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Stamullen GP/Joey White Memorial
Stamullen, Co. Meath, April 13, 2003
Another impressive win for O'Loughlin
By Shane Stokes, Irishcycling.com
Irish professional David O'Loughlin today continued his storming season when he unleashed an impressive last-lap surge to notch up his sixth win in seven races at the Stamullen Grand Prix. The Ofoto Lombardi Sports rider left behind four other breakaway companions with five miles remaining to reach the line over 42 seconds clear, capping off what had been a calm, assured and powerful performance today.
'I am delighted to win here, it is a great course,' he told the watching crowd at the presentation of the Joey White Memorial cup. 'I have raced in Stamullen many times over the past few years but never won, so I am very pleased.'
The action began on the first of six tough laps when Cycleways Lee Strand captain Philip Cassidy and the newly-promoted senior 1 Scott McDonald (Orwell Wheelers) opened a gap on the tough ascent of Snowtown Hill. Crossing the summit with a healthy amount of daylight back to the bunch, the two plunged down the descent into the Naul village and quickly opened a 40 second lead over those behind.
At the start of the second lap seven chasers set about closing this gap to Cassidy and McDonald and succeeded in doing so before the top of Snowtown, ratcheting the speed of the bunch upwards to the point where the field started to split asunder. While exhausted riders continued to slip backwards, a calm O'Loughlin made his way steadily forward, moving from bunch to chasing group and finally getting across to the head of the affairs after the third ascent of Snowtown.
That left a bunch of thirteen up front, a number which proved unlucky for McDonald who crashed out of the race later that lap. Present in the lead group were Cassidy, O'Loughlin, Denis Easton (Total Cycling.com), Paul Griffin (Earl of Desmond), Andrew Donnellan (Dublin Wheelers), Joe Fenlon (Cidona Carrick), Ray Clarke (Cycleways Lee Strand), Paddy Moriarty (Dublin Skip), Owen Jeffries (Northern-Dave Kane), national criterium champion Paul Doyle (Tilechoice-Deeside) plus the Usher IRC duo of Greg Swinand and Mick Mulcahy. Working well to establish a four minute lead, this group remained together until the start of lap five when Moriarty and a determined Cassidy slipped clear before Snowtown and built a good advantage.
The move looked ominous and for a while those behind failed to make an impression on the leaders' advantage, but following a fall by Donnellan, the chasers began to inch closer once more. Snowtown brought an end to Cassidy's time at the head of the race, the 1999 FBD Milk Rás winner fading dramatically on the slopes as Moriarty forged clear alone, while first O'Loughlin and Griffin and then the Mulcahy/Clarke combo left the other riders behind and regrouped together up front.
That made a group of five together with six miles remaining, but despite his fine sprint finish at the end of the Archer Grand Prix in England two weeks ago, O'Loughlin had little intentions of waiting until the final gallop. Kicking once and shedding Moriarty, O'Loughlin accelerated again on the day's final drag to draw Griffin clear and then applied the coup de grace in surging once more. Alone at last with just five miles remaining, the former national under 23 champion turned on the speed to quickly open up a 40 second lead over the three chasers and solo to what was his sixth victory since the start of the season.
Three hundred metres from the line in Stamullen village, Clarke timed his jump perfectly to catch Griffin and Mulcahy by surprise and to lead them home, in that order. A tired Moriarty crossed the line forty-odd seconds later for fifth, while shortly afterwards a battle-scarred and bloody Donnellan bravely raced in to take sixth.
'It was tough enough out there,' said O'Loughlin before the prize presentation. 'It is a good, hard circuit. I was feeling pretty good so I didn't panic when Phil Cassidy and Paddy Moriarty went with two laps to go. I decided to let them stay out there, thinking the longer the better; that said, while I knew Cassidy was struggling a bit on the climbs, Moriarty is another matter altogether so I had to keep an eye on the gap.'
'After we regrouped, I wasn't sure that I would be able to get rid of Paul Griffin when I went, but it worked out well in the end.'
'David was very strong,' said Griffin, about his rival's final attack. 'I went clear with him on the hill with a few miles to go, but I wasn't able to stay with him for very long. He was absolutely motoring.'
Next up for an increasingly psyched O'Loughlin is the Tour of Georgia, which starts on April 22nd, following which the Mayo rider will contest a number of criteriums in the States and then complete his build-up for the FBD Milk Rás in May. He is expected to line out in the colours of the Irish national team, and whether or not defending champion Ciarán Power is part of that squad (his participation hinges on commitments to his Navigators team), O'Loughlin's golden run of victories marks him out as a rider who must be considered to be in the running for overall honours.
In the day's other races, Kanturk Credit Union Denis Lynch proved too strong in the final kilometre for St. Tiernan's Dylan Rafter and Jay Daly (Castlebar CC), who finished marginally ahead of Orwell Wheelers' Dave Tansey. Carlow Road Club rider Bill Millar continued his good run this season to win the senior 3 Pat Howards Memorial, while Frazier Duncan (Northern-Dave Kane) lifted the Jimmy Gough Cup and Seamus Haughney (Carlow RC) and Caroline Kearney (McNally Swords) proved best in the veterans and womens events. Kieran Enright (Kanturk Credit Union), Aaron Henry (Usher IRC) and Liam Keane came out best in the underage competitions.
