Today saw a new chapter in the history of the Tour of Ards, sponsored this year by Simon Brien Residential. With the classic big loop route no longer feasible without police outrider support, we changed to a quieter, lap based race. The previous 80 rider field is also not permitted without police support, but splitting the event into two smaller fields suited the course well.
In the main A+/A1/A2 race over 75 miles, there was aggressive riding all day, but it was only in the final lap that Darnell Moore (Team Caldwell Cycles) managed to escape and repeat his victory of 2018.
Daire Feeley (Evopro Racing) took second 9 seconds later, with Luke Smith (Moynalty Cycling Club) third. Luke also took the King of the Hill prize. Stuart Millar was aggressive all day and took first Ards CC rider.
|1||Darnell Moore||Team Caldwell Cycles||2:59:22|
|3||Luke Smith||Moynalty CC||2:59:31|
|4||Gareth O’Neill||Team Caldwell Cycles||2:59:33|
|5||Craig McAuley||Team Caldwell Cycles||2:59:35|
|6||Lindsay Watson||Powerhouse Sport||2:59:38|
|7||Nathan Mullan||Dromara CC||2:59:50|
|8||Shay Donley||Team Dan Morrissey – Pactimo||2:59:50|
|9||Odhran Doogan||Team Caldwell Cycles||2:59:50|
|10||Peter Wakely||Unattached Ulster||2:59:50|
|11||Robert Kennedy||East Antrim CC||2:59:50|
|12||Vladislav Evseev||All human/VelRevolution RT||2:59:50|
|13||Fergus Callaghan||Four Master CC||2:59:50|
|14||Lee Harvey||VC Gelndale||2:59:50|
|15||Timothy O’Regan||All human/VelRevolution RT||2:59:50|
There was a similar pattern of racing in the A3/Junior race over 50 miles, with Oisin Ferrity (Island Wheelers, and just home from Irish international duty at the junior Gent Wevelgem classic in Belgium last weekend), getting a slight gap on the run in to the finish. Another junior Darragh Doherty (VC Glendale) was second, with Mark Buchanan (inishowen Wheelers) third. Mark also took the king of the Hill prize.
|1||Oisin Ferrity||Island Wheelers||2:14:42|
|2||Darragh Doherty||VC Glendale||2:14:43|
|4||Conor Fitzgerald||The Bike House CC||2:14:43|
|5||Matthew Pilgrim||Dromara CC||2:14:43|
|6||Mark Kendall||Banbridge CC||2:14:43|
|7||Peter Elliott||Velo Club Iveagh||2:14:43|
|8||Gareth McBride||North Down CC||2:14:43|
|9||Gavin Magowan||Dromara CC||2:14:43|
|10||Matthew Kincaid||Newry Wheelers CC||2:14:43|
|11||Tomas Knapcok||Clogher Valley Wheelers||2:14:43|
|12||Francis Donnelly||Banbridge CC||2:14:43|
|13||Jamie Moss||Ballymena RC||2:14:43|
|14||Joseph Owens||Team Caldwell Cycles||2:14:43|
|15||Daniel Purdy||Banbridge CC||2:14:43|
Thanks to everyone who made it such a great event –
- Our sponsors – Simon Brien Residential, Bioracer and Brownfield Bike Repair and Restoration.
- The Police, who had a couple of cars on the circuit.
- All our freshly trained moto marshals and static marshals. With the recent change in legislation, trained marshals now have the authority to stop traffic for a bike race, and it was great to see our confident, well turned out marshals acting so professionally today to help keep the race safe.
- Everyone who helped with driving – lead cars, commissaires and neutral service. That electric Volkswagen ID4 looked futuristic and environmentally sound at the front of a major bicycle race!
- Race director Chris White, for designing an innovative and challenging circuit.
- Cardy Gospel hall.
- The commissaires and the photo finish.
- Tommy Brown’s great-grand-daughter Courtney Brown for presenting the legendary trophy.
- And all the riders and supporters.
Here are some more photos from the A+/A1/A2 race
And here are some more photos from the A3/Junior race
And my favourite photo of the day –