Last Sunday saw Comeragh CC host the TalkTalk National B Championships, with over 150 riders descending on Waterford for what’s always one of the most keenly-contested road races on the Irish cycling calendar.
Although the race pretty much stayed together, the myriad breakaway efforts still made it a fascinating and exciting battle of wills and wheels.
The course comprised five laps of a mostly flat, but nonetheless challenging 13-mile circuit. It started and finished near the top of a 1km drag known as Daly’s Hill, Butlerstown. Two other lesser but significant drags three quarters of the way round the course – the 500m long 5-6% climb from the Tramore/Ballindud roundabout almost immediately followed by the 1km, 4-5% rise towards Six Cross Roads: both into a relatively stiff headwind – made it a route for the real hard men.
Eventually, after over two-and-a-half hours of racing Bray’s Derek Cunningham, having timed his finish to perfection, crossed the line in front of a fast-closing pack, with Comeragh CC’s Martin Cullinane the top Waterford rider in 10th place.
The host club would like to thank all those volunteers from their own ranks as well as Sportif Waterford CC, Waterford Triathlon Club, TalkTalk employees, Tony Kehoe from Barrow Wheelers, the motorbike marshals, lead car drivers, Pierce Hire, Tony O’Mahony from Dungarvan for neutral service, Conor Norris of West Waterford AC, its sign-on ladies Siobhan, Karen and Suzanne, and all those who were up early on Saturday and Sunday marking and sweeping roads and putting up signs, plus the extended Power family – Cian, Pat, Cliona and Mac – for all their support in the run-up to the championships.
Thanks also to the Order of Malta, the amateur radio club, Brian O’Keeffe Transport, Waterford City Council, and the Waterford and Tramore Gardai. In particular the organizers extend their gratitude to TalkTalk, without whom the race would not have taken place.
A non-national championship A4 race was also held in advance of the main event, with Tipperary Wheelers’ Dermot Radford taking the curtain-raiser.