Irish weekend preview

By Tommy Campbell, Irish Independent, Evening Herald, Sunday Independent

A weekend of cycling competition is scheduled in Munster, beginning on Saturday in Cork and Killorglin. The St. Finbarr's/Ventilux CC will stage the Irish Criterium Championship on the Monaghan Circuit, where in former years, there was racing of a different kind. Namely horseracing.

Favourite for the event has to be the Cycleways.Com team, which certainly has the firepower within its ranks to do the business, despite the absence of Philip Finnegan, who was involved in a crash last weekend in Robinstown. This has sidelined him for the remainder of the season.

Also starting in Killorglin is the Kerry Foods Youth Tour.

On Sunday, it will be interesting to see if the legs of those who went in search of a title in Cork will be up to the rigours of the Gene Moriarty Trophy in Listowel. Now in its 23rd year, the event is firmly established among the top one-day events on the Irish Cycling Calendar. The race is promoted by the Listowel Cycling Club in memory of one of Gene Moriarty, Kerry's top grass cyclists of the late 1940s and early 50s, and an administrator and promoter of the sport for many years.

Also part of this year's Classic League, the Gene Moriarty Trophy is number five of six events, and out front in the points race is David McCann, but in close attendance is Eugene Moriarty, son of the race organiser, Tadgh.

"We have great support here in the town for the event with many of the local businesses putting their money up front," said Tadhg. "Down the years, we have attracted the cream of the crop and this year should be no different."

Current holder of the trophy is Brian Kenneally. There may be some doubt about his participation, but his club, Dan Morrissey/Carrick Wheelers, has the strength and depth to retain the trophy. David O'Loughlin of the Navigators team based in America has indicated that he'll be on the start line. He is the Irish Road Race Champion and will attract a lot of attention.

Racing gets under way at one o'clock on Sunday with racing for all categories. Also making their debut in Listowel will be a number of South African competitors who took part in the recent M. Donnelly Junior Tour. It is their intention to go over to Kirush in Co. Clare for the Crotty Cup on August Monday.

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