Dolan goes close to first win of the year in Tour of the Mournes

Liam Dolan competing in the Tour of the Mournes on Sunday

Liam Dolan competing in the Tour of the Mournes on Sunday

Cuchulainn Cycling Club’s Liam Dolan went very close to taking his first win of the year in the Tour of the Mournes on Sunday last.

The 155km cycle saw the 80 strong field tackle some rolling countryside on a warm but blustery day. After 35km Dolan found himself part of a six man escape group, which by the end of the day was whittled down to just Dolan and Dave Hamilton of North Down CC.

The pair drove to the finish with a minute over the remains of the main bunch, where Hamilton pipped Dolan for the win. Colm Quinn also had a good result with ninth position overall.

Both Colm and Liam will be on the start line this Sunday for the An Post Rás, which starts in Dunboyne. The eight-day international cycle race will see a stage finish in Drogheda on Saturday May 23rd.

The Bike Station Summer Cycling League continued this week with the course being out to Ardee, across the link road and home through Castlebellingham. It was another big turn out with 84 riders signing on across the two races.

The first race off was once again a bunch sprint with the three groups finally coming together before Kilsaran. As the line fast approached on the Fane Bridge, round one winner Val Gargan was again the quickest, outsprinting Alan Bingham for the win with Kenny Sullivan in third.

The second race was a master class in pacing from Johanna Rogan who rode away from the rest of group one and held off the fast moving riders behind to take the win. Gavin McDermott was next home winning the sprint for second place ahead of underage sensation Connor McKeown. Catherine Sands’ good riding meant another lady was in the top five. Group three, meanwhile, never bridged the gap to the leaders so had to settle for the minor placings.

The Mountain Bike League is also in full swing and round four returned to Bellurgan Park. The recent rainfall made for real testing conditions for the riders. Like the Bike Station league, this league also operates two races a night such are the numbers.

In race one Liam Burns was in flying form on his new stead and took a victory from Aaron McCann, who was unlucky to have a mechanical on the last lap while closing in on Burns. Niall O’Flaherty was third.

In race two PJ Hynes was well ahead of the chasing pack cruised in to take first place with a few minutes to spare ahead of John Kane in second and Paul Durnin rounding out third. Round five returns to the wilderness of the open mountain.

The Tour of Louth, Cuchulainn’s annual sportive is to be held Sunday May 31st and again expects to attract a big field to tackle the 110km of scenic Co Louth countryside. The route will follow the usual format of out towards Dunleer, across to Ardee, back to Dundalk before heading around Carlingford via the tough climb at Jenkinstown. There will also be a shorter 50km route on the day. Dowdallshill GAA club is the sign on location.

Finally under the stewartship of Philip Kerley, an underage cycling group has begun to meet every Monday night at 6.45pm at Muirhevnamor Community Centre. Riders aged 11-15 years are welcome, along with their parents to tackle 20km to 25km of cycling with experienced guides.

Categories: Sport

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