This was a home race for us…it saved on accommodation costs, petrol and timing, longer sleep between stages and home-cooked meals for the team at our house and HQ for the duration. We had a strong team selected with some of the best Under 23’s about at the time lead by the captain of the weekend Aaron Mc Grady (Phoenix CC) who flew over from London to join the team. We had the support and advice from Cormac Mc Cann (ex-international and Olympian) who acted as DS for the team, Cormac won about anything you can win in Ireland several times, and an expert in tactics and reading races, very valuable info as my tactics from years ago wouldn’t be allowed in modern It was a weekend when the TOTN was now in the hands of race organizer Joan Mark Mc Cullough and her Ballymena volunteers, who took over from Anthony Mitchell at the helm, but still, the same Northern Ireland Cycling Federation running the show…And a show it was with a circuit to race on at stage one, the Down Mountains at the next few stages with a finale in Newtownards on Easter Monday. We done very well, we got 4th in the Team GC out of 22 teams, second in the U23 GC and 6th in the Overall GC…considering we lost one rider (Matthew Brennan) after stage one due to illness. It was a weekend when my riders and entourage wore a black armband in memory of the murdered innocent people at Brussel Airport on 22 March 2016 and I was so proud of them due to the way they raced, attacked, and teamwork performances. The video was made as per usual by our in house paparazzi David Mc Veigh, our riders not only have to race but also have to show their acting skills, unique I say in Ireland

Team entourage and sponsors, from left to right: David Mc Veigh (BP Media Team), Josh Murray (Mechanic and sponsor) Scott Roberts (soigneur) his dad Gordy ( Main Sponsor, Transport and Mechanic) Garth Young (Co-Sponsor and kit provider) Yours truly as team car driver, Gary Donaldson (Omagh) Craig Rea (Belfast) Ryan Reilly (Derry) and Aaron Mc Grady ( London and Road captain) , and Caolan Hawkins (apprentice BP Media team)
Whatever success we had over the years… these 2 lads have something to do with it, Peter Hawkins and Cormac mc Cann…thanks so much, lads
Winner Ed Clements (Tifosi GB) with KOH winner Glen Kinning (Kinning Cycles) and U23 winner Declan Mulholland, left is Joan Mark Mc Cullough (race organizer) and on the right Ian Henry (Ards and Bangor Council) and brother of Tom Henry (NDCC)