SPORT: CYCLING [ROAD TIME TRIAL - TEAM]
Robert Power was born 3 JUL, 1971 at Abbeyside, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford – and was educated at Abbeyside National School and Dungarvan CBS Secondary School. He was in the under 16 age group when he first took up competitive cycling and joined Cidona Carrick Wheelers, based in Carrick-on-Suir [known throughout the country as the home of cycling in Ireland]. He quickly became a national champion when he won the All-Ireland Schoolboy Cycling Championship on 30 AUG, 1987 at Mondello Park motor racing circuit, Co. Kildare and later went on to win the Irish junior title on 24 JUL, 1988 at Roundwood, Co. Wicklow and the Irish senior title on 3 JUL, 1993 [his birthday] at Castleisland, Co. Kerry. Robert Power was one of Ireland’s best amateur riders in the early 1990’s winning many races both here and overseas in England, France and as far away as New Caledonia [near Australia]. In Ireland he has won a total of 2 stages of the Rás [1991, 1993] and finished third overall in the Rás in 1993. Races he has won in Ireland include the Harry Reynolds Memorial, Dublin , Shay Elliott Memorial, Co. Wicklow , Des Hanlon Memorial, Co. Carlow [1990, 1994], Bill Hyland Memorial, Clonmel , Kiely Cup, Carrick-on-Suir , Gorey Three Day, Co. Wexford , John Hearn Memorial Three Day, Carrick-on-Suir  and Blarney Three Day, Co. Cork [1994, 1995].
In 1992, Robert Power was picked to compete in both the road time trial and the road race for Ireland at the Barcelona Olympic Games. First up, on 26 JUL, 1992 was the road time trial which was a team event over a distance of 102.8 km [63.8 miles] and Ireland finished in 17th place out of the 30 countries that took part. Each team had 4 riders and cycling for Ireland along with Robert Power were Mark Kane [Down], Kevin Kimmage [Dublin] and Paul Slane [Antrim]. The next day while out training disaster struck when Robert’s bicycle collided with a car - he sustained a broken collar bone and was ruled out of the road race. Cidona Carrick Wheelers almost had two cyclists at the Barcelona Olympics, Carrick cyclist Claire Moore [neighbour of Sean Kelly] was expecting to compete but shortly before the Olympics Conor Henry, from Co. Antrim, won the British Milk Race [Tour of Britain] and was awarded with a place on the Irish Olympic Team at the expense of Claire’s opportunity to race in the Olympics – she was told just two weeks before the Olympics she was not going.
One other past member of Cidona Carrick Wheelers has competed in the Olympic Games and that is Stephen Spratt, also from Abbeyside, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford but he had left the Carrick-on-Suir cycling club by the time he competed in the 1988 Olympic Games at Seoul. Carrick-on-Suir native and Carrick Wheelers cyclist and coach Martin O’Loughlin was manager of the Irish cycling team at the Athens Olympic Games in 2004 and has also been appointed as cycling manager for the London Olympics this year. Another Carrick-on-Suir native, Sam Bennett still has a very good chance to compete in the cycling at the 2012 London Olympic Games. Robert Power is now an accomplished photographer and has his own web site “Robert Power Photography”. He still does some cycling and his other big pastime is fishing – he even once fished internationally for Ireland. He was awarded the Cork Examiner Junior Sports Award for cycling in 1989 and at the Tipperary Sports Awards he won the cycling award for both 1990 and 1991.
Next Week: Polly Holohan, three-day eventer at Barcelona Olympics.
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