6 Wins & 6 Podiums
The Team has been busy over the last number of weeks filling podiums and winning races around the country. With all the riders in good form our condition bodes well for the National Road Race Championships which take place on the 28th June in Omagh. The Irish National Road Race Champs this year are hosted by Omagh Wheelers.
Ras Donegal has been a fairly productive stamping ground for Team iTap with us winning the General Classification in 2014 with Daire Feeley and this year winning the U23 Classification and finishing 5th overall. It always the Jerseys that we see in the post race photos but always the team mates are an integral part on the results and this year was no different with David Brody providing super support for Darragh and also finishing 3rd overall in the U23 classification. All in all the Team had a very successful weekend and the results show.
The week after Donegal David Brody lined up at the John Holian Memorial. Not being a sprinter David usually has to win from a small group or alone and this race proved no different. With a lap to go David attached and got a small gap of 20/25 seconds which he held for 10 km only to be caught with 500 meters to go. With negative racing and a general view the race was going to end in a bunch sprint it was Davids only option for the win. Great effort and a bit unlucky on the day.
The Saturday night which was the 13th saw Daire Feeley travel to Sligo for the Mooney Cup run by Eire Og Cycling Club. A well earned study break as he was coming to the end of his Leaving Cert Examinations Daire didn’t fail to disappoint. With some hard attacks due to negative racing he eventually split the group and took a couple of rider with him as they put time into the bunch. As the break neared the final few laps Daire again attached and with no response from the co-escapees he soloed to the finish for the win and a good leg opener for the National League Series Race which was to be held on his home circuit on Sunday 14th.
Sunday saw the biggest win for Daire after Ras Maigheo 3 Day General Classification win earlier in the year. With so many of the countries strongest riders in town for some National League Points Daire didn’t fail to perform in his home event. After continuous attacking and with a few groups gaining some slim advantages it wasn’t until fairly late in the area that a group of four riders eventually escaped. Heading into the finish Feeley was clearly the strongest and with Clarke leading out the sprint Feeley comfortable came around him to secure the win.
Behind Darragh Bailey was soloing in for the first A2 prize with David Brody sitting on a chasing group behind. Unfortunately for Darragh he was caught in the final km. David Brody then popped out of that group that caught Darragh and secured the A2 category win.
David Brody also won the A2 prize for first A2 across the line. Darragh Bailey was only caught in the last km by the group David was in after being away on his own for quite some time.
The results continued the following weekend at the Connacht Championships talking place in Sligo on Saturday 20th. The direction for the riders from Director Sportif Jonathan Gibson was 1st A1, 1st & 2nd A2 and Team Prize. The Team ended up with 1st A1, 2nd & 3rd A2 and 1st Team Classification. The race was fast and on tight roads with a lot of attacking and chasing. A couple of small groups went away with small gaps but eventually being caught. The course consisted of 3 laps totalling 100km and at the beginning of lap 2 Darragh Bailey and Jason Prendergast escaped the bunch an built up a lead of 50 seconds. this fluctuated as attacking continued and eventually Western Lakes led the chase. The gap dropped to 25 seconds and the instruction was give to Feeley from the car to collect Brody heading back to through the bunch and attack on the cork screw climb. This he did taking Brody and 2 Fit science riders with him. They caught Prendergast and Bailey. Feeley then again pushed on and only Clark and his team mate could stay with Feeley. We were concerned in the Team car that it was 2 against 1 so when the riders hit the cork screw climb again Feeley was told to attack and try clear our a rider to even the odds for the last 3/4km to the finish. He did this and it was down to Clark and Feeley. Feeley had beaten Clark in the National League series the week before in donamon and with todays finish and uphill affair it suited Feely. The info from the car to Feeley was also instrumental as Clark hadn’t eaten or drank for the last 20km and it was quite obvious he was suffering and with that we were quite confident Feeley was the stronger for the uphill one on one. He was and he won taking the Connacht Championships while his two Team mates being secure 2nd & 3rd in the A2 category and finished in the top 10 overall to secure the Team Prize finishing off a super 3 weeks of racing with 6 wins & 6 Podiums.
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Next Stop National Road race Championship.