Richardson wins big but Hennebry seizes race lead in Ulster

Posted on: May 1st, 2016

On a roll since this time last year, Ian Richardson has take stage 2 of the Tour of Ulster from a breakaway today, Sunday (Photo: Stephen McMahon)


Having been in great form since his epic ride in the An Post Rás almost a year ago, Ian Richardson has continued his really strong run with victory on stage 2 of the Amber Green Energy Tour of Ulster.

The man broke clear of a 14-man group in the final of the stage, riding the final 5km solo to take a strong win.

Today’s stage was 96.2 miles starting and finishing in Moy and taking in the Mournes, with Conor Hennebry of Aquablue taking the race lead.

In the lead group today with the stage winner were: Mark Dowling (Asea Wheelworx), Bryan McCrystal (Asea Wheelworx), Christopher McGlinchey (Ballymoney CC Biesty’s Centra), James Curry (Banbridge Cycling Club), Gareth McKee (Banbridge Cycling Club), Lindsay Watson (Banbridge Cycling Club), Niall O’Gorman (Belfast Select), Ryan Reilly (Foyle Racing Team), David Watson (North Down CC), Karl Morgan (Phoenix CC), Conor Hennebry (Team Aquablue), Seán Lacey (Team Aquablue), Sean McKenna (Team Aquablue).


How it unfolded

The racing was on from the very start with the stage turning out to be one of those contests when those unable or unwilling to make the early moves were left behind.

Shortly after the start three men took the initiative and incredibly began what proved to be the stage-winning move.

They were: David McFall (Omagh Wheelers CC), Seán Lacey (Team Aquablue) and Sean McKenna (Team Aquablue).

They took about 20 seconds out of the bunch almost immediately and with three strong men up the road, it never looked like a speculative or mad effort.

And those back in the bunch clearly thought the same, with a chasing group of up to 15 riders setting off in pursuit of McFall, Lacey and McKenna.


Bryan McCrystal leads the large breakaway that simply had too much firepower to be caught at the Tour of Ulster (Photo: Stephen McMahon)


Those two groups joined not long after the start leaving 16 men up front, and while they had a gap of just 35 seconds starting the first climb of the day before even 10 of the 92 miles on the menu for the day had been completed, they would never be seen again.

The leaders were Mark Dowling (Asea Wheelworx), Bryan McCrystal (Asea Wheelworx), Christopher McGlinchey (Ballymoney CC Biesty’s Centra), James Curry (Banbridge Cycling Club), Gareth McKee (Banbridge Cycling Club), Lindsay Watson (Banbridge Cycling Club), Niall O’Gorman (Belfast Select), Joseph McCrory (Carn Wheelers), John Clarke (Cycling Leinster), Ryan Reilly (Foyle Racing Team), David Watson (North Down CC), David McFall (Omagh Wheelers CC), Seán Lacey (Team Aquablue), Sean McKenna (Team Aquablue), Ian Richardson (UCD FitzCycles) and Roger Aiken (Dunboyne Cycling Club).

Aiken would lose his place in the group very quickly and at the top of the cat 3 ascent of Armagh after 10 miles completed, it was yesterday’s 2nd placed finisher Conor Hennebry who took maximum points from McKee and McKenna.

And as the racing left Armagh the time checks now suggested this move was decisive, with the breakaway already pulling out 1:10 on the bunch.

In between breakaway and bunch were four riders; Aiken, Alastair Macaulay (Asea Wheelworx), Mark McClure (Foyle Racing Team) and Kevin McKinney (Keevan Cycling Club).


McGlinchey on the attack up the climb of Spelga Dam, where he was pursued by eventual stage winner Richardson and last year’s outright victory Mark Dowling (Photo: Stephen McMahon)


While Macaulay clearly sensed the chase group was not going to get across to the breakaway, he attacked them but was caught.

And by the time the race reached the second categorised climb of the day, at 20 miles done, the gap was now 1:30 between 15 leaders and the bunch of yellow jersey Angus Fyffe (Omagh Wheelers).

