Sports

Best of Irelandís cyclists descend on Dromore.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Best of Irelandís cyclists descend on Dromore. thumbnailLadies winner Eve McCrystal (in the blue top).

BANBRIDGE Cycling Club hosted the penultimate round of the Cycling Ireland National Road Series, as part of the John Beggs Memorial Road Races in Dromore on Saturday (12 August)

The event attracted the best of Ireland's domestic men and women cyclists to take on the challenging 30km circuit, which passed through Ballykeel, Kinallen, Dromara and Hillsborough.

With over 200 cyclists on the road it was a busy day for the promoting club who hosted four races in total as part of the event - the men's national series race catered for A1 and A2 riders, the women's National Series race was open to all women categories.

Meanwhile the two support races catered for A3s and juniors and the A4s had their own dedicated race.

The numerous hills on the circuit lent themselves to attacking racing and the riders didn't disappoint on that front with breaks forming on the first lap of each race.

In the women's race it was Irish time trial champion who went solo for a little over a full lap, gaining more than a minute in the bunch before being caught.

Burns would pay for the effort and was later distanced by the front runners on the run back to Dromore.

On the ascent to the finish on Mount St it was Rio Gold medallist, Eve McCrystal of Garda CC who proved the strongest, managing to hold off the in-form Katharine Smyth of Team Madigan. Orla Walsh of Scott Orwell rounded out the podium.

The men's race was an aggrieved affair with the composition of the front groups in constant change.

Banbridge CC's own Gareth McKee was active in the early moves, but a hard chase after an unfortunate puncture would see him burning too many matches so early in the race.

The AquaBlue Academy team had strength in numbers and played that to their advantage and ensuring they infiltrated any moves.

By the time the riders entered the last lap they had two riders present - 2012 winner Ronan McLaughlin and Cork man Sean Lacy.

They were joined by Adam Stenson of Bikeworx Celbridge, Angus Fyffe of Omagh Wheelers and Eoin Morton of UCD Fitz Cycles.

They would complete three finishing laps in Dromore town which included the climb of Mount St before finishing at the foot of Dromore Mound.

It was 19-year-old Stenson who attacked as they entered the finishing laps and never looked back.

He quickly opened up a 30-second advantage which continued to grow, giving him over a minute's advantage by the time he crossed the line.

Lacey followed next, outsprinting Fyffe and McLaughlin while Morton rolled in for fifth having been distanced slightly in the finale.

Junior rider, Luke Smith of the Nicolas Roche Performance Team got the better of Banbridge CC's John Buller in the final sprint for the line in the A3 and Junior race, with Castlebar's Conor Gallagher rounding out the podium.

Dromara CC had two men on the podium in the A4 race, with David Henderson taking the top step and Derren Mc- Cann in third. They sandwiched Stuart Millar of North Down CC in second.

A huge thank you to everyone involved marshals, timekeepers and the PSNI.

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