Darnell Moore won the Tour of Ards today to open his 2018 road race season account with a very strong performance.

He has threatened a number of times already since the start of the campaign, only to claim victory impressively this afternoon. The Caldwell Cycles man was one of the strongest in driving the initial large breakaway move off the front of the race.

Initially that group numbered 11 riders but it split after the last climb. Four riders would pull clear of the rest. Moore was again at the centre of the action in that leading four-man group. With him was some real talent, serving to underline the quality of his win. A winner on the opening day of the season – at the Spires GP – Conor McCann of Inspired Cycling was also one of the four.The two others were the in-form Lindsay Watson (PowerHouseSport) and Craig Rea (Viner-Caremark-Pactimo). But in the latter stages the national hill climb and cyclocross dual champion Moore had too much for the others. He jumped them about 10km from the finish and put his head down. While he never got much more than 15 seconds, he held the gap the whole way.It was a little tighter from the finish, but he took the race from McCann, Watson and Rea in that order.There was then a gap of just over two minutes to a large group sprinting for the minor placings. The seven riders who had been with the leading four were all caught by a large chasing group.

And when that group reached the chequered flag, the race winner’s team mate Angus Fyffe won the sprint for 5th place.

Moore adds his victory today to a number of strong placings in recent weeks. Last Monday he was 4th in the Annaclone GP won by Marc Potts (Neon Velo). The previous weekend he was runner-up in the Boyne GP. On that occasion Moore was denied victory from a two-man winning escape by Sean McKenna (Holdsworth Pro Cycling).

Sat, Mar 24: Tour of Ards
Promoted by Ards Cycling Club
Newtownards, Co Down
1 Darnell Moore Caldwell Cycles 3:20:20
2 Conor McCann Inspired Cycling s.t.
3 Lindsay Watson Powerhouse Sport s.t.
4 Craig Rea Viner Caremark Pactimo @3s
5 Angus Fyffe Caldwell Cycles @2:10
6 Alan Bingham Newry Wheelers
7 Bobby Kane Bann Wheelers
8 Liam Dolan Cuchulainn CC
Unplaced A2
1 Stuart Henry North Down CC @2:10
Unplaced A3
1 Mark Maguire Castlereagh @2:10
Unplaced Masters
1 Chris Richardson VC Glendale @2:10
Unplaced Junior
1 Nathan Keown North Down CC
U23 Prize
1 Darnell Moore Caldwell Cycles
Ards CC Rider
1 Robin Wilson Ards CC
1 Lindsay Watson PowerHouseSport

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