Top Irish cyclists turn out for memorial races in Dromore

Gareth McKee leads the pack. INBL1633-230EB

Gareth McKee leads the pack. INBL1633-230EB

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Banbridge CC’s volunteers were back out early on Saturday morning preparing for the annual John Beggs and Sean McGreevy Memorial Races in Dromore.

A full field of 80 riders was present for both the main event and the A4 category & Women’s race.

Roger Aiken along the Gall Bog �Edward Byrne Photography INBL1633-228EB

Roger Aiken along the Gall Bog �Edward Byrne Photography INBL1633-228EB

The A4 / Women’s race used the same circuit as the main race, taking in Dromore, Kinallen & Ballykeel before returning to a short finishing circuit which featured the climb of Dromore’s Mount St.

After almost 50 miles of racing it was Omagh’s John McDermot who took the victory from Richard McMullen of Ardee and Ciaran Donnelly of Termon Wheelers.

Katherine Smyth of Team Madigan was first woman ahead of Maryland’s Heather Foley. Dublin’s Aideen Keenan of Scott Bikes-Orwell completed the Women’s podium.

In the National Road Series race a significant break had formed and contained a list of names who have dominated Irish domestic racing this season.

John Beggs & Sean McGreevy Memorial Races: Paul Wilkinson �Edward Byrne Photography INBL1633-227EB

John Beggs & Sean McGreevy Memorial Races: Paul Wilkinson �Edward Byrne Photography INBL1633-227EB

Included were recent winner of the Suir Valley 3-day Ian Richardson of UCD, Mark Dowling of ASEA Wheelworx, victorious at the national Criterium Championships, Connor Hennebry, Sean Lacey and Mark O’Callaghan of Cork’s Team AquaBlue, Ronan McLaughlin of Foyle CC, Craig McCarthy of Caldwell Cycles, and of course, the local riders; Dromore’s Roger Aiken of ASEA Wheelworx, Plush MTB’s Lindsay Watson, and James Curry and Gareth McKee of Banbridge CC.

In the closing laps Hennebry, Richardson, Dowling & Lacey had moved clear.

As they entered the finishing circuit after 75 miles of racing they had gained an advantage of almost 2 ½ minutes over the chasers.

Three ascents of Mount St was sting in the tail of the The Beggs which hasn’t been used for almost 20 years, but it was the perfect launch pad for Hennebry and Dowling as they attacked with less than a mile to go.

Mark Stuart, Banbridge CC �Edward Byrne Photography INBL1633-226EB

Mark Stuart, Banbridge CC �Edward Byrne Photography INBL1633-226EB

The finishing speed of Hennebry was too much for Dowling and the Carrick-on-Suir man claimed the win.

Ian Richardson followed in third while Lacey completed the top 4. Jack Ferguson of Dromara CC had a fantastic ride and claimed the Sean McGreevy trophy as first Junior rider.

Andrew Chivers and Adam Leach of North Down CC were first A2 and A3 category riders.

John Buller �Edward Byrne Photography INBL1633-229EB

John Buller �Edward Byrne Photography INBL1633-229EB