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)
The A2-A3 race (90km)
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.