Away for most of the day only to be caught by a chasing group of 3 including the winner Watson in the last 10 miles

The Tour of Ards had glorious weather today, a pleasant change for riders and followers after some horrible weekends weather-wise since the start of the season. A full field of 80 riders signed on this morning in the St Patrick Hall in my hometown of Newtownards for a 125 km race and a race it was. For the spectators on the course, it must have looked like the Tour de France passing with many PSNI police motorbikes and team cars, official cars and motorised marshals and some very pro looking teams!

Without the PSNI we couldn’t run such race on busy roads…thank you

My beloved home team and promoting club Ards Cycling club had pulled all the stops to make this a proper classic, run since the early 70 ties and has many famous names on the Tommy Brown Memorial Cup and well sought by any rider. Last year winner Darnell Moore (Caldwell Cycles) rode his heart out to reclaim the cup, got himself in the main break, took the KOH prize and involved in the dash for the line finishing 6th, just one second away from the winner Lindsay Watson (Powerhouse Sport). Talking about Lindsay, a very clever rider who reads a race very well with biding his time to attack in the last few km and holding on to his advantage with a second to spare at the line. A remarkable solo effort which none of the teams had an answer to such as the powerful Bioracer-DHL-FR services U/23 team, the seasoned Dan team, the very strong Newry Wheeler’s team and the Caldwell boys who made it a very exciting race till the end. A big thank you to the promoting club Ards CC and his volunteers, the tens of static marshals, the motor marshals, the PSNI, the commissaires, the tea ladies, the timekeepers lead by Ian Barfoot, the St-Patrick Hall and all the sponsors named as Boyd-Rice solicitors, Agnew VW, Victory Chimp, Romas, and Ray Brownfield. We provided energy and recovery products to all the winners, a gift from a former sponsor (end of stock). Here a video I made and a link to the BPMedia photos on flickr (David Mc Veigh’s fantastic work)

More photos will be added in the next few days
1. Lindsay Watson Powerhouse 2:53:41
2 . Luke Smith BioRacer/DHL 2:53:42
3 . Chris Richardson BikeHouse s.t.
4 . Gareth O’Neill Newry Wheelers s.t.
5. James Curry Dan Morrissey Pactimo s.t.
6. Darnell Moore Caldwell Cycles s.t.
7. John Buller BioRacer/DHL s.t.
8. Mark Potts Unattached 2:54:10
A2: Mark McKinley Newry Wheelers
A3 :Adam Skeet Northern Dave Kane
First Vet: Des Woods Newry Wheelers
First unplaced Junior: Ciaran Dixon Team Type 1 Junior Team
First Ards rider: Andrew Hedley Ards CC
KoH: Darnell Moore Caldwell Cycles
Victory Chimp provider of the winner jersey with (from right to left) Ryan O’Reilly, Sharon Mc farland and media chief David Mc Veigh
Our club sponsor Roma’s family bistro-restaurant -pub in the Centre of Ards with Mark Watson a loyal member for decades with Ards CC
The team for the race today with main sponsor Neill from Boyd-Rice Solicitors
Ian Carson missing in the photo (we got Ian in the end below)
Gratefully accepting the donation towards our bursary fund by Phoenix CC