Storm Hanna left some gutsy winds behind yesterday in Derrygonnelly and made the Lakeland GP extra hard for his 2 races. All photos courtesy of Sharon Mc Farland who helped out today while I was filming a video (online tonight). More of Sharon high-quality photo’s at the bottom of the report, with thanks

When I left the house in Newtownards “Storm Hanna” was calming down but heavy rain till the Ballygawley junction, then the Sun all the way to the outskirts of Enniskillen where the wind was still blowing a bit, but safe enough to race. The sign on in Derrygonnelly was in the Tir Navar Holiday Village near the famous Lough Erne Lakes in Fermanagh and the race had a 20 miles circuit with a long drag at the back end of the lap with an extra hurdle called headwind. The A4′ had 2 laps to do, a solo escape of Fergus McCarry (Four Masters CC) in the first lap decided the outcome and no one came near him, as the bunch was chasing for more than 40km the Donegal fellow and to no avail! A bit like Eddy Merckx who didn’t like bunches and prefered to be “Up the Road” in a small group or as most of the times on his own as a trademark of the Belgian Icon! The masters (mixed with the A4’s) had to sprint within a sprint so to speak to decide their placings and won by Johnny Web (NDCC) just ahead of double ex Ras stage winner Stephen Finnegan (Yeats Country Sligo)

Result A4 (60km)
1.Fergus McCarry Four Masters CC
2.Gareth Kirkwood Team Madigan
3.Ramunas Meskauskas Bohermeen CC
4.Conrad Kettles VC Glendale
5.Marty Lynch Newry Wheelers
6.Vincent Doherty Northwest MTB
Unplaced Lakeland CC Rider
Mark Veich Lakeland CC
Masters Race (60km)
1.Johnny Webb North Down CC
2.Stephen Finnigan Yeats Country
3.Glen Howe Bann Valley Wheelers
4.Fergal Magee Apollo CC
5.Chris Wheeler Team Madigan
6.Kieran McGrory Lakeland CC
7.Gary Maguire Harps CC
8.Kenny Boylan Lakeland CC

The A2-A3 race (90km)
Cahir Doyle (Powerhouse Sport) trying to get something going but a puncture sees him chasing the later winning break, but the old hand Kevin Lynch ( Newry Wheelers) was one of the instigators of the break. When all came together in the first lap he made sure he was involved with every move up front and eventually established a group of 4 to go to the line, but with the every week improving junior Mark McGinley (Four Masters) in the break he had to be pleased with a 3rd place just behind Adrian Mc Gregor (Dunloy CC) in second. It was Mark’s first win this season but in each race I have seen this Donegal lad working hard and not afraid to enter big races, getting involved in breaks and this was his reward for his efforts earlier this season.
Results A2-A3 & Juniors (90km)
1.Mark McGinley Four Masters CC
2.Conor Sprice Lakeland CC
3.Kevin Lynch Newry Wheelers
4.Adrian McGregor Dunloy CC
5.Cathir Doyle Powerhouse Sport
6.Leo Doyle UCD Cycling Club

Unplaced A3
Eugene Clarke Bann Valley Wheelers

It was a windy day on a very picturesque circuit with a rolling nature including some long ascents, and with the help of an army of volunteers, a local biking club as motor marshals, the PSNI with motorbikes and static officers, the comms and all the volunteers it became a great day of racing and well executed by promoting club Lakeland CC and his sponsors Lakeland Bikes, Donnelly Group (officials cars), The Oil People, Sign Design and Roofscape. Before I hit the roads for a 150km journey back home I was presented with a donation towards the Belgian Project Bursary fund, and very welcomed as I can add another bursary to the tally in June… Thanks so much, Lakeland CC in behalf of my pool of juniors and espoirs…it makes a difference…Any other club who would be interested of supporting the bursary fund please get in touch…we don’t talk about much money but with many of you it will make our youth a chance of “Living the dream” Note: all donations are going 100% into the fund.

Gratefully accepted in behalf of my youngsters
Photo one of many of Sharon’s Photo album