by Tommy Campbell
According to the Oxford Dictionary, the word ‘acknowledgement’ is the author’s statement of indebtedness to others.
Sadly, two weeks ago, Ken Duff a member of the Bray Wheelers passed on to his eternal reward. He was a true friend and an acknowledged follower of cycling. Naturally he has been talked and written about and one letter in particular caught my eye. It was from Alan Rushton of Sport for Television who often crossed the threshold of ‘DUFFS’ in Bray which I relate to as a treasure trove of cycling memorabilia. A word, that late Ken did not like.
Ken Duff by Alan Rushton
I first met Ken in 1984 when Pat McQuaid and I promoted the Kellogg’s City Centre Cycling events in Dublin and Cork. He was a real shoulder to lean on during our sponsor prospecting days and became a lasting enthusiast as we located Nissan for a new version of the Tour of Ireland pro race called the Nissan Classic which was promoted for 8 years.
Ken could not have made me more welcome and we hit it off immediately. Anytime I could get into Duffs I would and the Thursday night sessions were a who’s who of those who knew their cycling and often those who had done great things on the bike.
Ken got hold of a collection of key bikes and memorabilia from Sean Kelly, Stephen Roche, Martin Early and their forerunner Shay Elliott. He set up a section of the bar and displayed the full collection of Nissan Classic posters, leaders’ jerseys, photos and lots of other items from this great period for Irish cycling
Ken had a real twinkle in his eye and a fantastic work ethic. He ran the pub brilliantly and helped create a great mix.
As I have to live and work in London I became a member of “Duff’s Exiles” and I presented a wild goose sculpture to Ken to show I had a foot in the place. It too went on display.
I met some great people in Duff’s over the years but not everything would have happened without our genial host. God Bless You Ken.
Yet, despite the loss of Ken to the cycling fraternity. I am sure he would say get on with the task of keeping the readers abreast of the upcoming events. Yet again! Yes, they have two promotions this weekend. The Beechmount Cup is on Saturday. Also slotted in for Saturday is the John Beggs Memorail which is the penultimate event in the Natioanal Road Series. But the Collins/Christle Memoriiar gets that slot.
Saturday 7pm Beechmount Cup
All categories ( no youth racing)
1 race handicap 3 laps of 13km
SUNDAY 12 NOON Leinster youth road race championships u12 u14 u16 NB Leinster cyclists only!
2pm Collins/ Christle memorial
A1 A2 A3 race 6 x 13km laps
A4 + WOMEN 4 X 13KM LAPS
THIS EVENT HONOURS 2 MEN WHO WORKED TIRELESSLY OVER THE YEARS FOR CYCLING IN IRELAND. JOE CHRISTLE ORGANISED THE IST RAS TAILTEANN IN 1953 & LEO COLLINS WAS A PROMINENT MEMBER OF THE NATIONAL CYCLING ASSOCIATION & A FOUNDING MEMBER OF NAVAN ROAD CLUB.
RACE ORGANISER IS NOEL CLARKE , WINNER OF 8 STAGES OF THE RAS TAILTEANN . WITHOUT WHOM THERE WOULD BE GAPING HOLES IN THE LEINSTER CYCLING CALENDER.
Junior Women National Road & TT Championships
Due to a clash with Ras na mBan, the Junior Women Road & TT Championships have been moved to Carlow on Saturday 26th August. This will be run in conjunction with the National Youth Championships in Carlow on the same date.
The TT will be in the morning from 9am and the Road Race will be held in the afternoon (from 2.30pm) with Junior Women riding the same courses as U16 Boys & Girls
Please see https://www.facebook.com/carlow2017/ for further info leading up to the event
A NATIONAL Road Series showdown in County Down is scheduled for this Saturday as stars Mark Dowling, Matteo Cigala, Eve McCrystal, and Katharine Smyth all line up for the penultimate round.
Last month’s round was missing many of the leading contenders, leaving the door open for others, who did not miss their opportunity. The result is a must-win race for those in contention at this Saturday’s Round 6: The John Beggs Memorial in Banbridge.
In the Men’s National Road Series clash at Lakeside Wheelers’s Mullingar GP, league leader Dowling and second-placed Cigala were absent, Cigala’s Aqua Blue Sport team mate Mark O’Callaghan capitalising to move up to third position.
Dowling has since won the Suir Valley Three Day in impressive fashion with a 32-second victory atop The Nire summit on the final stage. Cigala was third on general classification there, but had won at Mondello Park in the Bikeworx Series earlier in the week.
The young Italian leads the Cycling Ireland A1 rankings after a sensational season and will have a strong team around him in the John Beggs, with O’Callaghan, Sean Lacey, former Irish international Ronan McLaughlin, Masters National Champion Greg Swinand, and U23 Cian Sutcliffe all on the start list.
But Round 6’s hilly 132km test is set to suit Dowling better, and if he has recovered from last weekend’s efforts, the Men’s National Road Series title could be decided at the new finish on Mount Street in the town of Dromore.
