Road racing is set to make a welcome return to the Phoenix Park in Dublin with the inaugural running of the Noel O’Neill Trophy. The races will be hosted by Scott Orwell Wheelers on May 13th and will consist of a 35-kilometre A4 race and a 70-kilometre A1, A2 and A3 race and will have limited fields with pre-entries only. It will be run on the Khyber Pass Circuit in the park
Stephen O’Shea is the main organiser of the event, and last year the Dubliner made a great effort to try and host the National Championships in the popular Dublin venue which has been a traditional location for hosting races.
However, that plan was scuppered when it was announced that there would be restricted access to the Phoenix Park on the weekend of the championships due to the visit of US Vice President Joe Biden. The visit also resulted in a lack of Garda resources being available that weekend. Over the years, the Phoenix Park has been used for numerous races including the Rás and the Tour de France.
The organisers have said that they would like to express their appreciation to the Gardaí, OPW and Cycling Ireland for enabling the races to take place. They also said that it will be the “same weekend as the Shay Elliott so it will be a fantastic warm up for the big Bray event.”
More information will be available through this link:
Entry portal to open this weekend.
Noel O’Neill Trophy
Orwell created the Noel O’Neill Trophy race to recognise and commemorate the achievements of Noel O’Neill. Noel joined Orwell in 1955, spending some time with Bray Wheelers. He coached such greats as Stephen Roche.
Noel was the Irish National Road Race Champion in 1965. He tells it himself: “I won it on the last lap, the break had a good lead, there were a lot of good riders still in the bunch but I decided it was time to go and made up a minute to the break and went on to win the sprint.” He represented Ireland at that year’s World Championships which were held in San Sebastian.
Noel’s palmares also includes the Dublin to Birr 3 Day, the Shay Elliot, Sean Dillon Memorial, Tour of the Gaps, Tour of the Slade and the BAR in 1964 and 1965 (Best All-Rounder: for Combined times and placings in TTs and RRs).
In recent times, Noel has been riding Leisure Events, such as the Three Peaks Challenge in 2017. For a 2012 interview with Noel, please see “Five Decades with Noel O’Neill”.