Tuesday 20 February 2018

There's no stopping Morton!

Fingal cyclists were once again in top form at both ends of the country at the weekend as the countdown begins to the 2017 An Past Ràs later this month.

On Saturday, Drogheda Wheelers Cycling Club promoted the Dunsany GP for Senior A3 and Senior A4 riders over a distance of 60km.

The previous night, alarm bells were ringing when it was discovered that there was a Combines for Charity event due to take place on the same route as the Dunsany GP, close to Kiltale in Co Meath.

As luck would have it, there was a second course available which allowed for the race to start and finish at the original location, so with the help of the Gardai, both the Charity Event and the Dunsany GP went off without incident.

The Senior A4 race attracted most interest from a Fingal point of view as it all came down to a bunch sprint where Mark Heather from Clontarf CC won by inches from Derek Humphries (McNally Swords CC). Jack O'Donnell from the promoting Drogheda Wheelers CC, finished in third place and that was a brilliant performance by young Jack and his first-ever podium finish. Ian Morrissey of McNally Swords CC took the first junior prize.

Cyclists in the North East had a choice of venue on Sunday when the Deenside Cycling Club in Castlecomer in Co Kilkenny promoted the Deenside Cup race for all senior categories, while Newry Wheelers CC held their annual 140km Tour of the Mournes race in warm, sunny weather.

The first half of that course took the riders along the coastline on very flat terrain, resulting in furiously fast racing, and the best local performer was Craig Sweetman from Stamullen Road club in 10th place, in a field of 100 riders.

Down in the sunny South East at the Deenside Cup Race, it was the unstoppable Swords man Eoin Morton from UCD, after his magnificent stage win and overall victory in the Tour of Ulster the previous weekend, who went on to take yet another fine victory in Kilkenny, outsprinting Sean Lacey from Aqua Blue club in Cork in a two-up sprint to the finish line.

Morton has now become one of the very best amateur cyclists in Ireland, and following his brilliant stage win in last year's An Post Ras, he is certainly looking forward to the challenge ahead in two weeks' time.

Also at the Deenside GP, Garda Eve McCrystal from Dundalk, who competes with the Garda Cycling Club, recorded a brilliant win in the Ladies Race.

With the start of the An Post Ras 8-Day International race just around the corner, full details will be published in next week's edition as this race will be visiting the local area quite an amount before finishing up in its regular home of Skerries town.

Elsewhere, on Wednesday night last McNally Swords CC continued with their Summer League at Ardcath and at the end of the Senior A race, Ciaran Handley from the promoting club was a clear winner from Arek Klus, Stamullen RC, with Jonathan Grimes from Swords in third place. In the Senior B race, 16-year-old James Willett from Swords took the win.

This league continues every Wednesday night, with this week's round taking place on the Garristown/Clonalvy circuit. Riders will complete 10 laps of the local circuit before finishing close to Clonalvy NS.

Fingal Independent

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