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Results and Reports from Ireland
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Westwood Homes Kerry Youth Tour
Kerry, August 17-19, 2002
The 2002 Westwood Homes Kerry Youth Tour was easily the most successful to date. From an entry list of 197 only seven riders failed to start.
There were 44 riders in the Cat.3/3A race for the younger riders. 58 started the Cat.2/2A race while a huge field of 88 riders lined up for the Cat. 1/1A race.
The Cat. 3/3A race was dominated from start to finish by the BSCA riders who took the first four places over the line only Daniel Coffey, Killorglin Credit Union Cycling Club and Niall Rock, Swords CC succeeded in splitting 1st Luke Rowe, 2nd Andy Fern, 3rd Lucy Richards and 4th Scott Thwaites from their team mates in 7th, 8th and 9th place.
The KOH competition ensured that the race was run at an even more frantic pace than usual.
In the Cat. 2/2A race the British domination if not broken it was at least split up. Kieran Enright, Kanturk Credit Union Cycling Club in 2nd place separated BSCA boys Johnathan Bellis 1st and Matt Rowe 3rd with Gavin Browne, Kanturk Credit Union Cycling Club coming home in front of Martin Beech, BCF West Midlands and Jeremiah OSullivan, Killorlgin Credit Union Cycling Club. However only the placings and the time bonuses separate the boys at the end. As in the previous race the KOH primes on each lap forced the pace and the race was several minutes faster than last years race. In the end it left Gavin Browne, Kanturk in the KOH jersey with Johnathan Bellis, BSCA in yellow.
The Cat. 1/1A race was a magnificent sight. Big fields have been lost to underage racing in Ireland for a number of years but this start line was a sight to warm the blood of all sports fans. The boys and girls raced with enthusiasm. This year there were no tactical stalls no sudden jumps just honest straight out effort. A crash on lap 2 split the field. Those in front piled on the pressure and made an unbridgally gap. The leaders cover the 26 miles in a time of 1:26:44 which is a fine average on a rolling course. Ian Stannard, BSCA completed a fine day for BSCA to take the yellow jersey at the end of the stage with Richard Bowen, BCF Northwest Region 2nd and David Watson, Ireland in 3rd place, Michael Lucey, Killarney took the KOH Jersey.
Stage 2 on Sunday was the Time Trial.
No one starting could have realised how significant the hundredths of a second given here would be later.
TT winners were Cat.3/3A 1st Andrew Fern, 2nd Luke Rowe, 3rd Lucy Richards all BSCA which put young Fern into yellow.
Recovery by the Irish Cat. 2/2A riders saw a more respectable finish sheet from a home view point with Isaac Spears, Leinster leading home Gavin Browne, Kanturk Credit Union Cycling Club, Jerhemiah OSullivan, Killorlgin Credit Union Cycling Club and Kieran Enright, Kanturk, Martin Beech, BCF West Midlands was the best of the visitors in 4th place.
As a result of the change Kieran Enright, Kanturk was in yellow with an advantage of 3 seconds over Jeremiah OSullivan.
The Cat 1/1A TT was won by David Watson, Ireland with his team mate Paul McMahon in 2nd place with Andrew Hill, BCF Northwest Region, 3rd. This gave the yellow jersey to David Watson, Ireland.
And so we come to stage 3 on Sunday afternoon, the most intimidating of stages and yet the one all the riders look forward to most. Its main features a serious descent into the town on the other side. This remains one of the most spectacular stages raced anywhere and as usual it brought out huge crowds to see the race.
The Cat. 3/3A riders were the first away with Andrew Fern leading the race home and consolidating his yellow jersey. His team mate Luke Rowe grabbed the 9 KOH points available to take the KOH jersey, Eoin Leahy, Kanturk Credit Union Cycling Club was the best of the home riders in 4th place on the stage.
The Cat. 2/2A race broke up on the first of the two climbs of Sun Hill. A leading group of 15 riders stayed together over the climb for the second time and came down to town for a bunch gallop over the line. Stage winner Kierna Enright, Kanturk Credit Union Cycling Club on to his yellow jersey with his team mate Gavin Browne retaining the KOH Jersey. Jeremiah OSullivan, Killorglin Credit Union Cycling Club looked threatening in 2nd place at 2 seconds.
