The A4 and Women’s race (Morning Race)

Chased by 2 fast girls was Colin Hawley (Yeat’s Country) …and just enough left in the thank to keep them away

Early start yesterday as a 340km round trip was ahead for us yesterday morning….the sky looked grey and not very promising at times when we arrived at the sleepy village of Derrygonnelly near Beleek in Fermanagh…the organisers Lakeland CC had provided a trailer for our equipment ( PA system) and shared with Ian Barfoot who done the foto finish and timekeeping job…very grateful for the shelter as it was certainly needed later in the day. The first race of the day was a shared race (A4’s and ladies) with separate but equal prize money to the winners…We see this happening in many races and only can be welcomed…doing the same distance and efforts deserves equal rewards. Only 1 lap of the 33 miles circuit, with a 6-mile climb thrown in, and about an hour and a half before they returned to the finish area…It became a dash to the line…and Colin Hawley (Yeat’s Country ) just had about enough power left in the leg’s to keep Darcey Harkness (VC Glendale) and Naoimhe O’Brien (Weston Homes-Torelli-Assure) off remounting him…I announced just before their arrival that it would be great if a woman could win the race and they nearly did!! What a promoting way for our lady racers and great for the future of women’s cycling in Ireland.

Lakeland Bikes (Sponsor A4 Race)
1. Colin Howley Yeats Country CC
2. Darcey Harkness VC Glendale
3. Caoimhe O Brien Weston Homes-Torelli-Assure
4. John Berry Armagh City Cyclists
5. Mervyn Kinkade DB CC
6. Martin Mc Bride Lakeland
7. Simon Gray Un-Attached Ulster
8. John Vallely Armagh City Cyclists
9. Michael Pickles Lakeland CC
10. Gary Donnelly Fintona CC West Tyrone Velo
Woman’s Podium: 1st. Darcey Harkness VC Glendale
2nd. Caoimhe O Brien Weston Homes-Torelli-Assure
3rd. Rachel Irvine (The Bike House Bangor)

The Lakeland GP (A*-A1-2-3 + Juniors) afternoon race

What else would you do on a Sunday afternoon?

A full field of competitors which included a few big names from the Southern part of Ireland, as restriction allows them to race in the North from now on!! The race was sponsored by the local Donnelly Group. This time 2 laps of the 33miles circuit and the 6-mile climb to conquer twice…this was giving me the opportunity to get some action shots and be well back on time to do the MC job at the line…well….arrived at the top of the hill in blazing sunshine, and 5 minutes later all hell came down on Earth…hailstones as big as smarties rained down on us, but at least we had the right clothing to protect us and the car to hide in…the brave bunch didn’t have that luxury and the temperature dropped to the nearly freezing point…felt so sorry for them, a few handfuls had to abandon the race after the first lap and understandable…by that time the handicap was already overturned and many groups on the road. In the second climb of the day, a group of 6 went clear and it was the winning break…They went for the line in the village. Ex-Irish Junior road champ Adam Ward (Antiga Casa Bellsolà Club Ciclista Spain) got his first win of 2021 leaving a small distance to Mark Dowling (All Human-VeloRevolution Racing Team) and just behind him Gareth O’Neill (Caldwell Cycles) took the last place of the podium. By that time the sun was back to warm the cockles again. The only woman in the race was Megan Armitage A2 (UCD Dublin) She took the prize off course of the first lady…in normal circumstances just a fact, but hey…in the brutal conditions of yesterday finishing is already a strong performance and admirable effort for all who did!! Thank you Lakeland CC for inviting us, and the donation to the project which keep us on the road for another while…I had no voice left when back at home…my wife loves it for understandable reasons…Next for us is Bishopscourt on Saturday for the combined women’s and youth races and the Dunboyne GP on Sunday.

This is the leg of Timothy O’Regan (Team WORX) after the rain..the hailstones broke his skin!!

(Top 10 result) 1. Adam Ward Antiga Casa Bellsolà Club Ciclista
2. Mark Dowling All Human-VeloRevolution Racing Team
3. Gareth O Neill Team Caldwell Cycles
4. Lindsay Watson Powerhouse Sport
5. Mark Mc Ginley Four Masters CC
6. Nathan Keown Dan Morrissey-McCarthy Insurance-Pactimo
7. Odhran Doogan Team Caldwell Cycles
8. Nathan Mullan Dromara CC
9. Ruairi Power Team Caldwell Cycles
10. Peter McLean Ards CC
Women’s Prize: Megan Armitage UCD
Unplaced A2: Lee Harvey VC Glendale
Unplaced A3: Ruairi Power Team Caldwell Cycles
Unplaced Junior: Odhran Doogan Team Caldwell Cycles

A few photos I took during the day

Asia Bula (Quinta Scott) return to Road Racing as training for her MTB career…
The men behind the scenes..thanks for setting us up
Asia fits twice in