One a day when the sky was blue it was fitting that a team called Aqua Blue should take the laurels at this year’s Visit Nenagh.ie Classic.
The race had been bedevilled with bad weather in its first two years, but it was third time lucky last Sunday as over 350 of the country’s top riders lined up in sunshine to take on the challenge of racing around Nenagh and the hills of North Tipperary.
Last year’s second placed Damien Shaw of Team Aqua Blue took the honours over the 154km course, with one of Ireland’s top riders, Sean Lacey, second, and Dylan Foley third. The A3 race was won by Eddie Dunbar of the Irish Junior Development Squad, with Simon Duggan of Aqua Blue winning the A4 race. Best of the local riders was Dan Hogan of North Tipperary Wheelers, who came fifth in the A4 race.
This year’s event also featured a ladies race for the first time, with Mel Spaith of Leinster claiming the inaugural title.
The most popular part of the day is always the family cycle, with Nenagh Ormond Brass Band leading out over 200 men, women and children on the 8km route around the town’s cycle path.
This year also saw the organisers bring the market stalls on to Pearse Street, adding to the atmosphere, with Joachim’s bratwurst stall doing a brisk trade in traditional German sausages. While the riders were on the cicruit, the several hundred people who stayed to see the racing were entertained by Martin Langton as Mrs Brown, Robbie Glennon from the Nenagh Players, and, on stage, the McLoon dancers and a trad group got the crowd going.
Deputy Mayor Hughie McGrath paid tribute to the organising committee, especially Cllr Virginia O’Dowd, who has been involved in the event since its beginning.