Ward comes good against big opposition in East Tyrone GP

Posted on: April 6th, 2019
The final charge to the line saw what was a very strong escape group fan out across the road, with Adam Ward and Lindsay Watson proving better than the rest (Photo: Sharon McFarland)

An exceptional junior last season who was crowned national champion and won elite races, Adam Ward has opened his account for the new campaign.

It was the teenager’s first win since moving into the U23 ranks at the start of the 2019 seaons.

Today he won the East Tyrone GP from one of the form men of the year to date; Lindsay Watson of Powerhouse Sport.

Ward was Watson’s team mate last year at Powerhouse but is now riding for BioRacer-DHL-FR Services.

The winner and runner-up pulled clear in a breakaway that also featured off-road international and now emerging road man Thomas Creighton of McConvey Cycles.

 

Conor Duffy of Castlereagh CC sprints in to take victory in the A4 which came down to a bunch gallop.

There was no mistaking the A3 winner; a lot of clear road behind the lone victor, Irish junior international Matthew Devins of Yeats Country CC.

 

And while it was Watson who ran Ward closest in the final dash to the line, Creighton was just behind them and is shaping up for a big win soon.

Also present in that escape group was Angus Fyffe (Caldwell Omagh), as well as Gareth O’Neill of Newry Wheelers and they took 4th and 5th.

Donal Shearer, last weekend’s Breffni TT winner, claimed 6th for Phoenix CC.

Then came the final breakaway man; MTB international Gareth McKee (Banbridge CC).

The resurgent former elite road international Mark McKinney (Newry Wheelers) then finished alone for 8th.

Just seconds behind McKinney was a group of about 20 sprinting for 9th place; Irish masters champion Des Woods (Newry Wheelers) winning that gallop.

 

Kieran Byrne of Lakeland wins the sprint for 2nd place in the A3 race behind Devins.

 

The A1-A2 race was run off in a handicapped format, with two minutes between the two groups.

After the opening lap a breakaway of seven got clear of the A1s and caught the limit riders with approximately two laps to go.

From that point the attacks off the front of the first group came thick and fast; whittling it right down.

Eventually it came down to a group of eight; a mix of the original A1 breakaway and the strongest of the A2 riders.

However, despite the aggression, the victory was decided in a sprint from a group of eight, with Ward winning out.

 

Matthew Devins leads the breakaway on the way to victory in the A3 event.

 

Matthew Devins from Yeats Country claimed the A3 race solo in impressive style.

Devins was one of the shining lights of the youth scene for the past number of years and he has taken no time to get familiar with his surroundings as a junior.

So far he’s raced impressively and seems to be full of confidence; already part of the Irish junior national set-up.

The manner of today’s win was impressive as he showed no reluctance in taking matters into his own hands from a long way out.

He got clear in a nine-man escape shortly after the start, though the intensity of the effort up front meant a number of riders were distanced.

While the breakaway’s gap reached a minute, the bunch never threw the towel in and as the final lap approached the gap was coming down.

When it dipped below 30 seconds, Devins took flight on his own with a lap remaining and had the legs to finish the job.

He initially held the gap of about 20 seconds that he had when he attacked.

And through the last lap that crept back out to between 40 and 50 seconds; the rest of the breakaway being caught behind him.

The A4 race was won in a group sprint by Conor Duffy of Castlereagh.

For full results of all the East Tyrone GP races follow this link.

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