Only weeks following his debut stage race against senior competition Cameron McIntyre has delivered on the promise he has shown so far this season with an emphatic victory on the final day of the Lakeland 2-Day in Enniskillen, winning the stage, king of the hills competition, leading young rider competition and the overall General Classification – in short, he cleaned up. Cameron had played the team role over Easter at the Tour of the North in support of his Banbridge CC team mates; stage winner and yellow jersey wearer Gareth McKee and under 23 winner Mark Downey, however this time around he had the freedom to chase his own ambitions.
Riding in only his first year as a Junior, Cameron has broken onto the road scene as a bit of an unknown to many of his competitors having spent most of his years racing in the youth categories focused on mountain bike competition. That has quickly changed thanks to a string of strong rides from the start of the year where he has been mixing it with the top tier of Ulster cycling, and is surely now confirmed as a serious threat to consider for any races he lines up for in the coming months.
Cameron showed his intent to be in the thick of the action on stage 1 in Enniskillen when he finished 5th in the bunch sprint which was won by Jake Gray of the Nicolas Roche Performance Team, not Cameron’s forte by any means but obviously with a bit of form he can certainly hold his own. Stage 2 was a short time trial of 4km which was once again won by Gray, but with Cameron keeping him in touch with another 5th place at a mere 3 seconds and with a total of 6 riders all within 4 seconds of the lead it would be down to a tough finale on stage 3 which would take in the toughest climbs of the competition.
With so many riders in close contention the breaks came thick and fast from the start of the stage, and with many of the leading riders being supported by strong teams there were plenty of tactics at play on the road. This included Mark Heaney of Carn Wheelers, another young rider who has impressed this year winning the recent Bann Valley Classic, and who’s team were leading the team classification along with Gray and his teammate Aaron Swan of the impressive Nicolas Roche Performance Team. Cameron played a game of patience however and showed a race craft beyond his years and experience, waiting until the final climb of the day before playing his card. On the final ascent up to Doon Cameron launched an attack so blistering it would see a gap open out to almost 30 seconds at its peak and enough for him to crest the climb and enjoy his win with an advantage of 24 seconds over his nearest rival – most importantly, enough to see him wear the final yellow jersey of the race winner.
Everyone at Banbridge CC would like to congratulate Cameron on a fine victory and look forward to watching this promising rider continue his season in great form. With his recent accomplishments, showing both a strong ability to work as part of a leading team as well as fight for his own triumphs, he will be on the radar of many team selection panels for provincial and national duty.