From broken back to A3 Irish title; Eoin Allen’s very eventful year

Posted on: September 10th, 2018

Eoin Allen has smashed himself up a couple of times of late, but he returned from a broken back to be crowned Irish A3 road race champion yesterday (Photo: Club Rothaiochta na Sion)


By Graham Gillespie

After breaking his back in January, Eoin Allen completed a remarkable comeback by winning the A3 National Road Race Championships yesterday.

The race was held in Shannon, Co Clare, and was promoted by Allen’s own club Club Rothaiochta na Sion.

Not only did Allen claim victory; his club also took the team title in the A3 category. Allen said the race was being held on their local roads made the wins extra special.

The victories are a welcome change of fortune for Allen, who had bad luck last season sustaining both a hairline fracture to his back and a fracture of his wrist whilst racing in A4.

Then after this, an accident on his parents’ farm resulted in him breaking his back.

Following the injury, the investment company analyst faced a long road to recovery. Eventually, Allen was able to make his way back to club cycling.


Eoin Allen taking gold from a three-man escape yesterday on home turf (Photo: Richard Quinn-CRNS)


“I must have been the only person to buy a turbo trainer in May,” he said. “I started training on the road then in May or June.

“Fortunately, up here we have the Shannon club night on a Tuesday. And then there’s the Clare Cycling League which is a very well-run and supported league,” he said.

“I went out probably every second night of the week for about two months straight and went back into racing.

“And then around July I got promoted to A3 and I just about survived the Charleville two-day race. I was feeling fit then and I got my racing legs back after the injuries.”

In the race yesterday, the Clare man said he and his team benefited from the local roads.

“The course was actually our training loop,” he confirmed. “So we had a bit of an advantage. We knew when to take it easy and push it on,” he said.

The crowds that came out to support the riders also spurred them on.

“On the way in if someone shouted and called your name it gave you a good pep on.

“And then getting across the line and seeing all the organisers there from Shannon; so it was great to do it on the local course,” he said.

“It was great to get the win on home turf for all the event organisers and all the team there at Shannon.

“They put in a real good body of work organising the whole event. To get the team victory as well in the A3, that was really the greatest thing about it.”

The pace was slow for much of the race yesterday with the speeds dropping to 22 km per hour due to headwinds. Allen described the first 6½ laps as “basically a Sunday cycle”.

“You could see that that everyone was waiting until the last lap. If there was going to be a break it was going to be then,” he said.



The key move came when Jason Earls of South East Road Club and Brian Hyland from Westport went on the attack.

Eventual winner Allen joined them and that was the medals gone; the trio were never caught.

“We worked really well together until about seven or eight kilometres to go and then with four kilometres to go we had a tailwind”.

The mind games began approaching the finish as the three riders awaited the first move

“We just waited and waited,” he said of the sprint taking a long time to actually kick off.

“I think I went first and then the other two guys came. I just about held out on the line and I was about to be pipped only for the line to save me.”

Allen will now likely be promoted to the A2 category and is looking forward to racing with his teammates.

“We have five lads in A2 now with Club Rothaiochta. So it will nice to get a team together and challenge for some of the events,” he said.

“It (cycling) was something I did for a bit of fun but then I got the bug and went competitive. I have no real mad ambitions and I just want to keep having fun really.”


Sun, Sept 9: A3 Irish Road Race Champs (119km)

Shannon, Co Clare

Promoted by Club Rothaiochta na Sion

  1. Allen, Eoin Club Rothaiochta Na S 3h06’19”
  2. Earls, Jason South East Road Club
  3. Hyland, Brian Westport Covey Wheele
  4. McLornan, Brian Shimna Wheelers 3h06’40” @21″
  5. O’Shaughnessy, Michae Killarney CC
  6. O’Neill, Colm Scott Orwell Wheelers
  7. Culloty, Ross Tralee Manor West CC
  8. Flynn, Michael Westport Covey Wheele
  9. O’Donovan, Jamie Killarney CC
  10. Peters, Martin Gorey CC
  11. Griffin, Stephen Tralee Manor West CC
  12. Harrold, Sean Newcastlewest CC
  13. Condon, Ciaran Panduit Carrick Wheel
  14. Sherlock, Kevin Nenagh CC
  15. Queally, Jack Inspiration CC
  16. Fogarty, Karl Club Rothaiochta Na S
  17. Mannion, Marty Galway BayCC
  18. Kelly, Ryan Carn Wheelers
  19. Lambden, Ian Lakeside Wheelers
  20. O’Murchu, Fiachra Club Rothaiochta Na S
  21. Roberts, Luke Shimna Wheelers
  22. Donohoe, Padraig Shannonside CC
  23. Withers, Patrick Fintona CC
  24. Lynch, Colin Club Rothaiochta Na S
  25. Kerrigin, Gareth Four Masters CC