Dear friends in sport, this story is real and very raw deal for the lads involved..the tone of this story has dramatically changed in the last hour of compelling it.. Just back from a trip to Omagh for joining the local Wheelers celebrations of their 2 local multiple Irish Champions and showing the lads at the same time that a non selection to the National Irish Team for the world champs is wrong to put it mildly. I reckon about seventy people including club members of local Tyrone teams, but also from further a field like Newry, Donegal, Armagh, Antrim and supporters showed up at the Omagh Leisure Center for a spin with the champions Adam Ward (Powerhouse Sport) and Darnell Moore (Caldwell Cycles). Also to put a belt under the hearts of the lads for the massive disappointment of non selection and telling them they should have been included in the National CI word selection. Cycling Ulster Executive board members made the trip to show their support, this included the Chairman Maurice Mc Allister who expressed his disappointment wholehearted and assured us that CU have already requested an audience with the CI board to ask WHY and for what reason they IGNORED the lads results and team spirit .. Stevie McKenna from Omagh Wheelers was the man behind the “Sportive with a message” and a good turnout despite announced only 24 hour ago..but a lot of things can happen in 24 hours..The two lads had put an appeal in to dispute the decision of exclusion of the team in Austria end month..Their argument a very valid one..Darnell is current Irish U/23 champ, Silver medal holder in the Irish Champs 2018, beating established pro’s as a full time working man and amateur, also Cyclo Cross Champ of Ireland 2018 and Hill Champ 2018..include some big wins on the local scene and already have been included in the national team for International events in the past !!!!! Adam is the current Junior Champ of Ireland and has a palmares this year that not many top juniors in the world have..14 wins in 4 different country’s including a stage race (Newry 3 day) beating all our top elite domestic riders and taking all 4 jerseys on offer, a stage win in the Tour of Wales and 4 kermesses in Belgium..You would think this should give you the award of being selected for both Champions..nah..seems not good enough for the powers to be and their selectors..they allegedly have not meet the criteria expected of them..YOU MUST BE JOKING COMES IN MIND.. but they don’t..Hence the tone of this report and I stress that this is my personal thought but shared by many lovers of the sport, maybe not by the ones who have another agenda or opinion but that’s their problem to be honest..news just filtered through that the Appeal of the lads have been denied by the appeal board of CI.. Each parent of the lads forked out €250 to launch the appeal and can say good bye to that money to..WHAT SORT OF MESSAGE WE GIVE OUR TALENTED YOUNGSTER HERE with such decision and this is for all youngsters in Ireland..You can be the best of the land in your sport, you are a team player and work hard for your wins, but if you are not liked or meet a criteria that has been designed to suit some..you be disregarded ..A remark that maybe will not be welcome but I can not find another reason for not awarding selection for the biggest race of the year..I know as selecting graduates myself that you can not please all, but at least I award my lads a chance of “Living the Dream” not the “Nightmare” Deep respect to all who showed up today to cheer up the lads, their parents and team mates and the speeches given to make sure the lads don’t feel alone in their disappointment..to end this rant for justice a wee quote I heard while waiting for a start of a Junior kermesse in Belgium.. 2 Belgian fathers talking about Adam Ward appearing at start line..Look the Irish are here today say the first daddy..it will be again racing for second place say the other father..what a compliment to IrishCycling..I bet they don’t belief what happens here..because we are!!
The Belgian Project have awarded the two champions the 10th Anniversary Medal of the project for promoting our beloved sport here and abroad ..It maybe seems not much to the outsiders but I could see proud in their eyes and that is good enough for me.. my admiration for your achievements.