IT was a successful day’s racing at the inaugural Tyrone Championship Road Races last Sunday for the Island Wheelers with Alan McKeown and Martin Collins both coming away with a medal.
The racing, hosted by Omagh Wheelers commenced in Carrickmore along a challenging 19 mile circuit, with the ‘A’ race undertaking three laps of the circuit, and the B race two.
Action got underway almost immediately in the A race when on form Island Wheeler, Alan McKeown, and Angus Fyffe (Omagh Wheelers) attacked the peloton after only three miles of racing, a courageous move considering there was still 55miles of racing to be done.
However, the pair worked well together, and at one stage had opened out a gap of four minutes to the chasers behind. Going into the final lap, Kieran McKenna (EACC) was able to bridge the gap to the leading pair and with a group of three chasers behind, the pace at the head of the race began to pick up. It was all too much for Angus who was soon distanced by Kieran and Alan who knew they had to keep the speed up if they wanted to stay clear.
The pair rode hard on the final lap to ensure they weren’t going to be caught by the pursuers behind. Going into the final straight, it was Kieran McKenna who had the legs and took the Tyrone Championship ahead of Alan McKeown in second.
In the B race, Dermot Donaghy, Owen Campbell, Martin Collins, and Barry Hayes were all in action. The racing was fast from the start, so much so the race had to be neutralised so they didn’t overtake the riders in the A race! There were constants attacks, however no one was allowed to get away and the race came down to a bunch sprint with Martin Collins finishing strong to take sixth in a hotly contested sprint.
Well done to all the Island Wheelers who took part, great results to round up another excellent season for the club. The club would like to thank Omagh Wheelers for hosting a great event; everything from the marshalling to the refreshments after made sure that everyone had an enjoyable days racing.
Last Tuesday saw the Inter Club League come to a conclusion for another year with a road race along the Derrymacash Circuit. John Heverin (CECC) squeezed a narrow victory ahead of Island Wheeler, Richard Davidson. Martin Collins of the Island Wheelers also put in another strong performance to finish seventh just ahead of team mate Noel McLaughlin who was riding aggressively throughout the race, getting himself into the break, and then going on a solo rampage in the closing miles only to be caught on the home straight.
The Island Wheelers triathletes; Gareth Donnelly, and Kieran Talbot, were racing in Galway on Sunday at the Ironman 70.3 event. The pair had been training hard over the last few months for this prestigious race, however were unfortunate to be subjected to food poisoning just before the race.
However the pair didn’t let the far from ideal circumstances stop them from competing and both athletes recorded great times. Gareth clocked complete the race in a time of 5 hours and 17 minutes, with Kieran coming in not far behind with a time of 5 hours 37 minutes. Fantastic results, made even better considering the circumstances.