To date, we have had three teams on International Duty, with some excellent results received.
A team of six riders competed in the Tour of Langkawi in Malaysia in February. While overall the results obtained were not good, there was however some encouraging signs. Of particular note were the stage placings of Michael Fitzgerald with a 6th in one stage and a 9th on another. While these might not seem very significant, they must be looked at in terms of the quality of the riders he was competing against, with some of the top professional sprinters in the World like Tafi (Mapei), Capiot (T.V.M.), Rodriguez (Mapei). Michael's performances in this class field were excellent.
Team in Langkawi, Michael Fitzgerald, Eugene Moriarty, Paul Griffin, Aidan Duff, Dermot Finnegan & Michael McNena.
The next team to travel out of the country was to the Tour of Rhodes in Greece. The most part of the team was made up of Under 23 riders and consisted of David McQuaid, David O'Loughlin, Stephen Gallagher, Kieran MacMahon, Ciaran Power, Raymond Clarke. This was an excellent venture for the riders involved as they were able to spend five days together preparing in Rhodes prior to the race at the expense of the event organisers. In the race itself, excellent results were obtained with Ray Clarke winning Stage 3 and Ciaran Power finishing 6th overall. All the other riders competed very well and will have benefited from the experience. The only downside was Kieron MacMahon getting sick and having to abandon on the second day.
The third team to travel went to the Tour of Egypt and consisted of Ciaran Power, Michael McNena, Michael Fitzgerald, Paul Griffin, Eugene Moriarty and Aidan Duff. While things did not get off to a good start, when Aidan Duff was forced to abandon on the second day with food poisoning, the rest of the event proved very fruitful.
With teams from Germany, Yugoslavia, Ukraine, Denmark, Belarusse, as well as what turned out to be three very strong home teams, the quality of this event was very high.
On the first stage, an 8km Prologue, Ciaran Power was best of the Irish in 10th place 24 seconds behind the winner. Then on the first road stage, Michael Fitzgerald showed his sprinting ability in winning the bunch sprint for 4th place just behind three breakaways.
The second road stage brought about an even better result with Power finishing 2nd on the stage with Paul Griffin 6th, and Moriraty and McNena both joint 7th. Fitzgerald lost some time as he had waited to try and asssst Duff, who was forced to abandon.
The best was yet to come in that on the last road stage, Ciaran Power pulled off a great win and at that stage was in 6th place overall.
The final stage was a 50km Team Time Trial and with our team reduced in numbers (Michael Fitzgeradl was now feeling sick), Ciaran dropped back to finish 11th overall.
While it was hoped that the International teams can continue to build on this very encouraging start of the season, it is now very uncertain as to what kind of program the N.T.D. can put together for the rest of the year.
This situation is brought about by the recent news received from the Irish Sports Council that our budget for International teams (and this includes all disclipines) has been cut by 50% on last years allocation.
The Board will be meeting with the Irish Sports Council to discuss this and other matters with them in the hope that their decision can be reversed.
The Board at it's meeting on the 13th March, looked at the situation regarding the large number of 2nd Category licences, as against the small number of 1st Category licences.
As is permissable under the rules of the Federation, it was decided to change Article 2 Grading No. 7c to read: "Second Category riders must obtain 15 points to upgrade to 1st Category".
As it is required that members receive 28 days of notification of such changes, this change will not take effect until 1st May 1999. In the meantime, riders reaching 25 points are upgraded to 1st Category.
Because of a possible error in our computer program some riders who were upgraded in 1998 may have received 2nd Category licences for 1999. We are at present checking on this and if it has happened, these riders will be upgraded immediately.
Any rider who has received a 2nd Category licence for 1999 and wishes to upgrade can do so by making an application to the Grading Officer in their Province, who will in turn pass on his recommendation to the Sporting Commitee for approval. The grading officers for each Province are :
|Ulster||- Gerry Beggs|
|Munster||- Sean O'Callaghan|
|Leinster||- Sean Bracken|
|Connaught||- Brian O'Loughlin|
In the last newsletter, we advised you that one day licence fees will only be available until 30th April (excluding Non-Racing). The fees for one day licences were increased at Congress. They are:
The Chairman of Coaching, Paddy Doran, has set up a library which Michael Reade from Kildare will be in charge of. It was set up initially to support Coaches.
Anyone who wishes to avail of this service can contact Michael on 045-521457
A series of races is being organised to try to develop a suitable programme for women as the current system (or lack of) is not very encouraging to women who wish to compete. The ultimate success of this venture will depend on how well the events are supported, so tell your cycling friends. The races will generally be handicapped, so everyone can race at their own level.
|Sunday 11th April||Bohermeen|
|Sunday, 9th May||Bohermeen|
The Federation has some equipment which has been used by the National Team over rhe past two years, which because of new sponsorship we are now in a position to sell.
The equipment available is as follows:
We also have 9 sets of Spinergy Wheels as follows:
Should anyone wish to view this equipment prior to purchase, arrangements can be made by contacting the I.C.F. office in advance.
Olympic Qualification MTB riders on target
Some of our elite riders have been travelling around the globe to gain UCI points in this, the final season for Olympic Qualification. At great expense to themselves, Robin Seymour, Richard McCauley and Philip McNamara have already travelled to Cyprus, Belgium and California. And our top female mountainbiker Tarja Owens accompanied them to the events in Cyprus and the US.
Already they have got some excellent results, and reaped plenty of valuable UCI points. In a 2 day MTB stage race in Cyprus they finished: McCauley - 4th (47 points), Seymour - 5th (42 points), McNamara - ? (30 points) and Owens 4th (47 points).
Following on form that, Seymour had another excellent result in Belgiums "Coupe de Belgi" where he finished 5th and gained 23 points. Seymour was again in the points in the UCI World Cup round in Napa Valley, California, where he finished 62nd (14 points). This result is even more impressive as he had to repair a puncture, losing about three minutes.
1999 Events Schedule
During April and May, the UCI World Cups are coming to Europe. These riders will be travelling to the rounds in Spain, Germany and the UK. They will also compete in the British NP Series events which will have UCI points for the top 20. Funding becoming available it is hoped the ICF will be able to fund teams for the European Championships which are in Portugal in August, and the Worlds which are in Sweden this year.
|1.||M. Martinez||1129 points|
|90.||R. Seymour||212 points|
|213.||R. McCauley||65 points|
|233.||C. Brady||57 points|
|260.||J. McCall||50 points|
|267.||P. McNamara||48 points|
|393.||A. Martin||24 points|
|473.||K. Daly||16 points|
© Text and Images - ICF, 1999
HTML - Barry Murphy, 1999.