The Tour of the North International cycle Stage race takes to the roads of
County Antrim and Londonderry over the Easter weekend.
The Northern Ireland Cycling Federation promotions group event has
attracted a strong entry from local and visiting teams.
The home based contenders include Mark Downey (Banbridge) who won a junior
European silver medal in the track points race last summer. The Belgian
Project development team includes Ryan Reilly last years Ulster junior road
race champion. The Caldwell Cycles team from Omagh is a mix of experience
and youth with Connor Murphy a regular race winner for years, Paul Mulligan
the veterans Ulster Road Champion and young up and coming talents like
Darnell Moore and Craig McAuley. Other local riders on good form include
North Down CCs David Watson, Jonathan Taylor (Carn Wheelers) and Brian
Former professional and world championship rider Ronan McLoughlin from
Donegal is riding for Team Asea. Teams from across the water include the
PRO Vision Race Team which has the 2014 Scottish cross country mountain
bike elite champion, Robert Friel and David Griffiths who was 2nd in the
Scottish Hill Climb Championships.
The Spirit Bikes Team from Buckinghamshire includes Cameron Woolsey the
current National Junior 25 mile Time Trial Champion. Craig McCullogh leads
the East Kilbride Road Club team while the Spokes Racing Team include Ben
Forsythe and Sean Noon.
A French team, La Roche sur Yon Vendee and the WTOS-Delft squad from the
Netherlands bring some continental glamour to the bunch.
Racing begins on Easter Saturday from Ballymena at 12 noon. The 104
kilometre stage into the Glens of Antrim is due to finish on the Frys Road
between 2.20pm and 3pm, depending on conditions and race speed.
For specific route details and maps see tourofthenorth.net Estimated times
for the entire route of each stage can also be viewed
(Report by Brendan Kirk)