Ulster Cycling News
12Jul/130

Cycling Ulster team ride well in Junior Tour of Ireland

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A four-man team of Ulster Juniors travelled to Ennis, Co. Clare last weekend to tackle the Junior Tour of Ireland. The team consisting of Craig McAuley (VO2 Development Team), Angus Fyffe (Omagh Wheelers CC), Curtis Gilmore (Team Madigan CC) and Declan Reid (Newry Wheelers CC) faced opposition from France, USA, Holland, GB and the best Irish riders around.

Acknowledged as the world’s longest junior stage event, the pace was fast and furious with average speeds each day of 25mph. The racing was aggressive with riders targeting the King of the Mountains, Points and Overall competitions. The scenery around the coast of Co. Clare was breathtaking with some classic stages around the Cliffs of Moher and the Burren. However, the riders didn’t have much time to look around as the pace and attacking was relentless.

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Ulster riders Curtis Gilmore and Angus Fyffe were active in a number of breaks throughout the five road stages, with Fyffe infiltrating a major break on stage 4 which built up a lead of 2minutes 30seconds at one point. However, with six categorized climbs that day including a category one climb, the race all came back together for a sprint at the end. Fyffe also managed a solo break-away on the final stage for over 10miles. Team-mates McAuley and Reid also rode very well finishing strongly in the remainder of the bunch each day which was whittled down to under 30 riders each day. The final day finished on a mountain top finish which blew the race apart. Ulster’s McAuley dug in deep and finished an excellent 7th place, which moved him up on overall general classification to 16th place. Team-mates Reid, Fyffe and Gilmore finished 24th, 26th and 28th respectively of the 80 international starters.

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Each of the riders displayed a gutsy and intelligent performance, certainly worthy of the Ulster colours. Individually they developed as riders, but they also rode very maturely as a team, looking after each other throughout the stages. The riders would like to thank the Cycling Ulster Executive and Road Commission for their support and for the opportunity to ride such a fantastic race. Thanks also go to Stevie McKenna and Marc Potts who managed the team and provided valuable experience to help educate the riders on their journey.

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Report and pics by Stephen McKenna.

Cycling Ulster would like to congratulate the riders and team officials on their excellent performance in this tough race.  It goes to prove what we all already knew; that we have strong young riders coming through the sport in Ulster.

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