The 2016 Shay Elliott was run off in beautiful sunny racing conditions leaving from Bray town. This classic race on the Irish racing calendar is always hotly contested with riders in all categories wanting to do well and get their name on some very prestigious silverware. Some of our finest Irish professional riders have won this race in the past and due to the testing nature of the parkour it is always a good indicator of future talent. The A3/Junior race consisted of 90km over rolling/hilly roads in the beautiful Wicklow countryside with a testing assent of the CAT 3 climb of the Shay Elliott from Glenmalure. The fast and technical decent off the Shay into Laragh and from here some 20km to the finish in Djouce wood.LCRC was well represented here with 6 riders taking to the start line. Our climber supreme Frank Billings was in attendance and he had the Bianchi well oiled for this his “A race”. Unconfirmed reports inside the peloton is that he had two bowls of porridge for supper as his pre race fuel!!He wasn’t giving interviews on the start line. A huge bunch in the A3/Junior riders left Bray neutralized and headed out onto the motorway where the flag was dropped. The speeds were high as a strong tailwind helped riders until the right hand turn at Rathnew. A small group of 8 riders got clear just before the trun and worked well together gaining a lead on the bunch of about 40 sec. My own race ended here with an untimely encounter with a pothole. I watched the bunch disappear into the distance and with it any hopes I had of finishing my first Shay. The break was eventually reeled in and the bunch was all together save for a few riders who were shelled out the back.The critical point of the race was always going to be the assent of the Shay and positioning into the tight right-hander in Glenmalure was critical. NRPT who had a strong team present took it up on the climb and split the bunch to pieces. Only a handful of riders managed to make the split. Our own Frank who missed the move worked hard in a chase group to limit his losses and get back on terms with the breakaway group. The descent off the Shay is fast and technical and any gaps established on the climb are usually held to the bottom. This was the case today with the break of 6 riders , 4 of them from NRPT holding onto their lead of about 40sec into Laragh. From here there was 20km to the finish and the break of the day worked hard into a headwind to keep the bunch and a chase group off. They came to the line together and contested all the top placings with the chase group 40sec back and what was left of the bunch at about 1min. The Shay proved once again to be a great race run on a very testing course with only the strongest coming to the line in front. Well done to everyone who organized and competed in the event and congrats to NRPT on another strong team performance.