In the Joe Daly Cycles Women’s National Road Series, Garda CC’s Eve McCrystal has finished no worse than second in all five rounds, holding a 60-point lead over Team Madigan CC’s Katharine Smyth, who missed the Mullingar GP after giving McCrystal her first league defeat in the Brian McNamara GP.
The 98km John Beggs will be the closest to home territory that County Antrim-based Smyth has got to in the National Road Series, and the climbs will suit the Des Hanlon third and Nenagh Classic runner-up.
With McCrystal likely to miss the final, double-points round at the (hilly) Friends First Laragh Classic next month, another strong performance from Smyth this weekend could set her up to steal the title.
Third-placed Sinnead Oakes, the winner over McCrystal last time at the Mullingar GP, is 90 points off the top spot and out of Saturday’s test through injury, but new pressure for the minor podium places comes from the bang-in-form Fiona Guihen and Scott-Orwell’s Orla Walsh.
The second-year racer returns to the National Road Series after missing two rounds due to a broken collarbone. Last year’s overall winner Claire McIlwaine also returns, having not raced on the league since being third in the Nenagh Classic. Like Smyth, McIlwaine has local knowledge and she will be joined by Phoenix CC team mate Julie Rea, herself eighth in the standings after top tens at the Nenagh Classic, and Brian McNamara and Mullingar GPs.
Sign-on opens in the Dromore Rugby Club at 10am and will close at 11.15am sharp, with the races rolling out at 11.40am for a 12noon start.
Wexford 2 Day 2017 – Race Details
Club Rothaiochta Classic Sunday 20th August.
Host Club: Club Rothaiochta Na Sionainne
Generous prize fund and Primes available on the day.
Race Entry: €15
Sign on 10:00-11:30am at GoTri Gym, Smithstown, Shannon.
Start time 12:00 noon.
Sean Kelly Tour of Waterford – ENTER NOW
Sean Kelly Tour of Waterford – ENTER NOW
Less than three weeks to go to the 2017 Sport Ireland Sean Kelly Tour of Waterford
‘Voted Cycling Ireland’s Best Leisure Event’ in 2016
The Sean Kelly Tour offers something for everyone from the 12k Kelly Spin on Saturday 19th August for families and newbies to the challenges of the three Sunday Routes on August 20th:
The 50k Kelly Cruise is a gentle tester for those who spend some time in the saddle and for those who are not regular cyclists this is a really good test. The New Route for 2017 takes you out of Dungarvan on the scenic coast road to Bunmahon, Ballylaneen and Kilmacthomas and back through rolling countryside re-entering Dungarvan with stunning views of Clonea Strand and vistas towards An Rinn.
The 100k Kelly Heritage route is designed for the touring cyclist who has possibly decided to step up the training regime from having participated in the Kelly Cruise in previous years. It is an extremely scenic route in West
Waterford. This is the fifth year that this route is part of the tour.
The 160k Kelly Comeragh Challenge is the tough, tough, part of the Tour and not for the faint hearted. The New Route for 2017 heads eastwards out of Dungarvan towards the breathtaking Waterford coastline and the heart of the Copper Coast Geopark in Bonmahon. Over 2000m of climbing await participants including; ‘The Scrouty’, near Portlaw and Curraghmore Estate. The route then ventures further into mountain territory to take on the mighty Tickincor and Powers the Pot, over the highest point of roadway in the Comeragh Mountains. It is suitable only for experienced cyclists and those who have at least, completed the 100k in previous years.
ENTER ONLINE NOW @ www.thseankellytour.com
Are you up for it? Go on – get on your bike, and get ready for the Sean Kelly!
Waterford Greenway Hosts the OldVelos Vintage Classic
Waterford Greenway Hosts the OldVelos Vintage Classic, 10th Sept 2017
The Waterford Greenway has been announced as the venue for the 3rd OldVelos Vintage Classic. The OldVelos Vintage Classic, a unique cycling event in Ireland is open to riders on vintage steeds and racing bicycles from the 1900-1980’s including High Nellies, Roadsters and steel thoroughbreds.
This year’s event, on Sunday the 10th of September, will be based at the Coach House Café and Greenway Bike Hire on the workhouse in Kilmacthomas. Leisure riders can choose between 10 & 20miles Greenway routes and for the sports riders who want to get their legs to get over some steep climbs in high gears there are more challenging Comeragh routes of 60-80 miles. All bikes must be pre 1990 in age and cyclists are encouraged to wear their vintage racing woollens or high nelly tweeds.
For spectators there will be a free vintage velo expo including racing bikes from the 1920’s-1980’s as well as a special Irish interest section. For the riders there will be a Concours d’Elegance competition for best original and restored bicycles. We might even give a prize for the best dressed rider!!
Find out more on and register for your route at www.oldvelos.com as places are limited on all four routes.