On Sunday morning 24 intrepid riders met up in Emyvale for the group spin and split into two safe and manageable groups. They
set off just after 9am for Glaslough, Silverstream, into the wind to Castleshane, Clontibret, Blaney, then turned for Ballybay and on
to Newbliss for a well-earned coffee stop. After the break it was straight up the sharp Newbliss climb with the wind towards Three
Mile House and home via Monaghan. While the weather was initially sunny and calm there were a few rain and hail showers to
keep thing interesting.
Racing season kicked off last weekend with events all around the country. On Saturday Shay Mallon and James McKenna raced in
the A4 group in the Annaclone GP in what proved to be a dry day with tricky crosswinds. James pushed ahead in a couple of
breaks, but the lead groups couldn’t make the gaps stick. Both Shay and James stayed with the bunch until near the end, but in
the final few hundred metres of a draggy finish the group blew apart. Our own Tommy McCague made his contribution acting as
commissaire in Annaclone too.
On Sunday, John Paul Colton competed in the A4 race in the George Rooney Phoenix GP at Nutts Corner. It was a tough race with
many riders looking to make their mark and score some points in the early season. JP held his own and stayed at the sharp end of
the action throughout the race, but finally on what proved to be another testy uphill finish the winners edged ahead and over the
line with JP crossing the line in the bunch.
Emyvale cyclists will be racing in the Newry Wheeler's John Haldane Memorial on Sunday, based round Hilltown in the Mournes .
Report next week .