The new leader today after Stage 2 is Conor Hennebry (Dan and going to the final stage tomorrow in Pink…after attacking today it will be more defending in the morning for the Morrissey’s team but they have the debt to pull this off, talking to Ronan Mc Laughlin on the podium who was 3rd today Ronan said “today was getting close in the GC and the win even better, the team worked hard today and was in every move resulting in being awarded the lead!

European medal holder on the track (piste for my Belgian followers) Multiple off road Irish Champion and now winning hard stages on the road…there is more to come from this man!!
Photo Shea Gribbon

They call it choco in Belgium…in Ireland just fecked…JB Murphy had nothing left after his win today
Photo Shea Gribbon
Monty still looking fresh after such ordeal…watch this space
Here below a song to describe the moment, especially for Emily McStea
Photo Shea Gribbon
I grew up with such music and when I saw this photo of Shea Gribbon from above, this song came straight away in my mind …

Right…getting back to the It was a cold day, with a stiff breeze near mountain tops but at least dry for the warriors of the road. Here a report sent by Paul Nugent to describe the race as it unfolded. “The Tour of Ulster started today in the Banbridge with 95.8 miles to cover. By the time the race reached 21 miles covered 20 riders had a24 second lead group. The group consisted of James Curry (Dan, Sean Hahessy (Dan, Ronan McLaughlin (Dan, Gareth McKee (Banbridge Composite), David Montgomery (Banbridge Composite), Gareth O’Neill (Newry Wheelers CC), Jude Sands (Newry Wheelers CC), Donal Shearer (Phoenix CC), Karl Morgan (Phoenix CC), Lindsay Watson (Powerhouse Sport), Ben Joughin (Pro Vision Race Team UK), Charlie Prendergast (STRATA3/VeloRevolution Racing Team), John Buller (Team Bioracer-DHL-FR Services), Luke Smith (Team Bioracer-DHL-FR Services), Darnell Moore (Team Caldwell Cycles), Peter Hawkins (Team Upshift Velo), Ross Walton (Team Upshift Velo), Marc Heaney (Velo Revo), Coen van Kleef (Westland Wil Vooruit) & Craig Rea (Zero Boys). They were caught by 28 miles covered. 2 riders then attacked on the second KOH with 33 miles covered. They were Mark Dowling (Cycling Leinster) & Dermot Trulock (Cycling Leinster). They had a lead of 46 seconds as they crested the KOH. Sean Hahessy (Dan then went off in pursuit of the 2 leaders and joined them before the third KOH of the day, and the main field at 1 minute. Cian Keogh (Powerhouse Sport) & Angus Fyffe (Team Caldwell Cycles) went in pursuit of the 3 leaders and joined them just after the fourth KOH at Rathfriland. Gareth O’Neill (Newry Wheelers CC) joined the 5 leaders as the race approached Spelga Dam, but the race then regrouped on the climb. 3 riders then attacked over Spelga Dam. They are Ronan McLaughlin (Dan, Donal Shearer (Phoenix CC) & James Jobber (Team Upshift Velo). They were then joined by Conor Hennebry (Dan, JB Murphy (Cycling Leinster), Charlie Prendergast (STRATA3/VeloRevolution Racing Team) & Matthew Sparrow (Zero Boys), and they had a 37 lead over 10 chasers. By the final KOH of the day the lead was 1 minute 23 seconds over the pink jersey group. Matthew Sparrow (Zero Boys) then punctured out of the front group. Conor Hennebry (Dan has attacked off the front group and was joined by JB Murphy (Cycling Leinster) with just over 5km to go. They built up a lead of 15 seconds, with JB Murphy (Cycling Leinster) winning a 2 up sprint. The new race leader is Conor Hennebry (Dan The leader of the King of the Hills competition after day 2 is Lindsay Watson (Powerhouse Sport). The stage tomorrow starts at Banbridge RFC, Banbridge (09.45 am) and finishing at Newry Road, Banbridge (12.30pm), and this 71.7-mile stage is another tough stage with 6 climbs on the route”

Photo Shea Gribbon …The Banbridge connection

Well, it will be very interesting tomorrow as still 16 riders within 2 minutes of the leader, hopefully, we have the weather for it. Here some photos I took today including the feature one…thanks to Shea Gribbon (Pedal Pushers, sponsors in kind of the project) for helping me out with action & finish photos, as I was otherwise engaged as MC ..see you all in Banbridge 10 am in the morning and let’s see if Conor Hennebry could win it twice …here the full results courtesy of the Time Team

Conor Mc Cann getting good form and still in contention for a top 5 result.
Adam Ward getting Inspired from the master Chris Mc Cann
Adam is a guest rider for Mc Convey’s Cycles but keeping warm in his home team gear

Dee Quinn and friends from the UCD team Dublin
MBE and Cycling Ireland stall ward Jack Watson in pretty company today…hope I still can do that when I am 80 !!
My respect for this guys…they keep our races safe…merci
What else would Husband and wife do on a Sunday…
The black bord team
A thank you to Alan Bingham (left of the picture) from AB Trophy’s Warrenpoint for sponsoring the Belgian Project gold medals this year…They will be given to people who have volunteered as photographers, riders who promoted the project abroad in the past and people who left an impression on me, many giving back so much to our beloved sport. Last year we honoured the graduates and bursary holders, included some stall wards of Irish Cycling and this year we continue our awards, these people are keeping racing alive around the Island.

The first medal presented this year goes to someone special in my heart…Peter Hawkins (Upshift Velo) was one of my first graduates 10 years ago, he went to Belgium in 2009 as guest rider for the then called top amateur team Decock-Capino which he stayed with for nearly 4 years till he got a pro continental offer with British Sigma Sport, won a stage in the Rass and yellow jersey holder ( he crashed out the next day ) Won big classics in Ireland during that time and a very respected rider in my homeland at the time. Many times Cycling Ireland team member, Common Wealth competitor and I could go one and one…Now settled in Newcastle GB as a teacher and has a very successful coaching company ( see recommend coaches page on this site) All the riders in his composite team at the TOTN and now the TOU are clients of him and as we have noticed in the last few weeks the results are very good (James Jobber won a stage in the TOTN 2 weeks ago and has been prominent this weekend with already 2 top 5 resulst …Thank you Peter…you are the one who has put credibility into the project and a perfect billboard to us…bedankt en merci