Wishing you all a safe and peaceful Easter Sunday & Ar mian leat Domhnach Cásca sábháilte agus síochánta

Today I introduce you to a photographer, musician, and retired architect called Billy Mol from Antrim (Parkgate). Billy plays the mandolin, cittern and concertina, loves his cycling, nature and sports photography, enjoys his running, hiking, horses, dogs, modern Irish art, the sea and used to be a sailor too. Have met Billy a few times when I cover races in that part of the country and was intrigued by his appearance, especially his moustache (a bit jealous..lol) but most of all his photos who defiantly have a place in this series…With being Easter weekend, we normally meet at the finish line at the International Tour of the North, but not today I am afraid due to the Covis 19 disaster, but in one way we meet virtually with his participation to the series. Billy told me yesterday  ” I took to cycling late in life when I retired from Architectural practice 12 years ago. I went off to Mallorca with a crowd of my much younger fitness friends who were going there on one of their regular training jaunts in the Sun, so I bought a bike! Nobody bothered to mention the hills !!! The bug bit, the rest is history. I learnt quickly and soon was having a ball and soaking it all up. But, amongst the things I soon learnt was that I would never be a serious rider. So I now content myself taking pics and buying very nice bikes because I need all the help I can get ( I introduced the “32 cogs” to Northern Ireland and very soon Mr Contador joined in ) Here is a selection of some of my faves … today’s selection, if I did it again tomorrow or the next day too, it would be a different lot every time !!! I love the atmosphere, all the colour, the buzz, the smell of sweat and adrenaline and anticipation and fear, all the effort and pain and ecstasy and despair and triumph too! I walk in the company of giants … heroes and heroines (it’s safer there ! ) and vicariously relish the whole lot. I don’t always manage it but it’s my challenge, and that of all my brother snappers too, to capture some of those millisecond moments. So thank you all for letting me come out to play in my own way “ Thanks so much my friend from the Glens…be safe (Note: if sharing these photos please credit Billy as courtesy, thanks Dany )

Chris McGlinchey towards the top of the final climb from the coast and well clear of the field to win the 2019 edition of The Red Hand Trophy
A determined group of McGlinchey’s pursuers in the same Red Hand Trophy race . !st June 2019
A few shots from round 6 of the brilliant Ernie Magwood Super 6 TT series (3) One of those days with lots of light and sun on your back when it’s hard to take a bad snap! Above Darrell Erwin (Ballymena RC)
A day of all seasons at the Irish Championships Woman’s Road Race in June last year the chasing group embarks on the final lap passing through one of Derry’s iconic gateways!
The BMC on the Team Trial practice at the 2014 Giro d’Italia in a moment of tight formation outside the Gas Works on Ormeau Rd.
The Money Shot of the Movistar team at the Giro TTT practice with a few familiar faces on show.
Up close and personal at the Ulster 10mile Time Trial Championship in August 2018.
Punching a very small hole in the air !!!
A visitor from the FrenchTeam Breiz summits as one one of the chasers through the Carrabut Gap on the final approach to the Mount Leinster finish on Stage 3 of 2017 An Post Ras na mBan
Another hard chasing group at Carrabut, their faces displaying their massive competitive efforts on the steep slopes they’ve just encountered!
Eve McCrystal wearing the Best Irish Rider Jersey embarks on the final charge to the line at Kilkenny Castle in an absolute deluge the last Stage 6 of the 2017 An Post Ras na mBan.
The colour, the atmosphere, the cheers, the odour “de Biere” and the rattle of bikes on the cobbles all need to be experienced. Towards the finish of the “De Ronde van Vlaanderen 2018
Sharon Bird making one last powerful charge on the cruel final climb up Ferry Quay Street to finish 5th in the Irish Championships Woman’s Road Race in Londonderry, 2019.
TV camera bikes add to the theatre of international cycling … here they are close quarter escorting some of the leaders to the finish line of stage 1 of the Ras na mBan,2019 in Gowran, Co Kilkenny.

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