Local talent was the order of the day as Iverk Produce Carrick Wheelers held the second of their two annual race promotions in Carrick-on-Suir, last weekend. The club promoted a total of six races, three senior events and three under-age, and had a combined entry of over 200 cyclists for the day’s races. With pleasant sunshine breaking through for the majority of the afternoon, a sizeable crowd had gathered at the event’s finishing line at the Molleran’s field in Carrickbeg.
First of the senior races to finish was the C Race, which entailed two laps of the difficult Kearney’s road circuit and measured 60km in total. As the race approached the finish line the cheering from the spectators grew louder and louder as they realised it was local publican Lenny Foley of Iverk Produce Carrick Wheelers leading home the pack. Lenny was indeed able to hold off his rivals to raise his arms for the customary victory salute in front of the home crowd. The proprietor of Carrickbeg’s Whistler’s Inn spoke of his delight in taking his first win of the season having recently made a comeback to the sport after an absence of many years. Lenny was an extremely popular winner of this event with both race rivals and locals alike, queuing up to congratulate the well-liked Carrickbeg man.
The next of the senior races to finish was the 80km B Race, which resulted in another victory for the promoting club Iverk Produce Carrick Wheelers, as 16 year-old Sean Hahessy impressively soloed to victory in this 3 lap event. This race can only be described as a process of elimination with the field of over 70 riders slowly whittling down throughout the opening two laps, leaving about 30 riders at the head of the race. It was from this group that Hahessy made his brave solo attack with about 10km to go and soloed to all the way the finish line to take the victory. Such was Hahessy’s gap on the rest of the field he took the time to enjoy this brilliant win in front of a home crowd that contained many of his friends and family members from the town.
Leading home the remainder of the chasing group was another Iverk Produce Carrrick Wheelers rider, Ray Cullen, as he finished 2nd adding to his impressive tally of results so far this season. This truly was a great result for the promoting club as they had taken the victory in the C Race and a one-two result in the B Race, the question on everyone lips at the finish line was, could they make it a clean sweep by winning the main event?
The final race of the day was the main event for the prize of the Tommy Sheehan Memorial Trophy and many of Ireland’s top riders had travelled to compete in this prestigious event. This race entailed 4 laps of the Kearney’s Road circuit, measuring over 100km. The ‘A Race’ exploded from the first lap with a blistering pace set on the 4km climb of Kearney’s road resulting in the peleton splintering into many smaller groups, with Iverk Produce Carrick Wheelers riders of Martin Mizgajski and Michael Lucey both riding well. As the race enfolded, it was pre-race favourite Timmy Barry who drove clear with Mizgajski the only other competitor able to keep him company. These two had opened up a one minute lead on the next group on the final lap and it became clear that the winner of the 2012 Tommy Sheehan Memorial would come from this duo. The locals who had gathered at the finishing line hoping it would be Mizgajski that would appear into the finishing straight first to make it a clean sweep of victories for the promoting club, but unfortunately for them, it was Corkmen Timmy Barry who had opened up a small gap in the final few kilometres to win the 2012 Tommy Sheehan Memorial Race. Mizgajski finishing 2nd, a remarkable result given the quality of the field, and Michael Lucey also of Iverk Produce Carrick Wheelers finishing in 5th position to complete the top 5 and a very successful day for the local club.
In the under-age events, Carrickbeg’s Michael O’Loughlin was narrowly beaten in a three-up sprint in the U16 event, placing 2nd just behind Dylan O’Brien of Kanturk CC, while Ryan Burke of Slaney CC won the U14 race and Laura Birchall of Fermoy CC besting the boys to win the U12 race.
At the prize giving nephew of the late Tommy Sheehan and Iverk Produce Carrick Wheelers Club Chairman, Bobby Sheehan thanked all those who helped to make the race a success, cyclists, commissaries, photographers, caterers and stewards, without whom the event could not take place. He also thanked St. Molleran’s GAA Club for the use of their premises and Super Valu Carrick-on-Suir for sponsoring the food for this local event. Sheehan finally thanked Paul Lonergan for the huge amount of work he did in the overall organising of the day’s events and ensuring that everyone enjoyed yet another great day’s cycle racing in Carrick-on-Suir!
2012 Tommy Sheehan Memorial Results
- Timmy Barry – Dan Morrissey / Speedy Spokes
- Martin Mizgajski – Iverk Produce Carrick Wheeelers
- Sean Lacey – Dan Morrissey / Speedy Spokes
- Mike Storan – West Clare CC
- Michael Lucey – Iverk Produce Carrick Wheelers
- David Keneally – Cork County CC
- Eddie Barry – Blarney CC
- Richard Hooten – Visit Nenagh
- Sena Hahessy – Iverk Produce Carrick Wheelers
- Ray Cullen – Iverk Produce Carrick Wheelers
- Stephen McGrath – Fermoy CC
- Tom Fanning – Comeragh CC
- Mark Gunning – Waterford RC
- Stephen Murray – Dungarvan CC
- Barry Twohig – Blarney CC
- Brian Hart – Limerick CC
- Lenny Foley – Iverk Produce Carrick Wheelers
- Martin Cashman – Unattached
- Brendan O’Leary – Blarney CC
- Joe Rossiter – Barrow Wheelers
- Michael Martin – Coolford CC
- Dermot Gough – Dungarvan CC
- John Hodge – Fit 4 Spin
- Vincent Maher – Dungarvan CC
- Dylan O’Brien – Kanturk CC
- Michael O’Loughlin – Iverk Produce Carrick Wheelers
- Eddie Dunbarr – Kanturk CC
- Stephen Shanahan – Limerick CC
- Kevin Hayes – Ballymore CC
- Henry Cooke – Limerick CC
- Ryan Burke – Slaney CC
- Adam Thatcher – Slaney CC
- Conor Healy – Fermoy CC
- Dillon Corkery – Kanturk CC
- Rory Dunne – Kanturk CC
- Coleman – Unattached
- Laura Brichall – Fermoy CC
- Eoin Birchall – Fermoy CC
- Emily Birchall – Fermoy CC
- Corey Kelly – Clonmel CC
- Jonathon Cook – Limerick CC
- Cian O’Keeffe – Comeragh CC