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Fear Of Failure Drives Centra Sponsored Cycling Team For An Post Rás.
By Padraig Marrey
May 9, 2014, 20:32

The Mayo Centra Jersey
Mayo Centra team will be the only Connacht Team been represented in the 2014 An Post Ras.


The Glengarrif controversy on 22th May 2013, was to change Irish Cycling forever, after 28 amateur’s riders was eliminated from Stage 4 of Irelands biggest International cycle race after falling outside the time limit for the stage.

The commissaire of the 8 day UCI 2.2 event was perfectly within his rights and rigorously enforced rules 2.6.032 and reduce the once 182 rider field to just 143,

with 15 Connacht riders heading home early. That 160km stage over the Macgillycuddy's Reeks, Listowel to Glengariff, was completed at an average speed of 46kph by Synergy Bakuy professional rider, Pozdnyakov, meaning all riders needed to complete the stage at over 40kph. With 8 categorized climbs including the famous Ladies View, Molls Gap and the Healy's Pass.


The list of Connacht riders committing to the 2014 event were few and far between, with Cycling Ireland bringing in stricter qualification rules.  The once amateur race has seen more professional teams enter over the last 5 years, and it’s only a few years away from being a fully professional event.


The premier cycling event, will be racing thru Ireland from May 18 - 25 with Galway and Mayo joining forces to enter a 5 rider and 3 support crew team.


Padraig Marrey (41) brings a wealth of experience, two and a half decades of racing experience and competing in all types of endurance races. His 12th Rás, most

amount for any Connacht rider. Goal to win a county rider prize.


Annaghdown man, Derek Joyce (41) returned to the sport 5 years ago and has two National medals for his troubles. Goal is just to get through the race.


Oranmore man Sean McInerney (33) is back racing now for the last3 years after

a decade away from the sport. The Rás was always the one race he wanted to

complete and is only weeks away from taking his place on the start line.


Paddy Clarke (26) joins from the Ballina side of Connacht. Paddy spent 3 years

racing in Belgium. In recent years he has become one of the stronger national riders, finishing an impressive 9th in the 2013 Elite National Championships, and

recently taking the yellow jersey in the famous Rás Mumhan race. His goals for

the Rás are to win the County Rider prize overall, achieve a number of top 15's

on stages and if possible a top 5 on a stage. All realistic goals given his current form.


Paul Brady, (28) completes the lineup. A graduate of Sligo I.T,Paul won

numerous youth championships (u16) was on various Irish Junior teams in 2003,

won the National U23 TT champs, stopped cycling after a bad crash but back

again the past few years where he now resides in the UK, aim is to complete his

first Ras and have a crack at the A2 competition.


Pat Coyne (Shannonside) managers the team, with Felix Jackson (Donegal)

mechanic. The same hands who cared for Brian O'Driscoll and Paul O’Connell this

year will also be on hand for the team. Robbie Fox, one of the Irish Rugby team’s

backroom staff, joins the team in a masseur role.


The team has trained as professionally as possible for an amateur outfit, each

covering over 10,000km of training since November and taking on the bigger Irish

domestic races, Des Hanlon, Nenagh Classic, as well as the recent 4 day Rás

Mumhan. All riders made good accounts of themselves, and are motivated for the

coming eight days of blood, sweat and tears.


The team is delighted to have Centra as the main sponsor, who will again don the

blue and yellow colors of the Centra Supermarket chain. Gary Higgins and Paul

Keenan with Centra shops in Enniscrone, Kilkelly and Labane Co Galway are huge

supporters of cycling and are delighted to support Connacht riders bid in this

prestigious Irish event.


The Carlton Hotel Group are sponsoring accommodation for a number of stages

as well as Doolin Cottages  for the Lisdonnava stage.


Champion Systems UK will sponsor the race cycle clothing, Insigina Plus will supply

leisure wear for the 8 person squad.Marrey Bikes Ballinrobe will again provide

the much needed Sports Nutrition and equipment to the team.


L To R Sean McInerney,Padraig Marrey,Derek Joyce & Patrick Clarke


Follow the team’s progress at http://www.facebook.com/TheroadtotheRAS


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Last Updated: Jan 27th, 2022 - 06:14:09

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