The Lakeland virtual league continued with a depleted field last Wednesday night on the Zwift platform. With fatigue from a busy racing schedule and an injury to Paul Beaumont , only 7 riders took to the start. Unfortunately, Chris Kelly suffered the ever present connection issues and failed to get off the start line.

The big question this week was whether or not anyone would catch Kieran McGrory and his tight group of B riders which had managed to stay away the previous two weeks. The answer was a resounding no again, with Kieran taking yet another victory , staying clear of the next Lakeland men by almost a minute. This was a closer margin than last week, but without a bigger input from the non-Lakeland riders in the A group its unlikely the larger B group will be caught any week soon!! Indeed an improved placing again for Kieran as he came home 5th overall. Within the A grouping Mark McGirr returned this week and alongside Conor Sprice, Nigel Foster and Seamus McGovern they were the main pacesetters, pushing hard, but with little help couldn't bridge the gap afforded to the B group in this handicapped race. Gareth McCormick ploughed a lone furrow for Lakeland in the C group and indeed was very close himself at the finish line, coming in just 30 seconds behind the A classed rider Nigel Foster. This has left a somewhat 2 'horse' race at the top of the table with Kieran McGrory closing the gap to Conor Sprice to just 3 points . Conor's consistency in the early stages of the league has kept him at the top of the table and with a nominal 10 week race calendar chosen at the start of lockdown, the next few weeks will be crucial to those who want to climb up the ladder.

The standings after 7 rounds are as follows;

1. Conor Sprice 54

2. Kieran McGrory 51

3. Kyle Fisher 40

4. Mark McGirr 39

5. Paul Beaumont 33

6. Gareth McCormick 32

7. Philip Bremner 26

8. Seamus McGovern 22

9. Nigel Foster 20

10. Ronan Campbell 17

11. Chris Kelly 15

12. Lee Somerville 12

13. Paul McMulkin 8

14. Kieran Byrne 3

The Cycling Ireland virtual cycling league also continued on Saturday morning. It was the toughest course so far this week, with 15% spikes around an exceptional 'lumpy' Yorkshire circuit, tackled by Lakeland men Conor Sprice (A), Chris Kelly (B) and Gareth McCormick(C). Everyone found this weeks course very tough and cycling at the limit on an indoor smart trainer (for almost 1 1/2 hours in Gareth McCormick's case) is very draining and somewhat responsible for the lower participation levels as compared to the mid-week races. It was however another huge field nationwide, with once again approximately 1000 Cycling Ireland members taking part. All three Lakeland riders improved their individual placings with Conor Sprice in particular moving into the top 70 with a fantastic performance.The virtual racing league continues this Wednesday with round 8 of the Hares and Hounds race , and with only 3 weeks left, everyone will be hoping to get back onto the open roads once given the 'all-clear' by the sporting administrators.