L-R: Ray Fedigan, Rosena Lynch, Caroline Kerley, Katie Dunleavy, Pat O’Shaughnessy, Veronica Leiva, Sé Weston, Philip Kerley, Gary Winterleich, Josh Curtis, Eve McCrystal, Karl Dolan and Alan Gray celebrate at the Cycling Ireland awards night

CYCLING | Joy for Cuchulainn members as club wins prestigious national award

Cuchulainn Cycling Club was one of 10 nominees up for the prestigious 2017 Club of the Year award, run by Cycling Ireland.

Club members and officers Sé Weston, Pat O’Shaughnessy, Karl Dolan and Philip Kerley attended the annual awards ceremony in the Crowne Plaza in Santry on Saturday night in the hope of picking up the award for the third time in the last decade.

The award, based upon the votes of cyclists within Cycling Ireland, is the highest accolade a club can achieve in Ireland.

“Cuchulainn Cycling Club has 400 members from all over Louth and caters for cyclists of all ages and abilities,” said a nervy club chairman, Sé Weston, beforehand.

“This year our members and volunteers organised and ran children’s and adults beginners classes for road and mountain bikers, weekly training and leisure spins on and off road, one of the best sportive’s in the country, The Tour of Louth, and The Lap of Louth, a fundraiser for SOSAD.

“These non competitive and training events were complemented by our competitive leagues, on and off road, for those who like greater cycling challenges,” he continued.

Katie-George Dunlevy, left, and Eve McCrystal, winners of a Special Recognition award during the Cycling Ireland Awards. PICTURE: Stephen McMahon/Sportsfile

“Many of our cyclists entered and were successful in all Ireland competitive events with Jimmy Flynn winning a national title. Ann Duffy (Newry), Alan Bingham (Hilltown), Liam Dolan (Dundalk) and David Holland (Blackrock) made their mark with podium and gold medal finishes in national races and the club also had a Rás team that featured prominently in stages of the international Irish race.

“We should have a great chance of winning,” was his verdict. “Cuchulainn is a well run club that is dependent on volunteers to project manage, coordinate and marshal all it’s events.

“We have become an integral part of the community in Louth and provide sporting opportunities for all cyclists.”

After much anticipation, the winner of the award was announced as Cuchulainn, to much applause and cheers within the hall.

A delighted Pat O’Shaughnessy, club vice-chairman said afterwards: “This is a great reward for the efforts of all club members and in particular those who took part in new initiatives in 2017 which included children’s safe-cycling programs, a new cyclocross league and mountain bike training for beginners. The club is on the up.”

Representatives from The Bike Station, Dundalk, accepting the award for The Bike Shop of the Year award during the Cycling Ireland Awards. PICTURE: Stephen McMahon/Sportsfile

Club secretary Karl Dolan was ecstatic with the evening’s drama. As co-proprietor of the The Bike Station, the newest bike shop in Louth and sponsor of the club’s hugely successful Summer Cycling League, he also accepted The Bike Shop of the Year award.

“Cuchulainn’s overall objective is to introduce everyone to cycling as a sport for life,” he said. “In the long run, Cuchulainn wants to provide some form of permanent safe venue for cycle sport.”

Karl, along with his business partner Ray Fedigan, also spoke about The Bike Station with both agreeing that it was their personal service, well trained staff and professional approach that gave them an edge.

“We believe in giving our cycling customers the time, information and support to help them choose the bike and kit that is right for them.”

Eve McCrystal receives the Winner of the National Road Series award from Geoff Liffey, CEO of Cycling Ireland, during the Cycling Ireland Awards. PICTURE: Stephen McMahon/Sportsfile

A glorious night for Louth and Dundalk was completed when Eve McCrystal, no stranger to cycling podiums, received the prestigious 2017 Female Cyclist award.

Philip Kerley, the club’s CPO said: “Cuchulainn is very proud of Eve. She is a former member who continues to have a very successful international career. She is an inspiration to all with her dedication and commitment.”

Cuchulainn Cycling Club hopes to use this award to attract more people to cycling and to develop its strategy to provide a permanent safe venue for cyclists of all disciplines to enjoy.

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