Hennebry: “I wasn’t feeling great; I told Lacey I’d work for him”

Posted on: May 8th, 2016

Conor Hennebry continued his fine debut season for Aquablue today when he took a brilliant victory in the Deenside Cup. the 23-year old will head for the Shay Elliott Memorial next weekend after which he will compete in the An Post Rás for the first time (Photo: Sean Rowe)


By Brian Canty

Conor Hennebry is celebrating arguably the biggest one-day win of his career tonight after scorching to a marvellous victory in the Deenside Cup in Kilkenny today.

The Aquablue man was part of a 1-2 for the Cork-based Aquablue team as Sean Lacey came in for second ahead of Stephen Murray (Strata3-VeloRevolution).

That trio had broken away from an original group of around 15 that was later trimmed to less than a dozen.

In the original move that went clear after 20 kilometres on the first of four laps were the aforementioned trio and well as Eoin Morton (UCD-Fitzcycles.ie), Dylan Foley (Aquablue), Dermot Turlock (Lucan CRC) and Eoin O’Connell (Killarney CC).

Also there was Paul O’Reilly (UCD-Fitzcycles.ie), David McCarthy (JLT-Condor Cycles), Dermot Radford  (Tipp Wheelers), Mark Reilly (ASEA-Wheelworx) and Marc Flavin (Dungarvan CC).

“The first time up the hill we lost a few and it came down to around 10,” explained the winner. “Everyone was tapping through and keeping the pace high.”

The pace was ferocious in that first hour where the riders covered some 46 kilometres as they tried to establish their advantage.

“After lap two the gap was about two minutes for a long time, McKenna and Matteo (Cigala) were trying to come across going onto the third lap, they were within 1:30,” continued Hennebry.

Indeed, the margin hovered around the two-minute mark for much of the race as a number of teams who had missed the move rode to stay in contention.

Two who did manage to get out of the bunch were McKenna and Cigala and they tried a valiant attempt to bridge alone but it amounted to nought.

On the second last time up the main hill on the course – a 5km incline of four per cent – Lacey started the attacking in a bid to shake things up.

His aggression saw the group of nine thinned to three after Hennebry countered, Murray rode across and Lacey went with him.

They rode the last lap together but it was always going to be difficult for anyone other than an Aquablue man to win, given the ratio.

Murray dug deep but Hennebry’s counter-attack from an original Lacey surge proved the winning move.

“I wasn’t feeling great and I told Lacey I’d work for him when we got away,” said Hennebry.

“He said he was feeling good and I was doing big turns because of that.

“Then we went into the bottom of the hill and Sean said he was going to attack at the foot. I countered and nobody came with me so I just had to keep going.”