What a finish we witnessed today at the second stage of the Victus Tour of Ulster, 150km with 7 climbs thrown in for good measure, rolling roads and a very popular winner called Ronan Mc Laughlin from the Viner-Caremark-Pactimo stable who beats( and really the wrong word for this) Liam Hologan from the Rhino Velo Team(GB) with 1/2mm to spare if that!! It took the time keepers team more then a half an hour to announce the winner, as every angle had to be studied, as with the naked eye you couldn’t make a separation, and the Chief time keeper Ian Barfoot made a decision after a thorough photo study with all officials involved, and not contested by the young gentleman from England, who was gracious in defeat. Joe Evans (St Piran GB) was third and takes over the leader jersey from Conn Mc Dunphy who had bad luck with a puncture and had to chase back but to no avail at one of the climbs in the Mourne Mountains..a pleasant day with temperatures of around 20 Celsius what we call in Ireland a heat wave..(honestly lol) Very busy roads around the towns they passed through but with the PSNI guarding the cavalcade and with help of some really pro motor marshals if all went smoothly.. for my Belgian readers you have to remember that we have no closed roads, and racing against traffic !! Sometimes hair raising moments occur but all home safe today and that’s in my mind already a successful day.. we couldn’t do stage racing without the police out riders and that is a fact for sure..so well done to all involved including the tens of marshals at critical points on route..chapeau to you all. Feature photo& finish line pictures and podiums shots courtesy of our guest photographer Paul Hannigan, and this time some action photos of myself as I had time to visit some KOH finishing tops before heading back to the finish to entertain the crowd with my Flemish accent..made a few mistakes as I went along, as knowing the Northern lads by heart but some of the visitors names hard to remember, but learned a lot over the first 2 days. Tomorrow we have a sort of kermesse style final stage, 7 laps of 15km (10 miles) and if the weather keeps up we should have a big crowd at the line to witness a battle for the pink jersey as a hard climb at each lap who could still change the outcome of this great weekend of racing..430km of it to and that is not small fry or Ulster fry if you wish. Back tomorrow with my final report and results here below, just click on the link

http://tourofulster.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Stage_1_Results.pdf