FOYLE Cycling club headed off to Moneymore on Saturday last for the annual CicliSport GP, hosted by East Tyrone club, a slightly shorter trip for the team made up of Aaron Deane, Danny Logue and Lawrence Watson.
The race was six laps (90 kms) of a hilly and narrow country roads with not much room for error and the start was, interestingly, delayed as a farmer decided to protest against the race for the second consecutive year by parking a van in the centre of the road.
However, after a swift visit from the local police the matter was soon resolved and the race got underway.
Logue and Watson set of in the A3’s while Deane competed in the A2 category, three minutes behind them closely followed by the A1 racers one minute later.
Lawrence took off after the first few miles in an early break-away but only managed a lap out in front as his fellow escapees refused to work together and the bunch soon swallowed them up on the second lap.
Danny rode hard at the front along with Watson and a few other teams including East Antrim CC, Newry Wheelers and Phoenix CC and as the laps counted down it looked like the chasing groups were never going to catch this very strong bunch of riders.
Back in the chasing group Deane was feeling strong and rode smartly and was soon joined by an eager bunch of A1 riders within the first lap.
It was only then that the two groups starting riding well together and started eating into the lead groups three minute advantage.
With four laps remaining they had taken back a minute and soon Deane was driving hard at the front and with two laps to go they successfully caught the group and cut through them like a hot knife through butter and forced their way to the front of the race and started setting the tempo for a frantic finish.
With the final lap upon them, Deane broke off the front with another six riders and soon opened up a 30 seconds gap while in the main bunch Danny and Lawrence got caught up in a large pile up caused by an oncoming tractor and riders not taking the right side of the road. Thankfully they both escaped without any major injuries but one rider was taken to hospital for treatment.
Meanwhile, at the front Deane pulled the break to the line only to see the riders attack him in the last few hundred metres with Aaron finishing in a fantastic 7th place behind winner Mark Potts from Omagh Wheelers
This Sunday’ race saw Jim and Matthew Doyle attended the Carn Wheelers promotion in Tobermore and despite early efforts from Matthew in the breakaway, he was soon caught and finished in the bunch along with Jim who even tried to escape on the last lap for solo glory.