Sneem Hotel International Track Day – report added

Thanks to the Track Commission for a very well run Omnium yesterday. Luckily the rain stayed away for most of the day, and the presence of the Dutch Women’s Teams added to the excitement on the day.

Sneem Hotel International Grand Prix
Saturday saw the official opening of the resurfaced track at Eamonn Ceannt Stadium and most of those involved in this project since its inception in 1999 were present to celebrate its culmination. We were pleased to have our track opening by Dublin’s Lady Lord Mayor, Emer Costello and we had speeches from Micael Concannon who was involved at the very start of this project and the current Chairman of the Track commission, Liam Walker who ensured the ball was carried over the line. Full credit was given to all who supported this down the years with special mention to Phil Collins who got this project off the ground with the Track Commission of that time, and also to  Dublin City Council who shared our vision and ensured it became a reality. We were honoured by the presence of many of the greats of Irish Track Racing, including Gene Mangan, Eddie Dunne, and Lawrence Roche and Representatives from the many organisations who have supported us down the years including Cycling Ireland, the Olympic Council, the IVCA and the Sports Council
We were most pleased to have track riders from Cardiff Track Club supply opposition at sprint and tandem events, and two teams female riders from Holland.  We also had provincial teams from Ulster & Leinster and team from the local Sundrive Track Club among the many riders who who competed. Highlight of the day had to be seeing 22 women race track. Full praise to the Women’s Commission who have fully embraced track racing and a high proportion of their riders are experienced and proficient. They were of course up against very experienced Dutch Ladies but our riders were never far off the mark and indeed while the Dutch sought to control, our ladies sought to attack! 
The event was run as a 4 event Omnium for each of the categories of Men, Women and Tanden and we managed to get three events in all categories completed before the weather intervened. We couldn’t complain though as the weather forecast all week for the Saturday was awful, so to get the opening and most of the program completed was pretty good. The initial races in each category were close run affairs, and this was followed by ‘4 up’ sprints, with places progressing to a 2nd round of winners, 2nds etc. This part of the program saw some savage racing with early attacks in quite a few of the rounds where kilo riders tried to work over the sprinters, with some holding on and others caught right on the line. Jen O’Reilly (Ravens) was drawn with three riders from the same Dutch Team in Round 1, but controlled it from the front and attacked early and had a very impressive result. She came up against more Dutch riders in round 2 but they worked her over with good teamwork. By the looks of the men’s sprint rounds, we should have some good kilo riders for the Nationals next week!  In the tandems the Welsh pairing were faster in the flying 200 by nearly a second but in the run off the experience of Peelo & Delaney helped the take the win as they held the Welsh pairing high for the last lap as they tried to come around the long way. Dutch riders dominated the prize list in the women’s with Jen O’Reilly in third. Brendan Whelan, riding for Leinster, took the men’s event, thanks to a massive lead out by his Leinster team mates in the Kilo dash.
It should be noted that most of our top Junior riders were a way riding in the European Track Championships, while our u/age talent were braving the elements at the All Ireland Youth races at Arklow. All in all a great days racing for both riders & spectators and a fitting opening of the resurfaced track.
PHOTOS on facebook by Brendan Culleton HERE
Results (after 3 events)
1. Brendan Whelan (Leinster)
2. John Lynch (Bray) 5pts
3. Jonny Beers (Ulster) 6pts
4. Keith Meghan (Leinster) 11pts
5. Stephen Franzoni (Lakeside Wh) 18pts
6. Stephen McNally (Leinster) 20pts
1. Anneloes Stvelwinder (Holland) 6pts
2. Ilona Meiring (Holland) 7pts
3. Jenifer O’Reilly (Ravens) 13pts
4. Sanne Busman (Holland) 18pts
5. Lisanne Al (Holland) 20pts
6. Melissa Slewe (Holland) 20pts
1. David Peelo & Michael Delaney (Ireland)
2. Rhys Thomas & Rhydian Page (Cardiff)
3. Caroline Ryan & Catherine Walsh (Ireland)