The recent snow may have wreaked havoc on the start of the Irish cycling season but that didn’t stop riders from making their mark early in the 2018 road racing season.

Due to the uncharacteristically heavy snow that brought the country to a standstill this March, only two of four weekends of scheduled racing occurred. The riders of the road cycling team didn’t let this impact their early season race plans as they enjoyed success in the Boyne GP.

This important race, promoted by Drogheda Wheelers, is an indicator for how successful riders winter training has been and has been won by UCD riders on numerous occasions in the past decade. The presence of riders on the podium continued this year with Conor McKenna taking 2nd place in the A2 race and Antoine Le Corre taking 2nd place in the A3 race.

McKenna attacked early in the race with two other riders however, a three man breakaway would not have been strong enough to hold off the main field for the remaining 70km of the race. Luckily for McKenna they were joined shortly afterwards by two additional riders and the now five breakaway group worked together to hold the main field at bay.

“With one kilometre to go we had reduced the group to three. Dave Wherity from Stamullen CC jumped on the last drag, I hesitated for a split second and it was too late, he was too strong and had enough in the tank to take it to the line. Disappointed not to get the win but happy enough with 2nd on my first weekend back racing”, said McKenna.

Racing in Ireland for the first time, Antoine Le Corre adapted well to the tactics of Irish racing taking 2nd place in A3 race, following a sprint finish. Expect to see more of Antoine on the podium this season. riders are also enjoying success overseas. Simon Jones, a seasoned campaigner for UCD, is currently in Colorado preparing for his return to Irish racing this May. The third year physics student is on a year’s exchange in the University of Colorado and is taking advantage of the opportunity to train at altitude.

Racing in the Rocky Mountain Collegiate Series, Jones has enjoyed success in a number of races. Jones took 3rd in the opening weekend’s criterium race, followed two weeks later by a win in the 75km St. Patrick’s Day road race. He followed up that weekend with a 2nd place in the next day’s criterium.

Brendan Kilbride – Sports Writer
Photo Credit: @ucd_cycling