Today’s WIREFOX Tour of Ards was one of the best ever – beautiful weather, exciting racing, a high average speed (over 27mph) and a worthy winner! Here are 20 pictures that tell the story as it unfolded…
The race was run in warm, calm conditions. A full field of 80 signed on. The attacks started as soon as the flag was dropped
There was a crash just outside Ballywalter, and a couple of riders retired. There were the first signs that a break was forming, with 4 riders just off the front. The fantastic weather brought out the spectators.
By Kirkistown, the break had grown to 7 riders, and they had 25 seconds on the bunch.
In the bunch, Lucan CC riders Conn McDunphy and Dermot Trulock had sensed the danger, and were driving the chase. The bunch was well lined out!
By Abbacy Road on the first lap, the break had 30 seconds. The gap peaked at 40 seconds.
By the top of Mountain Road on the first lap, the break was down to 6 men, and the gap had dropped to 25seconds.
Lucan were still doing a lot of driving in the chase, with the bunch starting to fragment on the climb
The judges and marshals did a great job today. This is the SeeSense sprint on the second lap. Unfortunately the photographer only caught Marc Potts’ (Neon Velo) shadow as he took the sprint from his breakaway companions. The bunch were closing rapidly…
By Abbacy Road on the second lap, the break was down to 3 riders, and the bunch was breathing down their necks..
The Ards riders were still looking comfortable second time up Mountain Road.
By Cloughy on the second lap, it was all together again at the front of the race, and the riders were starting to look at each other.
The police and the motorcycle marshals did a fantastic job keeping the race safe
On the approach to the old abbey on Abbacy Road, a lone rider dangles off the front of the significantly depleted bunch on the 3rd lap.
He’s looking good on the climb past the abbey…..
But the bunch aren’t giving him much leeway, and he would soon be caught.
There were numerous skirmishes on the run in to Newtownards, but nobody could stay away until Conn McDunphy (Lucan CC) attacked with 2 miles to go. He managed to hang on for a well deserved win, with the bunch just 3 seconds behind at the line. Conn (right) is pictured here at the finish line with team mate Dermot.
Top Ards CC rider on the day was Andrew Hedley, who finished 8th overall. Pictured here with Dany Blondell (The Belgian Project) and John Carty (Club chairman)
Club secretary Gareth Murray also finished in the bunch, and picked up prizes for first unplaced Ards Rider and First unplaced 3rd cat. JohnC is already planning how to help Gareth spend his prize money :-)
John presents Conn with the legendary Tommy Brown Trophy
Thanks as always to everyone who made the event such a success –
- The Police – including 9 motorcycles and a command car.
- St John Ambulance, who had a couple of riders to attend to after the Ballywalter crash.
- Our sponsors – WIREFOX, Chain Reaction Cycles, Romas, SEE.SENSE and the Belgian Project
- The Commissaires
- All the club volunteers who helped to marshall (both on foot and on motorcycle), judge, drive, support and time the race.
- St Patricks for the use of the Parish Hall for the event HQ
- Everyone who helped with the catering – it was a great spread as always 🙂
- And of course, the riders and their supporters.
We look forward to seeing you at other Ards CC events later in the year
And finally – here’s the top 20 in full.
||1st, and 1st U23
||Aqua Blue Sport
||Chain Reaction Cycles
||Velo Café Magasin
||North Down CC
||1st unplaced vet
||The Bike House CC
||The Bike House CC
||1st unplaced jun.
||1st unplaced A2