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Rás An Turcaí - NE

Carraroe, Co. Galway, Ireland, December 28, 2005


Cassidy wins Rás An Turcaí

Double FBD Milk Rás winner Philip Cassidy took a fine win in the Rás an Turcaí event in Carraroe, Co. Galway today. The Cycleways veteran proved best of the 186 riders in the 60 kilometre event, holding off the charge of Navigators professional David O'Loughlin and Paidí O'Brien (Loch Ness) and staying clear to the line. O'Loughlin sat up when he realised he wasn't going to win the race, with O'Brien winning a close sprint for second from former world number one Sean Kelly. His brother and Carrick Wheelers team-mate Vinnie was fourth, while Damien Hardiman (unattached), Darach Behan (Club Rothaíochta Chonamara) and Philip Lavery (Usher IRC) were next across the line. O'Loughlin placed eighth.

As was the case last year, the off-season race was run off as a handicapped event. Following the completion of two neutralised laps, racing started with Cassidy setting off as part of the second of three groups. Each of these groups were separated by a handicap of four and a half minutes, the Cycleways rider closing the gap to the front bunch with a lap and a half to go and then forging ahead with Kelly and two others. He kicked again with ten kilometres remaining and went clear.

Behind, O'Loughlin was clearly the strongest of the scratch riders and set off in pursuit, taking Irish under 23 champion Paídi O'Brien with him. The duo took an impressive 2 minutes and 53 seconds out of Cassidy on the final lap but fell just short of catching him. A frustrated O'Loughlin sat up inside the final 500 metres while O'Brien was joined by Kelly and sprinted it out for the runner up slot, two seconds after Cassidy raced home.

"Cassidy did a good ride to hold off O'Loughlin and Paídi," said race organiser Martín Óg McDonagh. "O'Loughlin was very, very strong…he did most of the work in the chase and was riding at 60 kilometres per hour on the last lap to try to catch Cassidy. They just missed out and when David saw that he wasn't going to win, he sat up and rolled in. A few others got by him as a result."


1 Philip Cassidy (Cycleways)                  1.13.43
2 Paidí O’Brien (Kanturk)                        0.02
3 Seán Kelly (Carrick Wheelers)
4 Vinnie Kelly (Carrick Wheelers)                0.03
5 Damien Hardiman (unattached)
6 Darach Behan (Club Rothaíochta Chonamara)
7 Philip Lavery (Usher IRC)
8 David O’Loughlin (Navigators Insurance)        0.06
1 Aisling Daly (Orwell Dundrum SC)
2 Gillian Mc Darby (The Bagel Bar)
1 Martin Munroe (Western Lakes)
1 Pádraig Forde (Annaghdown)
2 Corey Johnson (Athenry)
1 Angelo O’Connor (Laois)
2 Con O’Brien (Banteer)