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O’Loughlin leaps up rankings

Sport
Mayo’s David O’Loughlin clinched qualification
ON TRACK Mayo’s David O’Loughlin clinched qualification for this year’s World Track Championships in LA last weekend.

O’Loughlin leaps up world rankings

MARTIN AYRES

DAVID O’Loughlin clinched qualification for this year’s World Track Championships when he placed fifth in the pursuit event at last weekend World Cup meeting in Los Angeles.
The Cong professional, who has switched to track racing this winter, was riding only his second World Cup event. Competing in a field of 20, he clocked a time of 4:31.84 for four kilometres, narrowly missing out on a semi-final place by 0.44 seconds.
O’Loughlin’s reward for travelling half-way round the world for four minutes of racing was to collect more precious qualifying points for the World Championships which take place in Majorca in late March.
Later in the meeting he demonstrated his prowess in a bunched race when he placed sixth in the final of the points race.
O’Loughlin’s next major target is round three of the  World Cup in Manchester from February 23–25.
O’Loughlin surprised the cycling world when he smashed the Irish pursuit record last autumn. Since then he has continued to improve and could make history as the first Mayo cyclist to earn selection for the Olympic Games next year.

Covey Wheelers AGM
COVEY WHEELERS Cycling Club reviewed a successful 2006 season at their annual general meeting held recently at the Westport Plaza Hotel. The highlight was Sean Carolan’s selection on the Irish U-16 team to race in Belgium in July and on the Irish Development Squad to contest the Kerry Youth Tour in August.
Sean performed well in both events, and also took two silver medals at the All-Ireland Championships in August. Locally, he excelled in the Connacht Three-day, winning in the road race stage and finishing first overall.
Damien Gavin was successful in the Conor Combs Memorial in Meath with a good win in the junior section. He won the Markievicz Cup in Sligo, and holds all three Connacht Championship titles at junior level - the road race, time trial, and hill-climb. Damien triumphed in the junior section of the Connacht Time trial League, and took the Mayo League just ahead of Covey clubmate Keith Rowley.
Francis Sheridan dominated the Connacht U-12 titles, winning the road race, time trial and hill-climb. He also won his section in the Mayo Road Race and Time Trial Leagues.
Sean O’Malley won the Connacht U-14 Road Race Championship, with Dara Reidy taking the bronze. Dara also finished third in the Mayo Road Race League, and Time Trial Leagues.
It was a good year for Covey Wheelers’ senior cyclists who have improved over the last few seasons and set a great example to the club’s youth.
In the Connacht Championship Road Race, Michael Brady had a good second place in the vets section and was third in the Connacht Road Race League, while Noel Brady was winner of the Time Trial Championship. The Brady brothers were also to the fore in the Mayo League, Michael taking first place and Noel third.
The Connacht Three-day saw Danny Maloney take second position, while Colm Staunton was another senior to compete with some success last season.
Covey Wheelers invites new members to join them and experience the fun of cycling. Whether your interest is road cycling, off-road or mountain biking, the club has something to suit all.
Boys and girls start at 10 years with short road spins and steadily build up.
Spins are held on Saturday mornings at 10.30, starting from the phone kiosks on the Quay Road, up from the Leenane Road. All ages are welcome, including parents. If you would like to represent Ireland in the future, now is the time to start.
The club has many people to thank for its success, and without sponsors member would not be able to travel to races around the country.
Thanks to: The Mayo News, C&C Cellular, McCarthy’s Pub, Tim Hastings Ltd, Atlantic Coast Holiday Homes, Castlecourt Hotel, Corduff Travel, Supervalu, Westport, Popular Linens Ltd, McGreevy’s Newsagency and Food Store; Tyres R Us, Atlantic Coast Hotel. Also thanks to Peter Mullen, Garry Kennedy, Sean Corcoran and John O’Malley.

Lakes’ membership night
WESTERN Lakes CC is holding a membership night at the Cycling Centre, Kilmaine Road, Ballinrobe on Friday, January 26 from 6-8pm. Beginners of all ages are welcome to come along and see what the club has to offer. For further details see the Ballinrobe news on page 6 of the Local Notes section.

Mountain Bike League
THE first round of the 2007 Connacht Mountain Bike League will take place on Sunday, January 28 in Ross Wood, Killanan, Co Galway (between Moycullen and Oughterard). This is an open event, S1, S2, S3, J,V,L. novice, and underage is for all age groups both boys and girls.
There is a special skills section and fun cycle for beginners. Sign on from 11am, first race at 12pm. For more info’ call Martin on 087 2226260.

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