By Bobby Power
Founded in 1954, Carrick Wheelers have had some great years in the intervening period, but 2008 could well top the lot as the club, now known as Dan Morrissey Carrick Wheelers, continue on their amazing run of victories in all categories. While junior rider Sam Bennett is undoubtedly the star of recent weeks with his wins in the national championships and the Junior Tour of Ireland, others have added to the club’s successes with wins across all categories.
Martin O’Loughlin has also made a huge impact this season and continues to defy father time by winning open senior events as well as totally dominating his own veteran category events. His latest win came in the senior Munster championships in Caherciveen when he sprinted home ahead of current Irish international Micheál Concannon to take yet another great victory in this prestigious event. To complete a memorable day for his family, Martin’s son Michael also won a Munster title when he had a great win in the under 11 year’s championship.
Another Munster title was captured for the club when Hugh Mulhearne won the senior individual time trial on a tough 18 kilometre course in Limerick in 23 mins 34 secs, a new course record. Hugh has struggled with illness and injuries since the start of the season and it was great to see him bounce back with this great win in such a demanding event.
Last weekend it was the turn of Kevin Shelley to take his turn on the top step of the podium when he won the combined event at the Eddie Tobin Memorial in Enniscorthy on Sunday last. Kevin is the undoubted strongman of the Dan Morrissey team and has done trojan work in many races to help team-mates when the need arose, so it was great to see him finally get a win himself with a typical solo effort. To complete another great weekend for the club it was back to Michael O’Loughlin in the Arklow under age racing festival. Michael had one win and two second places from his three races and was clearly the best under 12 rider of the festival which attracted the best young cyclists in the country.
Yes 2008 has been great to date, and really pleasing to see the victories coming from different riders in all categories. Next weekend sees fourteen of the club’s riders contest the Suir Valley 3 day based in Clonmel, so hopefully local knowledge will help the unprecedented run of success to continue.