What a pleasant weekend I had in the County of Tyrone, fierce racing as even the A4’s joined in..(lol) Ladies races from the top shelf and weather who is changing more then I change my briefs..Well today it was sandals day, a pleasant sunny day with a bit of a breeze and all still to play for in the A4 race with seconds separating the top ten. In the Womans Race things have been decided in the first stage GC wise but still a battle for best team won by TC racing with super DS Tom Clogher and his talented girls..and winning the Pink Jersey with guest rider Jennifer George (GB) who was in the winning brake and safeguarded her overall win. Project bursary holder and multible Irish Junior Champ Lara Gillespie won the sprint of 2 with a small distance to 3th girl Ellen Barker (Isle of Man) Cycling Ulster finest chimpeurs (Lisa lamont missing as injured yesterday and to sore to start today) with the team principals and soigneur. I am not a churchgoer but appreciate the beauty of the churches in Ireland, this is a fine example of architecture find at upper Clanabogan. But lets go back to the Tour and thank a few people, first off all Omagh Wheelers and their volunteers, they made us so welcome, timekeepers, commissaires, result team, all official car drivers and crew, the sponsors and Clanabogan GAA, not forgetting all the riders and back up crew,thanks for the camaraderie. Last but not least my guest family of the weekend Ireni, Ethan and Ian, thank you for your generous hospitality..people like yourselfs make it possible for me to travel within my budget and each day well rested..merci. Winning photos courtesy of Fotozone Armagh (back up photographer at finish line) Report of Shaun Mc Bride of the womans commission here below, Shaun described it perfectly being one of the leadcar drivers, and first hand info on the race. Pink and White Jersey fight for Stage victory on a ”Super Sunday”
Just to complete the four seasons in one weekend the riders arrived at a race HQ basking in warm summer sun so setting the stage for the queen stage. A final review of timings to reflect the severity of the stage meant the limit group carried a 4.5 Minute advantage over the scratch on the final stage.
Right from the off a number of these women Ellie Mc Ardle (Cycling Ulster) , Lyndsay Bryce (Leinster) and Ciara Ni Fhlathartaigh (Orwell) were determined to make it a hard chase for the scratch group and with almost 4 mins of an advantage approaching Drumquin it looked to be playing dividend as the scratch group was being carefully contained by The TC Riders protecting the pink jersey.
This was to change very quickly between Drumquin and Castlederg with Jennifer George in the Pink Jersey launching an attack of the front which was quickly covered by the group but the increase in speed meant the gap to the front group had reduced dramatically and by the time the race reached Castlederg the cars between the group were removed.
The group eventually merged on the descent to Victoria Bridge and from then to the finish we witnessed some super racing, first to go on the attack just after the group merged was Jennifer bates from Cycling Leinster, she was to be caught on the climb out of Victoria Bridge and then her team Maria Claffey (Leinster) was to go off the front open a 15 second lead before being absorbed by the group. As the peloton turned in Newtownstewart to head another Leinster rider Sinead Molloy was to jump of the front of the group. Sinead was to gain a maximum of about 20 Seconds before being caught.
The next break was to be the decisive one as Fiona Guihen from Leinster and the white jersey holder Lara Gillespie were to attack on the final climb into Gortin before the riders reached the Category 1 Climb on Lenamore Road. Gillespie was to forge on quickly distancing herself from Guihen as they approached the climb. By the foot of the climb Gillespie has opened a 30 second lead with only George in the pink Jersey closing the gap with a smaller group further back. The pink and white jerseys crested the climb together and had a lead of over a minute on a group of two Isabel Oakes (Smugglers Cc) and Ellen Barker (IOM) with another group of five, Maria Claffey, Fiona Guihen, and Aisling Flanagan all Leinster with Sofie Loscher (Womens Commission) and Eleanor Davies (IOM) a further 40 seconds back with the rest of the bunch in pieces on the climb.
A furious descent of the glens towards Omagh ensures that the stage win will be fought out between the pink and white jerseys, and with 1 km to go they were still locked together with National Junior Champion taking the sprint to claim her second stage win of the weekend and George with a second place retaining the Pink Jersey.
Yet again the women delivered some top class racing vindicating host club Omagh Wheelers commitment to the Ladies Race.
Women’s Overall Classification
1st. Jennifer George (TC Racing)
2nd. Isobel Oakes (Smugglers CC)
3rd. Agniesica Wozniak (Cork County CC)
4th. Jane Wilkinson (Cycling Ulster)
5th. Lara Gillespie (Cycling Ulster)
6th. Fiona Guihen (Cycling Leinster)
7th. Sofie Loscher (Cycling Ireland Women’s Commission)
8th. Ellen Barker (Team Isle of Man)
9th. Eleanor Davies (Team Isle of Man)
10th. Aisling Flanagan (Cycling Leinster)
Women’s Points Classifcation
1st. Jennifer George (TC Racing)
2nd. Lara Gillespie (Scott-Orwell Wheelers)
3rd. Fiona Guihen (Cycling Leinster)
Women’s Best Young Rider
1st. Lara Gillespie (Scott-Orwell Wheelers)
2nd. Ellen Barker (Team Isle Of Man)
3rd. Eleanor Davies (Team Isle of Man)Women’s Team Classification
1st. TC Racing
2nd. Cycling Ulster
3rd. Scott-Orwell WheelersReport taken from the press release of the organisers >> The final day in the SPAR Tour of Omagh proved to be a real cracker in both the A4 and Women’s races. In the A4 race, up to 25 riders were within 30secs of the overall lead so it was all to play for. After the 2nd KOH of the day, the first dangerous attack came from Damian O’Hagan (Clogher Valley Wheelers), who opened up almost 30secs of a gap in a solo effort. However, he suffered for his efforts as the race went deeper into the Sperrins and on the final Cat 1 climb at Gortin, the KOH leader David Irvine (Team Caldwell) stamped his mark on the race and by the top had over 40secs on a chasing group of 10 riders. The yellow jersey at this point had lost almost 2mins. The chasing group would make the connection to Irvine, and it came to a sprint at the finish with Clogher Valley rider Tomas Knapcock taking the stage win. Irvine though would take the overall win for the event, and he also extended his lead in the KOH competition sponsored by Capital Reinforcing. Barry Rodgers (Harps CC) took the overall Points competition, and Shane Murray (Oldcastle CC) took the Best Young rider competition. Harps CC also took the best overall team competition. Declan McEntee (Emyvale CC)was the Best Unplaced Master.A4 Overall Classification
1st. David Irvine (Team Caldwell)
2nd. Jakub Tarnowski (Fixx Roulers)
3rd. Tomas Knapcock (Clogher Valley Wheelers)
4th. Jay McCauley (Strabane-Lifford CC)
5th. Padraig Dougan (Carn Wheelers)
6th. Simon Woods (Keevan CC)
7th. Sean Maguire (East Tyrone CC)
8th. Frank McDermott (Oldcastle CC)
9th. Lee Somerville (Lakeland CC)
10th. Peter McBride (Banbridge CC)
A4 Points Classifcation
1st. Barry Rogers (Harps CC)
2nd. Tomas Knapcock (Clogher Valley Wheelers)
3rd. Jakub Tarnowski (Fixx Roulers)
A4 King of the Hills
1st. David Irvine (Team Caldwell)
2nd. Paddy Maguire (Omagh Wheelers CC)
3rd. Steven Wensley (East Tyrone CC)
A4 Team Classification
1st. Harps CC
2nd. East Tyrone CC
3rd. Lakeland CC
Best A4 Young Rider
Shane Murray (Oldcastle CC)
1st Unplaced Master
Declan McEntee (Emyvale CC)