Watson wins titanic Tyrone battle from returning Gray and in-form McCarter

Posted on: April 1st, 2019

Lindsay Watson has been one of the strongest riders in the country in recent years. He now has two victories so far in the new season after emerging best at the PJ Logan cup yesterday (Photo: Toby Watson)

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After taking his first win of the season last week at the Tour of Ards, Lindsay Watson claimed another yesterday at the PJ Logan Cup in Co Tyrone.

The Powerhouse Sport man emerged best from a very strong three-man group after an aggressive contest.

Watson pulled clear with Jake Gray, the Ribble rider making his 2019 racing debut after a training crash, and Darragh McCarter.

Like Watson, Donegal Bay CC’s McCarter has already been in great form this year; winning the final stage of Rás Mhaigheo last weekend and taking 2nd overall.

And on the uphill finish it was Watson who proved strongest from Gray and McCarter.

The A1-A2 event was run in a handicapped format over 10 laps in Coalisland.

And rather than ride together to catch those ahead, there was plenty of aggression in the scratch group from the off.

However, while a number of moves got clear, none gained a considerable gap in the early exchanges.

The eventual winner’s team mate, Worlds and Europeans medal winner Xeno Young, clipped away in some of the early moves.

Young was racing for the first time this year after an injury sidelined him for several months.

And his presence in some of those early groups allowed Watson to keep his powder dry while others did the chasing.

After all of those ahead had been overhauled, Watson got clear alone around the race’s halfway point.

He plugged away out front solo for a period until Gray and McCarter bridged across to him. From that point the leading trio never looked back.

They soon pulled out a gap of about two minutes. Jake Gray then began to impose himself on the inclines in a bid to make like harder for Watson and McCarter.

And while McCarter would lose touch with the other two a couple of times, he forced his way back on repeatedly.

On the last lap, and with a comfortable gap, the leaders slowed to a crawl in what became a tactical battle for the final 3km.

Watson was on the front for most of the way until McCarter took a flier near the line.

He went from last to first, with Gray getting onto his wheel and Watson getting in behind Gray.

Lindsay Watson then took a moment to recover. And once he did he pulled the trigger; sprinting hard on the uphill finish and distancing the other two.

He finished with a couple of seconds to spare over Gray, with the same gap back to McCarter in 3rd place.

Best of the rest was Leo Doyle of UCD Cycling Club in 4th from Declan Egan (Kingston Wheelers).

Then came Thomas Creighton (McConvey Cycles), Gareth McKee (Banbridge CC) and Peter Blakely (Unattached).

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Sun, Mar 31st: PJ Logan Cup

Coalisland, Co Tyrone

Promoted by Island Wheelers

A1-A2 PJ Logan Cup

  1. Lindsay Watson Powerhouse
  2. Jake Gray Team Ribble
  3. Darragh McCarter Donegal Bay
  4. Leo Doyle UCD Cycling Club
  5. Declan Egan Kingston Wheelers
  6. Thomas Creighton McConvey Cycles
  7. Gareth McKee Banbridge CC
  8. Peter Blakely Unattached
  9. Gareth McCullough Armagh Down
  10. Barry Russell Carn Wheelers
  11. Mitchell McLaughlin Four Masters
  12. Gary Donaldson Caldwell Cycles
  13. Glenn Dunwoody Shelbourne Orchard
  14. Michael McDonald McConvey Cycles
  15. Paul Wilkinson West Down Wheelers
  16. Joe Henry Velo Café Magasin
  17. Stephen Daly Termon Wheelers
  18. Brian Mitchell Harps CC
  19. John James McAnerney Armagh City Cyclists
  20. Sean McIntyre Caldwell Cycles

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A3-Junior Race

  1. Donal Walsh Four Masters CC
  2. Nathan Keown North Down
  3. Ciaran Cahoon Clann Eireann CC
  4. Paul McArthur North Sown
  5. Matthew Devins Yeats Country
  6. Mark Quigley Breffni Wheelers
  7. Chris Donald Team Madigan
  8. Kieran Byrne Lakeland CC
  9. Marek Pluciniczak Portadown CC
  10. Oisin Doherty Donegal Bay
  11. Gerard Craig VC Glendale
  12. Alan Glendenning Island Wheelers
  13. Mark Gordon Newry Wheelers
  14. Tomas Knapcock Clogher Valley

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A4 Race

  1. Francis Donnelly VeloCity
  2. Johnny Kane Foyle Cycling Club
  3. Fergus Callaghan Four Masters
  4. Andrew Porter Shimna Wheelers
  5. Darren Shiels Spires CC
  6. Matthew Sinton Portadown CC
  7. Thomas McCaul Newry Wheelers
  8. Andrew Green North Down
  9. Gavin Green Cuchulainn Cycling Club
  10. Jonathon Compton Shelbourne Orchard
  11. Glenn Blair Portadown CC
  12. Attila Toth Clogher Valley
  13. Stephen Coney Island Wheelers
  14. Martin Early Island Wheelers
  15. Gary Maguire Harps CC

Leading Woman

  1. Laura Wylie McConvey Cycles

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Masters Race

  1. Stephen Finnegan Yeats Country
  2. Thomas Wilson Ballymena Road Club
  3. Cathal Hendron Apollo CT
  4. Daniel Logue Foyle CC
  5. Chris McCann Phoenix CC
  6. Johnny Webb Powerhouse Sport
  7. Fergal Magee Apollo CT
  8. Brian Hannon Banbridge CC
  9. John Rafferty Ards CC
  10. James Gault Phoenix CC
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