The second edition of the Donegal Bay Kermesse saw another successful day of bike racing around the village of Mountcharles in South Donegal.
Raced on a tough circuit with a killer hill on each lap, the two race’s proved very popular with cyclist’s and spectators alike. What had started out as a dreadful morning weatherwise turned into the perfect day for bike racing
Cyclists from over 10 clubs lined up for the A race with last year’s runner-up Marc Potts favourite to take victory with the backing of a strong Omagh Wheelers team. As soon as the bunch hit the climb on the first lap, the race blew to pieces with a lead group of 6-8 riders forming containing most of the favourites. This group stayed together for the next few laps before Marc Potts attacked to get away on his own. Foyle CC Junior Ryan Reilly, who recently won the prestigious Tour of the Mournes race, did manage to bridge across to Pott’s but the Omagh man realised he needed to drop the superior climber quickly and he managed to get away on his own once more on the flat. Behind, Pott’s Omagh team-mate, Darragh McCarter was ‘sitting’on the chase group discouraging the chase from behind.
Potts stayed away to take a solo victory ahead of Reilly with Donegal man Cormac Keeney , home from his Sierra Nevada Cycle training company in Spain rounding out the podium placings. Next home was Darragh McCarter and another Omagh rider Angus Fyffe who had missed the original break but fought his way back up to 5th. Next across the line was Four Masters Junior Evan Donoghue.
Pott’s was a worthy winner and after taking 2nd behind Ronan McLaughlin last year, was keen to return to compete on what he describes as one of his favourite racing circuits. Just finishing his exams at the University of Ulster, he is heading off to race in Belgium with the backing of the Belgium Project which places talented young Irish riders with Belgian clubs to gain experience of continental racing and as breeding grounds go, they don’t come much tougher than Belgium when it comes to bike racing.
Like the A race, the B race for A4 category cyclists also turned into a real battle of attrition from the first ascent of the tough climb. From early on, a small lead group formed and was whittled down to just three riders, Eugene McBride(Errigal CC) James Mooney (Virginia Tri CC) and Davy McFall (Omagh Wheelers). Omagh rider McFall was going very well on the climb and would win the King of the Hill competition but suffered rotten luck when his chain snapped and he was forced to drop out of the lead group. This left two riders out front and at the the finish, it was Eugene McBride taking the Errigal clubs’ second consecutive victory in the A4 race, finishing ahead of Mooney with Foyle CC rider, Eamonn Doherty taking 3rd. Kevin McGlynn was the first rider home from the host club taking 4th place with Darryl Hamm from Letterkenny CC taking 5th.
Once again, the circuit proved to be a great hit with those who took part and the event is expected to be even more popular next year as word spreads about the excellent organisation of the event
A1/2/3/J Race 1. Marc Potts Omagh Wheelers 2. Ryan Reilly Foyle CC 3. Cormac Keeney Errigal CC 4. Darragh McCarter Omagh Wheelers 5. Angus Fyffe Omagh Wheelers 6. Evan Donoghue Four Masters 7. Rossa Doherty Four Masters 8. Dylan McGarrigle Four Masters KOM: Marc Potts 1st Junior: Ryan Reilly Foyle CC A4 Race 1. Eugene McBride Errigal CC 2. James Mooney Virginia Tri CC 3. Eamonn Doherty Foyle CC 4. Kevin McGlynn Donegal Bay 5. Darryl Hamm Letterkenny CC 6. Ray Murphy Virginia Tri CC 7. Roger McCauley Donegal Bay 8. Greg McHugh Donegal Bay KOM: Dave McFall Omagh Wheelers