After Saturday’s dramatic postponement the AmberGreen Energy Tour of Ulster was in full swing on Sunday with 123 riders competing in the gruelling 92.3 mile race from Newry to Cookstown.
Edward Laverack (Cheshire JLT Condor) fought the battle hard to win the Homecare Independent Living sponsored stage 3 of the AmberGreen Energy Tour of Ulster which finished on Cookstown Main Street.
The race, which took approximately 3hr30mins, saw Laverack take first position followed by Mark Dowling from team DID Dunboyne in second place with Eoin Morton of UCD in third position, who is the new race leader for today’s (MON) circuit race around Cookstown.
Organiser Garry Nugent, of BGN Management, said yesterday’s race was on schedule with riders enjoying the milder warmer weather compared to Saturday’s hail, sleet and snow.
Speaking after Sunday’s podium presentations, he said: “The weather was a welcome relief for the riders who found themselves cycling into harsh conditions during stage two. But stage 3 presented its own challenges with a tough enough ride up through the mountains in Keady. We saw many cyclists dropping off after 16 miles in but generally the pace was kept up the whole way and we finished in Cookstown on schedule.
“It’s great to see the guys on the podium because it’s a challenging race and now they can let their bodies recover ahead of the circuit challenge.”
Presenting on behalf of stage sponsor Homecare Independent Living was Charmaine Hamilton.
She said: “The momentum for the Tour of Ulster this year is phenomenal and so we are delighted to be involved. These riders are top class athletes so it’s a pleasure for Homecare to be associated with the Tour of Ulster.”
Large crowds are expected in Cookstown today (MON) for the stage four circuit race, sponsored by Saltmarine Cars.
The circuit will take cyclists through William Street, Orritor Road, Tulnacross Road, Flo Road, Omagh Road, Tullagh Road, Fairhill Road, James Street, William Street and back into Cookstown main street for a family fun day and podium presentations.
Neil O’Brien, chairman of AmberGreen Energy, the event partner, said: “The race so far has been amazing and today (MON) will be no exception. Mid Ulster Council are hosting a fun day for all of the family and so, that, combined with the fact that Ireland’s longest established cycling race is in the town, Cookstown is the place to be on this Bank Holiday Monday.
“Having so many elite cyclists from across the globe here in Mid Ulster is fantastic for the local economy, creates a great buzz in the community and has given us all a fantastic display of racing all weekend.”
Live action from the race will be published on Twitter @AGE TourofUlster and on Facebook during the course of the four stages.