By Tommy Campbell, Irish Independent, Evening Herald, Sunday Independent
Newbridge Cycling Club, by a strange quirk of timing, has avoided the log jam of events each and every Sunday prior to the FBD Insurance Ras. This Sunday, they have the calendar to themselves, albeit at late notice.
Together with the Newbridge Credit Union & Ena Loakman Remax First Choice, they will stage one of Ireland’s toughest cycling events over the hills of Boston and Dunmurray. The Newbridge GP will provide tough racing for the competitors as they battle it out over a gruelling six laps of a 13 mile circuit. "We will cater for all categories," said race organiser John Malone, who only got a last minute sanction from Cycling Ireland to stage the event.
Senior 1 racing will commence at 12.30pm and will be neutralized out to the Milltown circuit, with the senior 2 event following suit at 12.40.pm, followed by senior 3, juniors, veterans and ladies at 12.45 pm. All finishes will be in the Rathbride area on the edge of the Curragh and the first event is expected to finish around 3pm.
The Ena Loakman Remax First Choice Team of Seamus Kelly, Daire O Sullivan, Cormac O' Shea, Jonathan Malone, Damian Mitchell, Kenny Buck and Owen Fitzsimons will be hoping for success on behalf of the promoting club, whilst the organiser has high hopes of keeping the silverware in the club. The opposition descending on the town of Newbridge will have a different agenda.
Limerick CC’s Bob Murray certainly gave the Shannon-side city plenty to cheer about last weekend in the Bayview Hotel Ras Dun NanGall. Winning the third stage was a real bonus, "Unfortunately, I did have the misfortune to crash on stage one, but the win on the third stage was simply magic. We'll give it another go on Sunday," said Murray.
Other good news for the Newbridge club is that Mark Fitzsimons, who only took up road racing after a transition period of mountain biking, has been selected to travel to the Sean Kelly Racing Academy in Belgium.
"The Grand Prix was not listed on the official Cycling Ireland handbook, so we are making a big drive to make sure everyone knows that there is a race this Sunday and also on Wednesday evening the 21st of June, when the Paddy Flanagan will be staged in Kildare town," said race organiser John Malone, who makes a significant contribution to cycling, particularly on radio and the print media in the Kildare area.