SATURDAY past, 24th March saw East Tyrone Cycling Club promote the annual Cicli Sport Grand Prix on the Springhill - Tamlaght - Loup circuit with a total of five races run on the day.
The day got off to a good start for East Tyrone CC with a home win in the first race of the day. Jake Gray won the under 14 event in dominant fashion by over three minutes. The remaining four races were all tighter affairs with the winners in each only winning by a handful of seconds at most.
The under 16 was won by Aaron Swan of TSC Racing. In the masters race, which was contested by over 50’s and ladies, a group of about six riders came to the line with Noel Munnins of North Down winning the sprint.
The thirty six mile “B” race saw a large bunch of riders remain together for the majority of the race. Although there were various attempts of break aways, none of these were successful until the end when Paul McCarter of Omagh Wheelers went for a long effort in the final mile and managed to hold off a fast chasing bunch to win by several bike lengths. Karl Taylor (Ballymena Road Club) took second and Michael Doherty (North Pole CC) finished third. Robert Stewart of East Tyrone finished in a very creditable fourth and as a result has now gained enough points to upgrade to the A3 category.
The “A” race was a handicapped event with the A3, Junior and Vet category riders getting a 3 minute advantage over the A2 category riders, and the A1 riders a further thirty seconds back. The A1 riders wasted little time in reducing the deficit to the A2’s and caught them in the early stages of the race.
This combined group continued chasing but the limit group worked well together and didn’t make it easy for them. However all the groups eventually came together in the latter stages of the race to set up an exciting finish to the Cicli Sport Grand Prix. In the end a select group of riders got away to contest the finish between themselves. At the finish line it was another Omagh Wheelers rider who took the win. This time it was Marc Potts who was the victor by less than a bike length to Peter Williams of Curran Racing. Lakelands Philip Bremner followed closely for third.
East Tyrone Cycling Club would like to thank John Smyth of Cicli Sport in Moneymore for his sponsorship of this event. Also thanks to St. John’s Ambulance for providing First Aid cover, Loup GAC for use of their premises, the Cycling Ulster commissaires and to all the marshals, drivers and catering team.
A reminder to all club members that the April club meeting will take place this Monday 2nd April in Cookstown Leisure Centre at 8pm.
Finally the ever popular “Tame Tuesdays” run is set to resume on Tuesday 3rd April. This run departs from the car park at Asda Cookstown at 6.30pm throughout the summer. As the name suggests it is a more leisurely cycle ideal to anyone new to cycling or who enjoys touring. Everyone welcome!