Let’s look at this backwards , taking the bad bits first .
” it’s very difficult to run this event on two sides of the road as it does require some roadwork . We briefed all participants that the road part of the route was slack on time with no need to race on the black stuff or act in a manner likely to draw attention to ourselves . For the most part riders were very sensible however there were a number of riders with numbers over 70 ( that’s the sportsman class) who paid no heed riding flat out down the road and on the wrong side . The upshot was a complaint from a very annoyed resident . We do not need that sort of publicity ; appropriate action will be taken against those riders whose numbers were logged “. The words of the COC after an otherwise excellent event.
The COC ( commrt McCann) wants to thank all those who assisted , Dave Fitz, Leighton , prof. Whyte , etc etc but special thanks to Dave Crean who gave many weekends preparing the route .
Unsung heroes who work tirelessly behind the scenes . Appreciation to all those .
Back to the event , it was warm and sunny , wet underwheel with plenty of standing water . A typically fair if physical test for man and machine . Nothing easy without being too difficult . The experts love it as it provides a real challenge 42 minutes to ride check 2 required a high level of ability which was carried down to all classes . Some stayed ” clean ” ( on time ) in all classes others did not but no shame in that given the route and terrain . Championships were decided , tired bodies went home happy.
The overall result was decided not on the tests but strangely on the penultimate check where both visiting riders , having completed all tests fell foul of gear levers , Scottish farmer Euan Mc Connell lost his and then ran out of fuel and Cornish youngster Josh Gotts dislodged the mechanism on a rock jamming in a low gear . An easy fix but not in the middle of a wet check . Such is Enduro . Jordan Scott has completed a clean sweep of victories in every event he has ridden , deservedly so as he is our fastest current rider claiming spot in Tinahely . Barry Donaghy finished third behind Dave Mc Nulty but is our 2017 Experts champion . Well done to Barry following on from an excellent ISDE…
Provisionally Dave Crean cleaned and won the Senior class and with it the championship as well as the Vets championship . An old school rider who never gives up deserves the silverware despite being pushed all season by last seasons Clubman champion John McCann . With years in hand John will no doubt be at the forefront next season . Once again the Senior class was possibly the most difficult riding the same route as the experts all be it a few minutes longer at every check . They had to go a bit.
Keith Browne survived the water splashes to push to the top of the Clubman ( subject to check times) with Oisin Roe up a class having secured the title . Eddie Dolan and Sean Tobin made up the top steps. The Clubman times were also tight, they took their toll on the class but everyone is in the same position. A few minutes lost here and there can make a better event and result.
Luke Murphy continued in his winning ways in the Sportsman class but it’s likely Darryl Keery may take the years crown.
Tinahely is always a fitting end to the season, a proper challenge to be embraced as a real test. It can seem difficult for some but a small drop out rate, some through punctures, others looking for gear levers ( there were three we know of ), 3 with other mechanicals, one disqualified ( road) points to an increasing standard of rider ; good for the sport.
The bad bits mentioned earlier are unnecessary and only serve to make it more and more difficult for the Club to keep on side with the locals and foresters alike but will not detract from the event.
Season over , jobs done and well done.
Appreciation to everyone , riders , medical , timekeepers , officials and workers. 2018 only around the corner.
Big thanks to Kevin Hayes for the photos.