Cat. 1/1A Stage 3 was super race which came home more or less in three bunches. There was still no let up in the furious pace. Thomas Jensen, Ireland used his MTB experience to grab the KOH competition by the neck and take the jersey. The big bunch sprint for the line saw Ian Stannard, BSCA take the 3 second bonus for winning the stage with fellow visitors Andrew Hill, BCF Northwest Region 2nd and Richard Bowen. BCF Northwest Region 3rd. Watson, Ireland however held on to his lead by a margin of 2 seconds.
Stage 4 on Monday is run over the Donal McKenna circuit which brings the riders up the hill in Killorglin each lap. Again the Cat. 3/3A riders were the first away with 2 laps of the 2.5 mile course. The BSCA| riders continued their clean sweep with Andrew Fern taking the stage with Luke Rowe in 2nd place and Lucy Richards 3rd. The only battle here was in the KOH competition which Rowe won by the slenderest of margins. With results like these 3 riders had it followed that the BSCA won the team prize. Andrew Fern the Cat. 3/3A 2002 Westwood Homes Kerry Youth Tour champion. The BSCA girls showed that at least at this level girls can compete on level teams with the boys. Best placed of the Irish girls was Tina Walker, Killorlgin Credit Union Cycling Club.
The Cat. 2/2A race was marred by a crash which forced the race to stop. Killorlgin rider Michael Swords got a nasty fall but thankfully is making a good recovery. The race proceed fast and furious as ever with three leaders sprinting for each of the 5 KOH primes. The stage was won by Jeremiah OSullivan, Killorglin Credit Union Cycling Club with Matthew Rowe, BSCA 2nd and Kieran Enright, Kanturk Credit Union Cycling Club in 3rd place. This result placed Jeremiah OSullivan and Kieran Enright equal pm GC times. When the hundredths of a second from the TT were added back in Enright won the race by a margin of 0.16 seconds. This was a tough blow to Jeremiah who also finished 2nd two years ago. Gavin Browne, Kanturk took the KOH jersey while Kanturk also took the team prize. Katie Curtis, BSCA was the best placed girl while Annemarie Campbell, Ulster Girls was the best placed of the home girls.
And so to the finale. Ian Stannard, BSCA went into Stage 4 2 seconds down on race leader David Watson, Ireland. This was the time for action. There was no time to rest and no place to hide. Each lap had KOH points and so each lap saw a sprint up the hill by the Irish riders to see if they could send a man away to grab the 3 second bonus for the stage win. Even though Thomas Jensen, Ireland took 8 of the primes and was 2nd on another the bunch stayed tightly together. It all came down to a sprint finish. Andrew Hill, BCF Northwest Region took the sprint with Richard Maes, Killarney 2nd and Watson not relying on anyone to secure his yellow jersey was 2nd.
The KOH cmpetition was easily won by MTB expert Thomas Jensen, Ireland. British Cycling Northwest Region won the team prize while Nikki Harris proved she was more than a pretty face by being the first girl home.
Final General Classification Category 1/1a 1 David Watson (Ireland) 2 Andrew Hill (British Cycling Northwest Region) 3 Ian Stannard (British Schools Cycling Association) 4 Paul McMahon (Ireland) 5 Richard Bowen (British Cycling Northwest Region) 6 Michael Lucey (Killarney C.C.) Final General Classification Category 2/2a 1 Kieran Enright (Kanturk Credit Union CC) 2 Jeremiah O Sullivan (Killorglin Credit Union CC) 3 Gavin Browne (Kanturk Credit Union CC) 4 Matthew Rowe (British Schools Cycling Association) 5 Peter Banham (British Cycling West Midlands) 6 Peter Kennaugh (Scottish Provident Isle of Man) Final General Classification Category 3/3a 1 Andrew Fern (British Schools Cycling Association) 2 Luke Rowe (British Schools Cycling Association) 3 Lucy Richards (British Schools Cycling Association) 4 Scott Thwaites (British Schools Cycling Association) 5 Eoin Leahy (Kanturk Credit Union CC) 6 Niall Rock (McNally Swords CC)Previous results from Ireland