O’Callaghan takes inspired win in crash-marred Newbridge GP

Posted on: March 6th, 2016

Mark O’Callaghan takes the biggest win of his career, edging out Timmy O’Regan in the Newbridge GP. The race was shortened from six laps to five following a crash in the A3 race (Photo: Sean Rowe)


By Brian Canty

Mark O’Callaghan dedicated his win in the Newbridge GP to the man who sent him a new pair of Specialized cycling shoes during the week, Irish-born WorldTour rider Chris Juul Jensen.

He received the gift of shoes and other kit from Juul Jensen after a story appeared on stickybottle in recent weeks about his old shoes which he refused to trade up despite their being held together with tape.

And O’Callaghan was clearly inspired by Juul Jensen’s act of generosity as he won a gruelling race from a star-studded field, beating top domestic rider Timmy O’Regan (Dunboyne CC) in a two-up gallop.

“I’m beaming now, absolutely beaming,” said the University of Limerick maths student.

“Myself and Timmy got away on the second-last lap and just came to the line together and I guess I was a bit fresher because he had done more work than me prior to that.

“I had the new shoes on me and they are just savage, I couldn’t lose with them,” he laughed.

“My Dad actually bought me a new pair of shoes recently as well so now I’ve a choice… I can’t wear them both but I owed it to Chris to wear the ones he sent today!”

Today’s feature race was shortened by one lap because of a serious crash on the course involving A3 riders.

At the time of writing, we understand one rider was hospitalised and we’re waiting for an update as to his condition.

The separate A1 race was intended to cover six laps of the 17-kilometre circuit but it was shortened by one to facilitate the stricken riders from the A3 crash.

It meant O’Callaghan and O’Regan had to be stalled while up the road and given their advantage again, which was around 40 seconds.

At that time they were told they were on the final lap so they drilled it to the line.