Foyle Cycling Club members performed strongly at one of the premier cycling events on the Ulster calendar for A4 riders on the challenging drumlins near Omagh last weekend.
Host club, Omagh Wheelers organised a fantastic race with challenges for the sprinter, the climber, time trialist and the stage racer.
The Foyle CC team featured Jim Doyle, Eamonn Doherty, Niall McElhinney and Diarmuid O’Donnell with back-up support provided by manager, Chris McElhinney and director sportives, Lawrence Watson and Simon Gill.
Strong finishing by the team on day one of the race ensured that Doyle ended the day in 2nd place with O’Donnell in 5th.
Saturday morning’s time trial went well with riders all coming home in good time. Doyle rode the distance in 5mins 46secs, McElhinney 5m 47secs, Doherty 6m 10secs and O’Donnell 6m 12secs. This kept all riders in contention for Saturday’s second stage, not far behind race leader Diarmuid Logan (Carn Wheelers).
Despite some challenges on the road the team rode stage three of the race with some distinction. O’Donnell was involved in a crash and a mis-direction but still completed the stage. Doyle again finished strongly and ended the day in 10th place overall.
Sunday’s final stage proved to be the most difficult but the Foyle riders stuck to their task. After some serious climbing and some full-on attacks from the peloton, Logan proved strongest of the 100 plus riders still standing and took the overall win.
Foyle riders maintained their challenge as the day threw up some really testing hills designed to break even the strongest rider. Doyle took 35th overall as well as 9th in the sprints competition, Doherty was 48th, McElhinney was 67th and the somewhat unfortunate O’Donnell was 102nd.
The Foyle team finished 12th out of the 20 teams.