With three stage races all taking place across Ireland, it was a busy weekend for Cycling with Ulster riders in action in Ulster (The Tour of the North), Leinster (The Gorey 3-day) and Munster (Ras Mumhan), with representation on national teams in the latter two events.
The best result over the Easter weekend was Chris McGlinchey, who in riding for the National Development squad scored a memorable win in the Ras Mumhan in County Kerry.
McGlinchey set his stall out early, in winning the opening 105km stage from a small nine man group.
Under the guidance of team manager David McCann, McGlinchey fought Irish powerhouse Bryan McCrystal on stage two over the 144km stage where the pair were too good for the rest of the field, with McCrystal taking the stage, but McGlinchey holding on to his overall lead of one minute six seconds over McCrystal.
The National squad rode faultlessly over the remaining stages, with McGlinchey 15th on stage 3 and 7th on the final stage to win overall by a margin of 1min 26 sec over fellow Ulsterman Ali MacAuley (Asea Wheelworx) and McCrystal 3rd.
Below. Chris McGlinchey, fast making a name for himself in top level domestic racing ran out an impressive winner of the Ras Mumhan in Kerry over the Easter weekend. (Pic The Belgian Project – Davy McVeigh)
Meanwhile in Leinster the National Junior squad had a trip to Belgium cancelled due to the terrorist attack in Brussels, but managed to get a ride in the Gorey 3-day, where once again Ulster riders Marc Heaney, Jake Grey and Xeno Young accompanied Robert O`Leary, Tom Knight and Luke Smith in the National Junior squad. A win for O`Leary on stage one saw him lead the squad throughout the weekend to win the event overall. All Ulster riders acquitted themselves well under the guidance of national Junior Manager Frank O`Leary, with another Ulster rider Cameron McIntyre – representing the Nicolas Roche squad finish runner up and take the Points classification.
Left. Cameron McIntyre (Nicolas Roche Performance Team) Runner-UP and winner of the Points competition in the Gorey 3-day
Closer to home in Ulster, the 4-day Tour of the North took place across the Ards peninsula, however there were no representative teams despite Ulster having hoped to field a top-class Junior squad.
The event was dominated by English visiting team Spirit Bikes team, where strongman Ed Clemens almost lapped the field in the opening Kirkistown Motor Racing Circuit stage. This signalled his, and his Spirit Bikes team`s intentions as they went on to dominate the weekend in some challenging conditions.
There was to be no two-in-a-row glory for local man Davy Watson (North Down CC) who finished best of the local riders, in 3rd place overall, seen here leading the peleton around his local roads on the Ards Peninsula. (Pic The Belgian Project – Davy McVeigh)
Impressive riding from young Asea Wheelworx rider Declan Mulholland included a stage win on his 19th birthday and 4th place overall. (Pic – The Belgian Project Davy McVeigh)
Easter Stage Race results.
Ras Mumhan. Kerry.
1 Chris Mcglinchey Ireland Development Team 12:06:58
2 Ali Mcauley Asea Wheelworx @1:26
3 Bryan Mccrystal Asea Wheelworx @1:27
4 Daire Feeley Team iTap @2:19
5 Darragh O Mahony .Ireland Development Team @ 2:31
6 Mark Dowling Asea Wheelworx @ 3:25
7 Eoin Morton UCD Fitzcycles s.t.
8 Sean Lacey Aqua Blue @ 3:26
9 Jamie Lowden Surrey League @ 3:31
10 Anthony Walsh Aqua Blue @ 3:56
Gorey 3-day. Leinster.
1 Robert O’Leary. Ireland Juniors 8h22’47”
2 Cameron McIntyre. NRPT Magnet.ie @05″
3 Michael Considine. Blarney CC @15″
4 Sean Bracken Usher Irish RC s/t
5 Conor Leech. Clonard CC @19″
6 Marc Heaney. Ireland Juniors @25″
7 Ciaran Leech. Clonard CC @27″
8 Andy O’Hara. FCA Cycling Team @28″
9 Eoghan McLoughlin. Westport Covey @29″
10 Francis Gibson. I Tap @30″
Tour of the North. Ulster.
1 Ed Clemens. Spirit Bikes 10h15m39s
2 Jake Hales. Spirit Bikes @1m28s
3 Dave Watson. North Down CC @1m34s
4 Declan Mulholland Asea Wheelworx @1m36s
5 Peter Anderson. East Kilbride RC @2m45s
6 Ryan Reilly. Belgian Project @3m28s
7 Dave Hamilton. North Down CC @4m09s
8 Glenn Kinning. Kinning Cycles @4m33s
9 Darnell Moore. Caldwell Cycles @4m39s
10 Chris Reilly. Asea Wheelworx @5m10s