(Feature photo courtesy of Toby Watson)
The Killowen Contracts Tour of the Mournes 2019 promoted by Newry Wheelers
What a day we had today, pleasant weather and top of the drawer racing in the gorgeous surrounding of the Mourne Mountains. Start and finish was changed to the hidden village of Burren near Warrenpoint this time around, perfect for such high profile race. 80 riders had signed on, mostly A1 and A2 riders and some invited top A3’s and Juniors to tackle the many climbs on the route of the 120km race. Fully supported by the PSNI the race went smoothly through all the villages on the route map. In the first hour of the race direction to Newcastle, no break fully succeeded till 7 riders went “up the road” when they hit Rathfriland hill, the race didn’t go to the top as a funeral has been held in the town at the same time, out of respect the organisers Newry Wheelers changed the route a bit to not upset the mourners and also to avoid a held up of the race.
Jody Wright, Jude Sands, James Ambrose, Sean Featherstone, Johnny Taylor, Garrett Fitzgerald and Gareth McCullough never got more than 40 seconds. Eventually, they have been caught with about 15 miles to go. 2 brave attempts from Donegal man Mitchell Mc Laughlin, first with Calvin Moore, the second time by Richard Maybin never got more than 20 seconds to the second group of 6 chasers with last year winner Adam Ward included…It went to a sprint in the end which Adam had no problem of leaving the others in his wake and retaining the silverware for the second year in a row
Got stuck in some traffic in Hilltown in the way to the finish, and in my hurry, after done a wrong turn I missed the finish with 1 minute, thankfully Toby Watson lent me one of his photo’s to headline the report. A video tomorrow of the day bar the finish. Newry Wheelers spearheaded by Drew Mc Kinley and his vast army of volunteers done themselves proud, immaculate executed with the help of all the marshals,commissaires, PSNI outriders and command car, the static marshals and cavalcade support cars. A thank you to Newry Wheelers also for the donation received towards our project…it is very much appreciated such help and keeps us on the roads. Here a few photos to end the report (including top 8 results) and see you all in the same area for next weeks Hilltown GP promoted by Newry’s neighbour Armagh Down.