By Tommy Campbell, Irish Independent/Evening Herald/Sunday Independent
What have Liam Collins and Noel Clarke got in common? Both have been left without a bell on their bicycles and a real possibility that they will be bereft of participants through no fault of theirs. The Irish race organisers have been frantic in the last few days as a result of an error in the Cycling Ireland calendar which has just been published.
"All right if one had the misfortune to have to incorrect information, you would say a publisher’s error, but two is mysterious to say the least," said Clarke, whose event has been listed for just A & B. "Navan Avonmore CC caters for cyclists and anybody that is involved with the sport. Know full well that we always have a full program of racing every year," he added.
Liam Collins' circumstances are different, as the message going out according to the calendar was that only juniors and veterans would be catered for. "Far from it! We are organising a race to facilitate all the categories," he said. "I have been at pains to tell everybody that the race is open, and - more importantly - that the Broadford where the race is scheduled to commence is between Kanturk and Newcastlewest, and not on the Dublin side of Limerick. The locality is famous because it is home to journalist-publisher-broadcaster, Vincent Browne, who is a household name in Ireland."
Hopefully all be in order, prior to race time on Sunday. The Cycleways Cup's start will be moved out into the country as there will be a big Gaelic football match in Pairc Taliteann on the same day, but the finish is in town. It will be circuit race for all categories.
Despite losing five of their team to international duty, Murphy & Gunn/Newlyn Property Group will still have a big say in the destination of the trophy. But for the last number of years, it has become custom and practice for the sponsors of the event, Cycleways, to also have a say in the result. Whilst other teams may be in awe of the Murphy outfit, no such feelings are afield from the Cycleway members who now have a co-sponsor in MyHome.Com. They’ll be eager to upset the applecart and prove that the new kids on the block will have to show their mettle in competition. Cycleways have also enlisted the services of Johnny Carroll who will be the joker in the pack.
In Limerick, it will be action all the way for the Limerick City CC, who is promoting the Cycling Pursuits Cup in Broadford. At least those participating at that venue will not have to go off searching for pieces of equipment in the area, as the sponsor will have the equipment.
Last week's winner of the Lacey Cup, Paul Griffin has winged his way back to the Far East for a race in Taiwan. Michael Hennessy, who was runner-up last week, will be well capable of carrying the mantel of favourite and the course will ideal for him with a testing drag on each of the six laps.
In both venues, all categories will be catered for and the start time is at one o’clock at both locations.