Dundalks Cyclists descended upon The Spirit Store on Friday last for their annual Awards Night. Deirdre Armstrong and Veronica Leiva had the function room decked out to add to the festive atmosphere and also had jerseys on display representing the different elements of the club. New chairman Sé Weston gave an opening address and highlighted the work done by his predecessor Pat O`Shaughnessy who presided over the club during a period of unprecedented growth. A minute silences was held in remembrance of Gerry McCabe and his nephew Robert McCabe collected his Louth Medals.
While the awards for the vaious club competitions are presented on the night, the more eagerly anticipated awards are those voted upon by the various committees within the club. First up was male cyclist of the year awarded to Alan Bingham who took a silver medal in the National Road Race Championships as well as winning the FPM Summer Cycling League outright. Long time stalwart of the road, mountain and cyclo cross scene Anne Duffy was voted as the female cyclist of the year. Brendan Foley managed to win the Mountain Bike League, while being a very active member of the committee and was recognised as such with the Off Road Cyclist of the Year. Dundalk's premier Argentinian Veronica Leiva was voted as the Leisure Cyclist of the Year. the Leisure group is the biggest section within the club and Veronica has been active throughout the year at training rides and sportives nationwide.
The most improved female rider was Sandra McKeever Rogers, a relative newcomer to the sport, whom has excelled with the leisure group. Male cyclist iof the year was underage rider Conor McKeown, who continued on his steady upwards trajectory with some impressive performances, especially in the league competing alongside senior riders. The Cuchulainn Spirit Award went to Liam Dolan, who crashed heavily the week before The Rás, breaking 2 teeth, receiving 20 stitches to his face and undergoing cosmetic surgery on his lip and went on to successfully compete in the race. The Volunteer of the Year Award went to the league committee, under their tutelage the league has become a sleek professional event from event information, marshaling, right through to the speed at which results are published.
Ardee Cycling Club had a successful night, winning both the men's and women's Lotuh Hill Climb with Tómas McCabe and Johanna Rogan respectively. Claire Ludlow also of Ardee took an impressive victory in the Louth Road Race. Cuchulainn claimed Louth Champions in the Time Trial courtesy of Celine McPhilips, and in the mountain bike with Anne Duffy and Ray O`Shaughnessy.
The Bike Station Summer Cycling league saw the overall crown go to Alan Bingham, with Dunleer's Andrew McAfee of White River Wheelers take Race 2 and Cuchulainn's Rosena Lynch take Race 1. Alan received the Paddy Neary Memorial Trophy from his widow Mrs Betty Neary. Winners of Groups 1 through 6 were Jason Boyle, Rosemarry Gibson, Barry Meehan, Peter O’Donoghue, Brian Gorgan and Martin Colgan. The impressive Cuchulainn MTB XC Trophy for the off road league went to Brendan Foley, ahead of Jason Malone and Kristaps Pumpurs.
The next event for the club will be the traditional New Year's Eve Carrick Cycles Time Trial, where Eve McCrystal and Niall Clarke will be looking to defend their titles from 2015.