Batterstown man Timmy O'Regan continued his remarkable run of form in 2012 when he took the Brendan Campbell Cup following at Donore on Sunday.
While 3,300 riders were taking part in the Meath Heritage Cycle from Trim the more serious competitors headed to Donore where O'Regan, who has enjoyed success in Bohermeen and Robinstown and at the Tour of Ulster where he won a stage ahead of Tour de France stage winner Malcolm Elliott, proved too strong for the big field of over 200 competitors.
The flag was dropped for the start of the Coca Cola International Services-sponsored Brendan Campbell Cup senior race at 2.0 where 98 riders faced the starter for the 90km race with the Senior 3 and Junior riders getting a head start of three minutes on the S1 and S2 riders.
This proved to be very good handicapping, as it took until the halfway mark before the field came together.
Going out on the final lap a leading group of 12 riders went clear to open up a lead of nine seconds over the main peloton.
Coming down the home straight to the finish line O'Regan, from the all-conquering DID Dunboyne club, broke from the pack and had six seconds to spare over Con Collins from UCD club in second spot, who edged out former winner Conor Murphy from the Eurocycles club. John Lynch from Murphy Surveys CC in Kilcullen claimed fourth place.
After receiving the Brendan Campbell Cup, O'Regan thanked the Drogheda Wheelers club for putting on the race and said a special thanks to Tony McKeon from Coca-Cola for sponsoring this race, once again.
He also said that it was his third win of the season and could well be his last one for this season here, as he is going to France to race for the next month or so.
In the final sprint to the line some of the Senior 3 and Junior (u-18) riders received the loudest cheer of the day with Ciaran Campbell from the promoting Drogheda Wheelers club emerging victorious in the Junior category. Aidan Wall from Navan Road Club came home in second place and Danny Bruton from DID Dunboyne in third.
The Ladies race was won by Sara Ortiz from the Black Rose Racing Club, Galway. Eve McCrystal from the Garda club was second and Amy Bryce from the Phoenix club in Belfast, third, Navan's Fiona Guiheen finished a close eighth and continues her training for this month's European Championships.
The action got underway at 11.45 with the u-12 race over one lap of a 6.4km local circuit. Approaching the last 200 meters, it looked like it was going to be a one-two for the Stamullen M Donnelly club, but Will Ryan (Bray Wheelers) snatched victory from Stamullen's Luke Coll with his teammate Emmett Gorman a very close third. Liam Hanley from the Navan Road Club finished fourth with Nikki Murtagh also from the Navan club picking up the prize for first girl.
The next race off was the A4's and these riders competed over eight laps of the circuit.
Balbriggan's Mark Russell-Hill was a surprise winner taking a clear victory finishing 10 seconds ahead of a chasing pack which was lead home by Ediberto Isidro from the DID Dunboyne club.
In the u-16 race Darragh Long (Orwell), who was racing over very familiar ground, as he supports the weekly Mark Mullen Memorial League over this same course, scooped a most deserving win. The u-14 race was won by Jake Gray from East Tyrone with the best placed local Sean O'Connell from Stamullen M Donnelly Road Club. At the penultimate leg of the Mark Mullen Memorial League, Long soloed to victory. He was followed home by Conor Doyle from McNally Swords with Martin Higgins and Ray Coogan, both members of the Stamullen club, filling third and fourth places respectively.
In the under-age race, Michael Rock (McNally Swords) proved strongest with Sean O'Connell, Luke Coll and Emmett Gorman filling second, third and fourth places respectively, Liam Hanley (Navan Road Club) finished fifth with Drogheda's Gearoid Campbell sixth.
Navan Road Club family members who took part in the An Post Meath Heritage Cycle included James and Adrian Finegan, Jack and Dessie Caldwell, Sean and John Nolan, Grainne and Willie Hanley, Fintan and Conor Bartley.
PJ Nolan of Navan Road Club has been making his mark at the Olympics in London commentating on the cycling events for RTÉ.
Club membership continues to rise as the numbers road racing and cycling for recreation increase. Mountnugent GP run organised by Navan Road Club will take place on Saturday, 7.30, from Mountnugent, contact Noel Clarke at (087) 2727801.
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