Newry Wheelers promote the 30th edition of the popular Newry 3-Day stage race this weekend. The event which began life as the ‘McKinley 3-Day’ has a distinguished history and provided many winners who have gone onto major success in the sport and it is likely that this year’s race will provide another worthy winner.

Racing gets underway on Friday night, based on the Newry-Warrenpoint dual carriageway for the majority of the stage before the race takes in the Greenan road King of the Hill climb and the fast run in to the finish. Cycling Ulster are delighted to be sponsoring stage two of the race on Saturday which is based around Hilltown and has two King of the Hill climbs in the closing hour of racing. The concluding stage on Sunday is the longest at 70 miles and has been named the ‘Queen stage’ by Race Director, Drew McKinley, whose father started the race with the backing of the Newry club three decades ago.

Cycling Ulster wish Newry Wheelers and all the competitors a safe and successful weekend’s racing.

Please see press release from the club and the start list below.

“Newry Wheelers are delighted to promote the Annual Newry Wheelers 3 Day race.  The event will take place on the weekend of Friday 30th June to Sunday 2nd July.  The race started in 1987 by local man Noel McKinley and is still going strong.

The stage race is one of the most popular on the Irish cycling calendar and has attracted a bumper field with some of the country’s finest bike riders. The places filled up fast as riders are keen to compete to try and add their name to the list of previous winners which is no mean feat.

Stage 1

The racing kicks off on Friday 3oth June  at 7pm in Warrenpoint when the riders will tackle the flat dual carriageway before hitting a stinger of a hill in the form of Greenan road before entering Warrenpoint again for 2 short laps. The Mc Kinley contracts point’s jersey is also up for grabs on this stage and one a lot of riders want, especially the sprinters. Finishing time approximately  8.15p.m/8.30pm.The opening stage is generously sponsored by Haldane Fisher with Soundfunction DJ’s entertaining the crowd at the finish as the riders tackle the laps of the Warrenpoint circuit.

Stage 2

After the fast stage on Friday night the riders will head to the hills and take on the roads around Hilltown to test the riders climbing skills. This stage which is 65 miles in length is sponsored by Cycling Ulster and will go a long way in deciding the outcome of the  spin 11 yellow jersey as well as  PKF- FPM polka dot jersey for best climber. Elm Hall is the last big hill of the day before the bunch descends into Hilltown with the race finishing on the main street at approx 12.45

Stage 3

Sunday is the final day and perhaps the Queen stage and is sponsored by Plumbmaster, usually the name given to the hardest stage of the race and longest and at 70 mile with 3 PKF-FPM King of the hills included it will be tough.  The riders will start from Newry sports centre at 10.30 before heading to Tandragee,Markethill,Newry,poyntzpass,Markethill then onto newtonhamilton before heading through mountnorris for the finish in bessbrook. At approximately 1.30. Stage 3 is set up so the racing will come down to the last few mile, the last 10 mile has a lot of short sharp climbs which will test the winner to the very end.

The competition will be tough and especially from top junior teams powerhouse and nichlos roche performance team along with strong teams from Stamullen and Cuchulainn.

Drew Mc Kinley,  Race Director commented; ‘it is great to have the sponsors on board and thanked all of them as without their support their would be no race. Its great to have local building contractors Killowen contracts on board to sponsor the blue junior jersey and Micheal Nugent Ltd for the highly competitive team prize.

The wheelers have also included a most aggressive rider award in memory of Gerry McCabe who was a regular competitor in the 3 day.

Drew also mentioned while there are a few favourites it is so hard to predict a winner and that what makes this race so special within the cycling community. The list of past winners is impressive and its great to see last years winner Jake Gray do so well on Ireland teams and race for a French team.Its a race every rider wants on their list of wins, He also had praised for Newry wheelers club members who give up their weekend to make the race run smoothly and as safely as possible.

There will be minor traffic delays in Warrenpoint but the race usually adds a bit of colour and excitement to the town for the evening.”

Newry 3-Day 2017 Start list

Caolam McCarter Omagh
Aaron Wiley Omagh
Nathan Gray Omagh
Michael McGlynn Omagh
Alan Bingham Cuchulainn
Alan Gray Cuchulainn
Aidan Cunningham Cuchulainn
Martin Colgan Cuchulainn
Ben Walsh NRPT
Conor Halvey NRPT
Adam Ward Powerhouse
Brendan Flanagan Powerhouse
Liam Wilson Powerhouse
PJ Doogan Powerhouse
Craig Sweetman Stamullen
Glenn White Stamullen
Sean Landers Stamullen
Colin Robinson Stamullen
John Scott Island Wheelers
Conor Devlin Island Wheelers
Martyn Graham Island Wheelers
Dean Burnside Island Wheelers
Sean McGreevy Velo Café Magasin
Peter Morrison Velo Café Magasin
Neville O Neil Velo Café Magasin
Joe Henry Velo Café Magasin
Matthew Armstrong Dromara
David Dickson Dromara
Aaron Watson Dromara
Jack Ferguson Dromara
Patrick Withers Fintona CC
Barry McKenna Fintona CC
David McKnight TVR
Alan Hall TVR
Stephen Cunningham TVR
Ethan Downey Clann Eireann
John Bann Lavery Clann Eireann
Martin McConville Clann Eireann
John Heverin Clann Eireann
Patrick Fotheringham Halesowen
Nick Clayton Halesowen
Colm Watson VC Glendale
Tony Boyle VC Glendale
Garret Fitzgerald VC Glendale
Sean McCorry VC Glendale
Robbie McElderry Bann Wheelers
Colin McElderry Bann Wheelers
Michael Thompson Bann Wheelers
Robbie Doherty Davy McCall
Matthew McAllister Davy McCall
Harvey Barnes Davy McCall
Donal Shearer Davy McCall
Kyle Adams Ards
Paul McMinn Ards
Ian Carson Ards
Gareth Murray Ards
Glenn Dunwoody Orchard
Mark Coleman Orchard
Chris McAloran Orchard
Aaron Hanthorn Orchard
Fergus Rooney Phoenix
Dale Walker Phoenix
Niall Bleeks Phoenix
Edward Kearney Phoenix
John Buller Banbridge
Dan Purdy Banbridge
Mark Kendall Banbridge
Johnny McRoberts Banbridge
Brian Mitchell Harps
Nathan Weir Harps
John Morton Harps
Barry Doyle Harps
Peter Hughes Armagh City
Neil Rafferty Armagh City
John James McAnerney Armagh City
Gary Lyons Armagh City
Shaun Carey North Down
Gareth Boyle North Down
Peter Doggart North Down
Ray Brownfield North Down
Des Woods Newry Wheelers
Mark Mc Kinley Newry Wheelers
Kevin Lynch Newry Wheelers
Gareth O neill Newry Wheelers
Padraig Rogan Phoneix
Ali Gribbon Carn wheelers
Shea Gribbon Carn wheelers
Cathal Hendron Apollo CT
Fergal Magee Apollo CT
Rory Farell Haldane Fisher
Mark Gordon Haldane Fisher
Micheal Fox Haldane Fisher
Barry Tinnelly Haldane Fisher
Benny Smyth Armagh Down