It doesn’t seem as if a year has already passed since the beginning of the 2016 track league, but somehow it has, and here I was back again, welcoming the start of another year of league racing on the hallowed Sundrive outdoor track, for 2017.
This year the league sees a few changes to improve, enhance and streamline proceedings. All riders are now required to sport their allocated Cycling Ireland numbers, to make it easier for the officials to identify each rider throughout the duration of both Summer and Autumn leagues.
Gone are the pay as you go fees per race and in its’ place is a standard fee of €25 per league for seniors and €10 for underage, which will hopefully make life easier at sign on.
There are now five categories, ranging from the underage D group up to the A group for senior seasoned racers.
The categories are A(Elite) B (Experienced riders) C1 (Novice/Newcomers) C2 (Women and riders of similar ability) and D for all underage riders.
Each night there will be four events for all categories with points(5,3,2&1) being allocated for the top four riders in each race category. The emphasis in the races has also changed to favour slightly longer races.
The opening evening of the 2017 league started out bright and sunny with a slight chill and saw a fine turnout of over fifty riders with a mix of familiar and new faces, coupled with lots of catching up to do from the riders emerging from their track racing hibernation.
The night’s racing kicked off with a handicapped race for the D riders, which saw a one, two for the young Scott-Orwell riders, Peter Walsh and Ronan O’ Connor, with Callum Byrne and Aaron Traynor filling the remaining placings.
Next up it was an eight lap Scratch race for the As, which was hotly contested, with the evergreen Aidan Reade (A.K.A ‘Mr. Pink’) crossing the line first, followed by Sean Curtis (Sundrive), Sam Gilmore and Andre Grenell,(Arcane).
In the B race it was the rising Sundrive star, Billy Crosbie who set out his intentions for the season ahead, with a fine win, ahead of his team mates Gerry Dollard and Thomas Kabs with Oisín O’ Brannagáin sealing the final placing.
In the C1, novice race, it was a very strong showing from Robert Deegan of Arcane, who set down a marker of his intentions in his debut season, next over the line was Francis Halsall, Thomas Pickford and Colin Bell.
In the C2 category it was Sundrive’s Deborah Madden who clinched the 5 points ahead of Andrew Ryan of Orwell followed by Sophie Loscher and Bray’s Deirbhle Ivory(T.C. Racing), mopping up the last point, in fourth position.
Next up was a 9 lap win and out race for all riders.
A. Fionn Sheridan who looks to be in fighting form this season was first to bag the five points on offer , followed by Andre Grenell, Sean Curtis and Conor Murnane who is now riding in the colours of UCD.
B. This race was almost a carbon copy of the previous race as it saw Billy Crosbie, Gerry Dollard and Thomas Kabs placing in the same order as race one with another O’ Brannagáin brother, this time it was the turn of Ciarán to claim his first point.
C1. Robert Deegan was first over the line again with Francis Halsall second, David Maher of Scott- Orwell third and Kyle Crotty(Arcane) fourth.
The C2 race was won by Sofie Loscher, with Deborah Madden next, closely followed by Arcane’s Róisín Kennedy, who opened up her points’ account rounding off the podium was Andrew Ryan getting himself on the scoreboard again.
The rest of the nights’ racing saw some fine performances for our new riders and experienced riders in all races, with a special cheer being reserved for Callum Byrne, who fought with great gusto, to claim a well deserved win in race 3, to secure five well earned points.
Billy Crosbie was the most consistent rider of the night picking up four wins from four and the maximum points on offer on the night followed closely by Robert Deegan of Arcane with three strong wins from four.
It was a fantastic kick start to the track racing season with a promise of an exciting track season ahead.
Bring on week 2.
Thanks again to the Track commission and everyone behind the scenes for their time, skills and dedication to the track scene in Ireland.
Provisional results from Week 1.
Scratch Win & Out Kilo Dash (Hare and Hound)(Combined)
A . Aidan Reade 5 Fionn Sheridan 5 Aaron Wade 5 Billy Crosbie 20
Sean Curtis 3 Andre Grenell 4 Aidan Reade 8 Gerry Dollard 9
Sam Gilmore 2 Sean Curtis 5 Fionn Sheridan 7 Ciarán O’ Brannagáin 3
Andre Grenell 1 Conor Murnane 1 Andre Grenell 5 Thomas Kabs 7
B. Billy Crosbie 5 Billy Crosbie 10 Billy Crosbie 15 Hare & Hound (above)
Gerry Dollard 3 Gerry Dollard 6 David Mullin 3
Thomas Kabs 2 Thomas Kabs 4 Daniel Mc Elroy 2
Oisín O’ Brannagáin 1 Ciarán O’ Brannagáin 1 Eddie Lynch 1
C1.Robert Deegan 5 Robert Deegan 10 Robert Deegan 15
Francis Halsall 3 Francis Halsall 6 Oisín O’ Brannagáin 4
Thomas Pickford 2 David Maher 2 Mark Stewart 1
Colin Bell 1 Kyle Crotty 1 Aidan Ryan 1
C2. Deborah Madden 5 Sofie Loscher 5 Gill Haverty 5 Deborah Madden 15
Andrew Ryan 3 Deborah Madden 8 Sofie Loscher 10 Sofie Loscher 13
Sofie Loscher 2 Róisín Kennedy 2 Deborah Madden 10 Róisín Kennedy 4
Deirbhle Ivory 1 Andrew Ryan 4 Gráinne Hanley 1 Andrew Ryan 5
D. Peter Walsh 5 Ronan O’ Connor 8 Callum Byrne 8 Peter Walsh 16
Ronan O Connor 3 Peter Walsh 8 Peter Walsh 11 Ronan O’ Connor 13
Callum Byrne 2 Aaron Traynor 3 Ronan O’ Connor 10 Callum Byrne 10
Aaron Traynor 1 Callum Byrne 3 Aaron Traynor 4 Aaron Traynor 5
- **Extra Kilo Race** (C category)
1.Thomas Pickford 7
2.Bryan Coonan 3
3. Alan Galbraith 2
4. Kyle Crotty 2