Video: Tipper beats Montgomery for Tour of North opener, yellow

Posted on: April 20th, 2019
There were less than 30 men left in the bunch by the finish of stage 1 at Tour of the North; Jacob Tipper of Ribble winning from David Montgomery of Kinning Cycles (Photos by Sharon McFarland)

The opening stage of the Tour of the North may have been short enough, at 111km, but the field split to pieces, with very few men left in the front group by the chequered flag.

And just as the Ribble Continental team from Britain got the verdict in the Rás Mumhan opener in Kerry yesterday, its riders were also best in the North today; Jacob Tipper winning.

The stage victor, and first race leader of the 2019 Tour of the North, got the better of David Montgomery; the former An Post-Chainreaction man riding for Kinning Cycles this weekend.

Today’s stage took in five laps of a 21km circuit close to the race’s base for this year in Galgorm near Ballymena in Co Antrim.

Calm before storm: The bunch looked civilised in the early stages but that didn’t last long.

The riders faced the 4km climb of Hiltonstown Road, known locally as Horseshoe.

That ascent, combined with the speed produced by a quality field saw the race fracture significantly.

And while the bunch shed about 50 riders and numbered approximately 70 men for a long time; the closing stages of today’s racing split that reduced bunch.

By the finish there were fewer than 30 men in that front group with Tipper proving fastest in the final dash to the line on Fenaghy Rd, just off the circuit, and getting the verdict over Montgomery.

More to come.