Tydavnet community centre was the base for the annual Grand Prix races held last Sunday (19th May) by Emyvale cycling club. The event brought a few hundred riders and their supporters as well as spectators into the village. The circuit for the adult competitors went from Tydavnet to Clintacasta and on towards Knockatallon, turning back towards McNally’s Cross and then straight through to Lemaculla cross, where a sharp left turn brought them back to the village. Malcolm Totten’s excellent pictures from the turn at Lemaculla can be found here.
The youth riders faced a different circuit from normal owing to the ongoing roadworks on the N2 which have resulted in the closure of a number of roads in the area. I arrived late when the senior race had just finished. I noticed in the temporary car park two riders wearing UCD jerseys. One of them was folding up his bike and packing it away in his car. I think it was the overall winner of the main race, Ciaran O Conluain, who received the John Colton Cup.
The Cycling Ulster report says that in the race for A1 and A2 riders the pace split the bunch in three group early on. The head of the pack included riders such as William Larmour and Glen Kinning of East Antrim, Ciaran O Conluain (UCD), Greg Swinand (Usher IRC), Neil Delahaye Dunboyne) and Stamullan duo David Wherrity and Craig Sweetman. Sean Bracken (Usher IRC) was also riding strongly in this group along with John Murray of Lakeside Mullingar and Sean McKenna of UCD. Phoenix duo Cathal Smyth and Fergus Rooney had made this break but were later shot out.
They were chased by riders such as Cathal Doyle and Johnny Taylor of Carn Wheelers, Des Woods (Newry Wheelers), East Tyrone’s, Steven Hutchinson and Gary Jeffers and Marcel Kock (Phoenix CC) amongst others. With a few minor changes to the lead group they managed to stay ahead and in the last lap Kinning and O Conluain left the leaders and began the trek to the line. Ciaran O Conluain proved strongest on the day and emerged as the victor. Greg Swinand (Usher IRC), Neil Delahaye (Dunboyne), David Wherrity (Stamullan), Craig Sweetman (Stamullan), John Kenny (Navan RC), and Sean Bracken (Usher IRC) took the remaining points in that order. Another report and pictures can be found at emyvale.net.