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National Road Series Round 4 - Brian McNamara Memorial Tuam

National Road Series Round 4 - Brian McNamara Memorial Tuam

NEWCASTLE WEST CC’S Paul Kennedy is among the top riders aiming to use the Cycling Ireland National Road Series’s first trip west this Sunday to get on the 2017 leaderboard.

After a spring in Leinster, the men’s league heads to Connacht for Round 4 at Tuam CC’s 126km Brian McNamara Memorial Race, backed by Burkesbus.com and Greenpark Nursing Home.

Kennedy, flying high in the A1 rider rankings after inspired riding at the Kerry Group Ras Mumhan and 24th in the An Post Ras County Rider Classification, finished 30th in last year’s National Road Series, with points scored at Ras Luimini, Wicklow’s Shay Elliott, Kerry’s Killorglin CC GP, and the Brian McNamara Memorial.

He will again line up in the race, and those from Leinster and the North who have thus far dominated the standings, can expect more of his ilk to follow, the likes of Burren CC’s Mark Shannon and Jarlath Hassett having already taken big scalps at the An Caislean Nua Classic and Darach McCarthy & Co Solicitors Road Race this season.

Regardless, this being the first National Road Series round after the An Post Ras, racing is expected to be fast and explosive as the competition reaches the halfway point.

Sign on opens at 8.30am at Coral Leisure Centre in Tuam, with the Men’s and Women’s National Road Series Races rolling out from there at 10.15am to start at 10.30am.

Both elite races will be run on the same 28km circuit, the men’s event racing four laps and 126km, and the women’s racing 2 laps and 69km.

In the women’s race, Garda CC’s Eve McCrystal will be looking to maintain her unbeaten record in the series this year, Team Madigan CC’s Katharine Smyth her nearest rival and Phoenix CC’s Claire McIlwaine dangerous if on form.

Missing from the line up will be Scott-Orwell’s improver Orla Walsh, who injured her collarbone on the track last week. Racing for just her second season, Walsh had made her way up to third behind McCrystal and Smyth, trailing Smyth by just 15 points.

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