Ryan Reilly on finally turning very good form into victory
It was a close-run thing at the end of the A1-A2 race at the Carn Classic. But Ryan Reilly (AC Bisontine) in the middle got the verdict (All photos with thanks to Tommy Heaney)
By Brian Canty
Ryan Reilly timed his sprint to perfection yesterday to win the Carn Classic from David Watson (The Bike Shed).
Another emerging young gun Darnell Moore (Caldwell Cycles Omagh) rounded out the podium. The race was decided in a five-man sprint.
Reilly said the win makes up for a disappointing showing 24 hours earlier at the Wallace Caldwell.
In the latter, the AC Bisontine man was too far back when the decisive move went away. And he was determined to get it right yesterday.
Over the course of the 72-mile contest he made the two key moves. He was there when the initial break of 20 or so went clear. And he was present again when it reduced to five riders.
“There were loads of attacks in the first half hour,” he said. “Eventually a big group of 20 rolled off the front on a hard section of the course.
“We just started working really well together and just rode away from the bunch.”
The moment the Carn Classic split in Maghera, Derry. A large group of 20 or so riders escaped never to be seen again.
The group co-operated until the last of the five laps when a fresh round of attacks started.
“It took a long time to thin it down,” added Reilly. “There was no real climbing on the course. But a group of five us got away with 10 kilometres to go.”
Despite the Des Hanlon also down for decision yesterday, in Carlow, the composition of that five-man move underlined the quality of Carn Classic field.
It was made up of David Hamilton, Ronan McLaughlin, Watson, Moore and eventual winner Ryan Reilly.
“The five of us just kept riding through and we came into a heavy headwind finish,” said Reilly. “There was no real attacking so it came down to a sprint.
“I just waited and waited until 100 metres to go. I came off Darnell Moore’s wheel and just managed to hold on.
“I’m super happy because after the Wallace Caldwell. That’s a race I usually go well in.
“But I was caught too far back in the bunch when it all kicked off. I’m on superb form but I hadn’t managed to win,” he added of a scenario now put to bed.