The club had a great performance on the 17th and 18th of August at the Staffords Wholesale Wexford 2 Day race where we ended up with 3rd place overall on the General Classification. Representing the club over the weekend were Colm Keher, Diarmuid O'Dwyer and James Kelly in the A4 race.
Stage 1 saw the group tackle a tough 65km circuit in wet and windy conditions on Saturday morning. Unfortunately only 10km into Stage 1, disaster struck for Colm, when he suffered a mechanical. He got it sorted and moving again very quickly but the peloton was moving quickly at that early stage and made it impossible for him to regain contact with the bunch. This meant Colm had to finish out Stage 1 solo, but there were 2 stages left and plenty of racing over the weekend! Diarmuid and James battled on for a stage results, and had a few attacks off the front together, but with all movement being well covered the stage looked set to finish in a bunch sprint. Both of the guys got up to the front of the group for the sprint, James saw a gap with a few hundred meters to go and finished 2nd on stage 1.
Stage 2 was a real tester for all on Saturday evening – a 4km individual time trial, on a testing hill climb with 2 very steep sections. Great times posted from all three of the guys, (James 8.24, Diarmuid 8.46 and Colm 8.49). This left James in a very good position overall, in the top 5 going into the final stage. The climb itself was a tricky challenge with two flat sections and two steep ramps with sections that kicked up to over 14%. At the top of the climb was a great atmosphere, with people out cheering on all riders to get across the finish line!
Stage 3 was an 80km route, covering some of the same roads as Saturdays Stage 1, with a few additional sharp steep climbs to help split things up! The plan for the day was to get into any breaks that looked promising. A small break of about 6 got away at one stage, but with so many in contention for places, the bunch were quick to close everything down. On the final lap, Diarmuid and Colm hit the front of the bunch and put in some massive turns that really strung the group out. The bunch was really starting to split apart, with riders falling off the back of the group every time the road went upward - with about 10km to go the bunch had been whittled down to about 30 riders for the final few km of the race. All three of the guys did well to finish in the first group home, unlucky to get boxed in so no placings on the stage, but this resulted in James finishing up in 3rd position overall. All three of the guys delighted to get a podium spot for the club after a solid weekend of racing from the team. James' first (and last) points in A4 as he gained 13 points from the weekends results, which means he is now upgraded to A3. I'm sure Diarmuid and Colm will both be joining him soon based on their great performances over the course of the weekend!
A superb weekend of racing organised by Wexford Wheelers, with 3 testing stages, which set the foundations for a tough but enjoyable weekend of racing, and some of the safest racing that we have seen all year. A massive well done to Michael Noonan and all the team in Wexford Wheelers for their endless hard work all weekend.
We are looking forward to the Wexford 2day 2014 edition already!