarded in the category 3/4 women's events.

Fraser to defend at BC Superweek

Health Net sprinter Gord Fraser, the newly-crowned Canadian road race champion, will spend the second half of July racing in his home country when his team takes on the three races of the British Colombia Superweek, the Tour de Delta, July 16-18, the Tour de Gastown, July 21, and the Save-On-Foods 25th Annual Tour de White Rock, July 23-25.

"Our roster won't be set until the last minute but I'll definitely be racing in everything," says Fraser, an Ottawa native now living in Tucson, Arizona. "We'll also have Tyler Farrar (of Bellingham, Washington) and Walker Ferguson, the under-23 World champ. They're two of the best young riders in the world. We'll add three or four others for a total team of six or seven riders. Everybody loved last year at BC Superweek. It was great racing, really well run. The organizers and promoters went out of their way to do everything they could for us and to entice American teams to come up each year."

O'Loughlin back home as champion for Ras Connachta

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

After the excitement of the all-Ireland road race championship which was held last weekend in Sligo, the action switches to Cong, Co. Mayo for the Ras Connachta which gets under way this Friday evening in the picturesque village best known for the film The Quiet Man.

Now the village has another hero in the shape of David O'Loughlin who won the championship last Sunday. It was a stunning victory and a very satisfying one for the 26-year-old who first got the bug for cycling when he was 11 years of age when he participated in the London to Brighton ride.

If all goes to plan the former winner of Ras Connachta will be back to compete in this event which over the last number of years has been slowly gaining momentum on the cycling stage.

The defending champion Paul Griffin makes the long journey from Tralee with his team mates from the Earl of Desmond-Tralee Bicycle Club. After the FBD Milk Ras, Paul took some quality time away from the bike and is back now and rarin' to go. Besides he defence of Ras Connachta, Paul will be busy over the next few months as he intends doing some racing abroad.

Early season form for the Carrick Cidona boys when they were kings of the road seems to have deserted them, but according to Timmy Barry who has been on the deck more than he would have envisaged, "Obviously for the last number of months I have been involved in accidents. It started way back in January when I was training for the Tour de Langkawi and there has not been a month that the road surface and I did not get to know each other. Hopefully for the second part of the season and starting with this three day things will get better."

Cycleways-Lee Strand member, Eugene Moriarty returned to the competitive stage last weekend after being laid low by a bug for a number of weeks.

If he can recapture the form that saw him sprinting out of his skin in the early part of the season, he could be a contender for the overall honours in this event which carries a healthy purse for those who get amongst the prizes.

Declan O'Loughlin from the promoting club, Mayo Wheelers - who for the next two weekends will be up to their oxters in the promotion of bike races - said, "Yes! The club will be very busy, but we have a good committee and the volunteers are in situ. We anticipate a good turnout for the weekend. The event is moving along nicely and we also have a number of oversea teams which all add the gloss to the event. Last year, Mark Scanlon was here, but this weekend he has bigger fish to fry." Declan who also remarked that those intending to travel, the first stage is out of the blocks at 6 pm.

Ras Connachta Three-Day, Cong

  • Stage 1 - July 2: TBD Building Contractors, start 6 pm. 48 miles
  • Stage 2 - July 3: Monaghan & Sons Ltd. Mazda Dealers, start 10.30 am, 68 miles.
  • Stage 3 - July 3: Ashford Castle ,start 5.30 pm, 6.8 miles time trial
  • Stage 4 - July 4: McGrath's Quarry, start 10 am, 70 miles

Strong Ireland team unveiled for Danny Boy International

By Shane Stokes,

Following their performance last Sunday at the national road race championship, the first three finishers have been named to the Ireland team for this weekend's prestigious Danny Boy 2 Day in Limavaddy, Northern Ireland. New champion Julie O'Hagan, Colette Swift and Rosin Kennedy will be joined by Siobhan Dervan, who lost her chance for glory on Sunday due to a long chase back after a puncture.

The planned Leinster team will not now line out in the race due to the small number of women from the region available for consideration. There will however be a mid-eastern region representation in the form of the Orwell - Dundrum Shopping Centre team, comprising Kate Rudd, Orla Hendron, Karen Bothwell, Joanie Burns and guest rider Gillian McDarby.

A number of other Irish women will take part in the two day, three stage race which is the sixth round of the Team Series competition, including a large Ulster team.

Promoted by Roe Valley CC, the race has attracted eighty entries, including competitors from mainland Europe, Britain and Ireland. Teams entered include the Dutch squads District Noord-Holland and Team Bianchi, while from Britain come the Team Luciano, Letchworth Velo, Central Division, Surrey League, East Midlands, Welsh Cycling Union and West Midlands Division line-ups.

According to the race organization, they are particularly keen to welcome back Sue Roy from Southland, New Zealand, a past silver medalist in the World Masters championships, and Chrystal Shelden from South Africa.

'With many strong teams and elite riders meeting for the first time it is difficult to pick out a definite favourite for the overall prize. Irish favourites must include Collette Swift who recently finished third overall in the 3 Days of Bedford. Other names to note are Siobhan Dervan and Limavady's Mary Boyd who finished well in the recent Koomen Plaquette in Holland. On this occasion Boyd will be competing for the Letchworth Velo - Torellisport Team in her home town. Last year Cycling Ulster was the top team and is headed by Freida Brown, Ann McFarland and Ann Paul,' wrote race organizer George Boyd recently.

The Irish riders will be up against an intimidating foreign presence. 'The Dutch teams are adding an element of intrigue but Susan Hartog and Sabrina Kaatee of the District Noord Team and Sanne Hokke and Stephanie Kortekaas of Team Bianchi are expected to be very strong,' he continued. 'New Zealand's Sue Roy as a past silver medallist in the World Masters Championships is hot favourite for the veteran's prize.'

'British riders to watch for include top sprinters Helen Gutteridge and and talented junior Kim Blythe from 2003 series winners Team Luciano, Nina Davies and Kate Cullen from Letchworth Velo - Torellisport.'

The two days of racing will begin with a 52 mile Road Race and then a time trial on the Bridges Circuit on Saturday. A 45 mile Road Race will follow on Sunday, using the Carrowclare circuit.

The race HQ for both days will be the Roe Valley Leisure Centre.

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