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SPAR Omagh Three Day Race Report

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Banbridge CC were delighted to get chosen  for the Omagh 3 Day Cycling Event as it always an over subscribed event. The A4 team of riders included James MacMahon, Adrian Peake, Peter McBride, Richard McBride and Chris Burns supported by David Lavery, Neil Teggart and Mark Kendall travelled to Omagh for the 9th edition of the Tour of Omagh 3 day stage race over the weekend of 27th - 29th July. The race covers 4 stages with 3 road races and 1 individual time trial. 

The first stage was a 43 mile road race with 3 KOH’s. The race was a cagey affair as riders didn’t want to show their hands too early. The Banbridge guys stayed close to the front covering any attempted breaks. The stage eventually finished in a bunch sprint with James following wheels to finish a superb 4th coming after a strong showing at the John Moore memorial the previous weekend where he placed 6th. The rest of the team finished in the bunch all on the same time. 

Early next morning the first Banbridge rider off was Adrain with the remainder of the team off at 1min intervals on the 2.5Mile Individual Time Trial. Conditions were fair with light rain compared what was to come in the road race in the afternoon. The guys warmed up under excellent guidance of Neil Taggert and were ready for the start. James was fastest Banbridge rider with an 8th best overall time. Closely followed by Peter and Richard. Adrian and Chris a few seconds further down. A very solid time trial for all the team. 

Stage 3 was a 46 mile road race with 2 KOH. This proved to be the toughest stage of the race, the riders had to contend with a challenging undulating route and the recent spell of weather came to an abrupt end with strong winds and heavy rain. The race however started at a frantic pace and was soon split to pieces as riders fought with the conditions and attacking racing. There was a great atmosphere at the first KOH in Carrickmore as spectators lined the climb and cheered on the riders. Going into the latter stage of the race the team had 4 riders in the main group which had whittled down to 30 odd riders from 102 starters, this group was to be diminished further as cross winds took their toll. Peter and Richard were still in the main group as it came down to a bunch sprint. Peter showed his form to take an excellent 6th place on a brutal day. Richard came in 16th on the same time a fantastic result for Richard in his first year of open racing and only his fourth race. The rest of the team fought the conditions to finish strongly. 

The 4th Stage was a 44 mile road race with a dreaded CAT 1 climb 10 mile from the finish. The weather had turned to summer again and the team had to give it more more go. The guys stuck to the plan and raced very hard on tired legs. The race stayed compact until it reached the Gortins where the race started to split. The team stayed in the front group with Peter very active. Unfortunately the climb proved too much for Adrain who dropped off the lead group but all credit as he was feeling unwell over the weekend but raced to the end and finished the event. The lead group was coming into the final sprint and Peter went for it with 1K to go eventually to be caught and swamped finishing 15th and taking 10th overall. Richard came in the next group back finishing very strongly. 

A great event organised by Omagh Wheelers and a successful event for Banbridge CC with 3 top 10 stage placings and 4th Overall in the Team Classification and 10th in the GC. The team would like to thank all the club members who travelled to support the team on the road it is very much appreciated. 

D Lavery

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