Louis Carnec of UCD CC takes the chequered flag at the end of the Cycleways Cup main event (Photo: Sean Rowe)
By Brian Canty
Louis Carnec etched his name alongside some real top-class riders on the Cycleways Cup trophy today after a really strong win from a quality field.
The UCD man doesn’t yet have the reputation of his teammates Eoin Morton and Ian Richardson but the way he won today suggests the men in blue, white and yellow have found something very decent in the French-born Irishman.
That he beat a strong field of riders which included representation from Aqua Blue and Velo-Strata3 is one thing but riding the last lap with just good friend Conn McDunphy (Lucan CRC) for company up front makes it a very noteworthy win.
The riders battled strong wind and rain over the three-lap, 105-kilometre, course and it was a very cagey affair early on unlike other years where the break has gone early.
It’s perhaps a sign that the racing in Ireland is getting better that more riders are competing and winning; also proving less formulaic with tactics becoming more apparent.
Today, UCD played their cards well and while all eyes might have been on Morton and Richardson, Carnec took full advantage.
He went away with his training partner McDunphy going through the start-finish area on the last lap and when nobody seemed too keen to chase they quickly built up a lead.
The pair rode hard and fairly for the remaining 30 kilometres, with the runner-up doing some huge turns at the front in a bid to stay away.
Carnec knew he’d probably have the edge on his fellow escapee in the sprint so he was happy to take it to one.
But sensing this McDunphy tried to shake him a few times approaching the finish.
Carnec, a Masters student studying business and analytics, clawed him back each time before launching his own sprint which was enough to see him blast away and take the biggest win of his career to date.
Behind, Morton and Mark Dowling (Velo-Strata3), alongside Philip Lavery (AC Bisontine), escaped the bunch and they rode well to take third through fifth, with Dowling third and Lavery next.
We’ll have a chat with Carnec about his win later and results if and when they are made available.