4 April 2006

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A week after contributing to an excellent team performance at the Commonwealth Games, several riders were back in action at last Saturday's big race ,t he Tour of Ards, a 100km circuit of the Ards peninsula organised by Ards CC and supported by Biznet Solutions. A field of around 100 riders rolled out in fine weather on a controlled lap of Ards town centre, arranged as a gesture of respect for Bobby Adair, a stalwart of the Ards club who died a few weeks ago. Games rider Ryan Connor was grateful for the neutralised start as he punctured after a few hundred yards but was soon able to make contact again.

The race was run at a furious pace and by the halfway mark a group of 5 riders had opened a 40 second gap. The group contained some of the favourites including Tommy Evans, Ryan Connor, Ards rider Martyn Irvine along with Dave Watson (Dave Kane Northern)  and Tommy Wilson(Ballymena). Towards the end Evans and Connor broke away with Evans taking the sprint, followed by Connor.  Third place went to Frazer Duncan(Dave Kane Northern) who had broken clear of the chasing peloton.
 Sunday's race at Aghagallon saw North Down's Irish time trial champion, Stuart Henry, have his first outing in the Under 16 race. On a tight circuit Stuart positioned himself well going into the final bend but lost out in the sprint. The victory went to Philip Lavery of Usher IRC and Michael Downey of Banbridge was second, just ahead of Henry.
 This Saturday's races are staged by the Banbridge club. For 1st and 2nd category riders is the Beggs Memorial , over70 miles, starting at noon in Dromore. The minor race, the McGreevy Memorial, for all other categories, is at the same time.
Sunday morning's action is split between the NICF Time Trial league 10 mile time trial at Ballyclare, 9am and the road race at Carrickmacross over 100km at 11.30am.

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