David Walsh Takes Stage Win in Rás Dún na nGall (People/Echo 9th June)

With the FBD Insurance Ras having just passed through the Irish countryside and the Wexford Team completing the grueling course in honourable fashion  is was  the turn of the Ras Dhun na nGall cycle race to take to the roads around Killybegs over the bank holiday weekend. This exciting and colorful event saw  130 of the country’s best riders take on some of Ireland’s most difficult cycling terrain. Travelling all the way from Wexford were Dave Walsh, Conchubhar O Crualaoich and John Gordon joined by Alan Galvin of neighbouring club , Slaney.  Friday evening Stage 1 opened with a 33 mile road stage taking in the Killybegs, Frosses and Dunkinelly circuit, which is generally flat but the long climb at Leagans Hill divided the large bunch of about 130 plus competitors into two major groups and at the end of the stage there was a 20 minute spreadout of the time gaps from the first rider over the line to  the last competitor. Veteran Conchubhar O Crualaoich came fifth in this stage with the same time as the stage winner.  Saturday morning’s time trial gave Dave Walsh a third placing just one second behind the winner.

Saturday afternoon the remaining 130 riders raced 55 miles around the tougher roads of Donegal taking in places like Ardara and Glenties and here the best of the 27 rider bunch was David Walsh putting Dave just two seconds behind the stage winner.  Stage 4 was a  53 miles circuit which took in the imfamous Gelgesh climb in west Donegal and the overall classification gave Dave Walsh fifth place just one minute down on the race winner  followed by Conchuchar O Crualaoich in ninth position less than half a minute adrift of his club mate and an end to an excellent week for Conchubhar who won the first race in the South East Road Club’s Summer League.

Meanwhile the touring section had the challenge of the Blackstairs 150K which took a route from New Ross to Bagenalstown, over Mt. Leinster and back to New Ross via Thomastown – all good preparation for the famous Wicklow 200k next weekend – which will be little trouble to club member Bobby Newport who completed a 400k audax (long distance cycle) on Saturday last  as a necessary pre-condition for entry to the famous Paris- Brest- Paris 1200k cycle which takes place in August next year.