Additional reporting by Tommy Campbell
It was yet again a good weekend for the fortunes of David O'Loughlin and Ritchie Cahill as they notched up wins in Stamullen, Co. Meath and Ritchie in Bothar Bui near Kanturk. In the case of O'Loughlin his status is still is riding high as yet again he inflicted his winning ways on a highly rated field.
For those of us interested in the odd flutter we would be very happy but the turf accountants who ply their trade, they would certainly be out of business because yet again for the sixth time this season it was the man from Cong in Co. Mayo, David O'Loughlin who was first across the finishing line in Stamullen yesterday afternoon to win the Joey white Cup. Yesterday he proved yet again that when he ups the anti the opposition fail to counteract his movements. On this occasion he left his winning move until the last lap to exert pace in which his rivals, simply could not match. I have a feeling that there will be some light relief as David now heads to the States to take part in the Tour of Georgia, which begins at Easter. In Kanturk, Co. Cork, Ritchie Cahill can feel well pleased with his win in the Ras Duhallow where he was best in a four up sprint, but at one stage it looked as though Timmy Barry was going to deny him as Barry soldiered out front for 52 miles of the 64 mile event.
1 David O'Loughlin (Ofoto Lombardi Sports) 2 R. Clarke (Cycleways-Lee Strand) 0.42 3 P. Griffin (Earl of Desmond) 4 M. Mulcahy (Usher IRC) both same time 5 P. Moriarty (Dublin Skip) 1.20 6 A. Donnellan (Dublin Wheelers) 2.00 7 O. Jeffries (Dave Kane Northern CC) 2.22 8 G. Swinand (Usher IRC) 9 J. Fenlon (Cidona Carrick) 10 P. Doyle (Tylechoice Deeside) Senior 2 1 Daniel Lynch (Kanturk Credit Union) 2 D. Rafter (St. Tiernans) 3 J. Daly (Castlebar CC) 4 D. Tansey (Bell Orwell) 5 B. Behan (Cycleways Lee Strand) 6 J. Heraty (Staggs Lucan) Pat Howard Memorial for Senior 3 1 Bill Millar (Carlow RC) 2 B. Keane (Dublin Wheelers) 3 K. Moloney (Navan Avonmore) 4 P. Coll (Dublin Wheelers) 5 M. Nulty (Stamullen M. Donnelly) Jimmy Gough Memorial for Juniors 1 Frazier Duncan (Northern Dave Kane) 2 P. Brady (Emyvale) 3 K. Daly (McNally Swords) 4 M. Nestor (Shannonside) 5 C. Crawley (Stamullen M. Donnelly) Veterans 1 Seamus Haughney (Carlow RC) 2 O. McQuaid (Emerald CC) 3 S. Lally (McNally Swords) Women 1 Caroline Kearney (McNally Swords) 2 D. Booth (East Antrim/Audi) 3 K. Bothwell (Orwell) Under 16 1 Kieran Enright (Kanturk Credit Union) 2 M. Murray (Clann Eireann) 3 M. O'Brien (Kanturk Credit Union) 4 A. Petrie Armstrong (Northern CC) 5 S. Rock (McNally Swords) 6 T. Jensen (Sorrento CC) Unplaced woman 1 Mary Brennan (Castlebar CC) Under 14 1 Aaron Henry (Usher IRC) 2 G. Pyke (unattached) 3 M. McAree (Emyvale) 4 J. Kane (Emyvale) 5 A. Lynch (Kanturk Credit Union) 6 P. Ahern (Kanturk Credit Union) Under 12 1 Liam Keane (Kanturk Credit Union) 2 C. Campbell (Drogheda Wheelers) 3 P. Tancred (Kanturk Credit Union) 4 B. Maguire (Drogheda Wheelers) 5 D. Connolly (Navan Avonmore) 6 C. Farrell (Hillcrest Hire CC) Brendan Carroll Memorial Stamullen 1 Kieran McMahon (Earl of Desmond CC) 2 B. Ahern (Naas Fig Roll) 3 P. Healion (North Kildare CC) 4 D. Cunningham (Bray Wheelers CC) 5 R. Whelan (Navan Avonmore CC) 6 E. Murtagh (Ravens CC) Senior 2 1 Bobby Behan (Cycleways Lee Strand) 2 J. Mason (Cycleways Lee Strand) 3 J. Heraty (Staggs Lucan CC) Senior 3 1 Paddy Kelly (Bray Wheelers CC) 2 M. Fitzgerald (Orwell Wheelers CC) 3 B. Caffrey (Stamullen M. Donnelly RC) Veterans 1 Mick Nulty (Stamullen M. Donnelly RC) Women 1 Mary Brennan (Castlebar CC) Under 12 1 Peter Williams (Orchard Wheelers CC) 2 L. Keane (Kanturk Credit Union) 3 D. O'Brien (Kanturk Credit Union) 4 S. Enright (Kanturk Credit Union) 5 P. Tancred (Kanturk Credit Union) 6 C. Campbell (Drogheda Wheelers CC) Under 14 1 Aaron Henry (Usher IRC) 2 G. Pyke (unattached) 3 C. Jensen (Sorrento CC) 4 M. McAree (Emyvale CC) 5 G. Rigley (Bray Wheelers) 6 B. Hughes (Emyvale CC) Under 16 1 Martin Munroe (Western Lakes CC) 2 A. Coyle (Shannonside CC) 3 A. Petrie Armstrong (Northern CC) 4 K. Enright (Kanturk Credit Union) 5 G. Browne (Kanturk Credit Union) 6 M. O'Brien (Kanturk Credit Union)