Para National Series Underway with John Shanahan Memorial

ByEmma Porter |

The seven-part Para-cycling National Series got underway on Saturday, March 9th, in Co. Cork with the John Shanahan Memorial, hosted by Midleton CTC.

This was the fourth edition of Midleton Cycling and Triathlon Club’s memorial 2-rider TTT, which for the first time hosted the Para-cycling National Series, attracting new riders and old stalwarts alike.

The race offered four categories – scratch, time-bonus, para-cyclists and short course. Scratch and time bonus were on a 28km course, paras on 20.5km and the short course 10km. Not one of these segments are flat, fast or with the wind.

Molly Marshall undertook the 10km challenge on her beautiful Bradley Wiggins / Geoff Booker Trike. Whatever about the physical effort, everyone spoke about Molly’s determination and recognised her as rightful junior woman.

The para-cycling league course was ridden by solo, handbike and tandem cyclists. Inaugural leaders of the 2024 league, Cormac O’Callaghan, Declan Slevin and Billy Shanahan with pilot Noel O’Doherty made light work of the course on a heavy day.

Heavy too, were the rather impressive medals that para-cycling commissaire, Denis Toomey, hung around the necks of Ivan Naluswa and Heather Jameson, who finished second and third in the solo, and Ray Murnane and Seamus Wall, who completed the handcyclists podium. Billy Shanahan faced no rival other than mother nature, but it’s Billy’s nature to defy the odds, and his tandem’s nature to defy gravity.

Cycling Ireland High-Performance Para-cycling Development Coach, Marcin Mizgajski attended the event, saying the “First round of the Para-cycling National Series in Midelton was our first chance to meet this year. The race itself was very challenging for the riders as they had to face the fairly hilly side of the country.

“We had eight competitors, and we are aiming to double that by the summer. Big shout to Molly Marshall, they youngest competitor. Molly was on the tricycle, and she is an inspiration to any young kids in the country with any disabilities to reach out to us and start cycling. This event is not just for performance checks. It has a massive social aspect where we can meet and have fun on the bike. Next chance to meet us on the 6th of April.”

Full results can be found HERE

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