That second climb – the cat 2 at Brea after 22 miles – was taken by McKee from McKenna and McGlinchey.

By Newry the gap was touching almost two minutes with a chase group forming off the front of the peloton.

In that move were: Cathal Smyth (Belfast Select), Mark Buchanan (Caldwell Cycles Omagh), Kevin McKinney (Keevan Cycling Club), Des Woods (Newry Wheelers CC), Ben Delaney (UCD FitzCycles) and Eoin Morton (UCD FitzCycles).

McKee of Banbridge again led the way over the third climb of the day, the cat 3 Seven Sisters; this time from Hennebry and McKenna with 34 miles completed.

Up the front as the breakaway approached the climb of Spelga Dam, McGlinchey – who has been on fire so far this season – had a go off the front and built a 20 second lead and the other men in the escape.

In a sign of things to come, it was Dowling and eventual stage winner Richardson who went after the lone leader.

However, McGlinchey crested the climb first from Dowling and Richardson with just over 40 miles completed.

At Rathfriland – the fifth climb of the day – it was McKee yet again who led over the top of the cat 2, from Dowling and Richardson with almost 55 miles covered.

By this point of the race the gap between bunch and breakaway was closing in on five minutes but with about 58 miles covered McGlinchey would puncture, though fought his way back on.


Richardson on his way to victory; he rode a strong and assured race and won in great style (Photo: Stephen McMahon)


Next it was McCrystal’s turn to get a flat at about the 60 miles marker, though he too got back on as the gap now went over six minutes back to the bunch.

McKee – who else – was first again at the final climb of the day at Tandragee after 77 miles; riding roads the local Banbridge CC man knows very well.

With just over 10 miles remaining, it was McKee’s team mate Watson who attacked the breakaway and built a small gap.

However, it quickly came back together, with Aquablue’s Lacey doing a lot of work to keep the move intact because his team mate Hennebry was yellow jersey on the road.

But with about 5km remaining it was Richardson who went for broke, building a gap of some 25 seconds.

And though he was initially chased by a lone McCrystal, the Louth man was caught as Richardson worked hard to stay clear.

And stay clear he did; claiming a great stage win after a hard day in the saddle in a really quality breakaway.


Sun, May 1: Stage 2: Moy – Moy (96.2miles)

1 Richardson, Ian UCD FitzCycles 3h44m08s
2 Hennebry, Conor Team Aquablue @29s
3 Lacey, Seán Team Aquablue @s/t
4 McGlinchey, Christopher Ballymoney CC Biesty’s Centra @s/t
5 Watson, David North Down CC @s/t
6 Dowling, Mark Asea Wheelworx @s/t
7 Reilly, Ryan Foyle Racing Team @s/t
8 Watson, Lindsay Banbridge Cycling Club @s/t
9 Morgan, Karl Phoenix CC @33s
10 McKee, Gareth Banbridge Cycling Club @39s
11 McCrystal, Bryan Asea Wheelworx @40s
12 Curry, James Banbridge Cycling Club @43s
13 McKenna, Sean Team Aquablue @1m22s
14 Hamilton, David North Down CC @7m08s
15 Bye, Andrew Newry Wheelers CC @s/t
16 McDunphy, Conn Cycling Leinster @s/t
17 Christie, Marcus Omagh Wheelers CC @s/t
18 Moore, Darnell Caldwell Cycles Omagh @s/t
19 Morton, Eoin UCD FitzCycles @s/t
20 Noon, Sean Foyle Racing Team @s/t
21 McCarthy, David PANDUIT Tipperary @s/t
22 Woods, Des Newry Wheelers CC @s/t
23 Macaulay, Alastair Asea Wheelworx @s/t
24 Wright, Jody Phoenix CC @s/t
25 Smyth, Cathal Belfast Select @s/t
26 Dolan, Liam Cuchulainn Cycing Club @s/t
27 McCrory, Joseph Carn Wheelers @s/t
28 McAuley, Craig Caldwell Cycles Omagh @s/t
29 McLaughlin, Ronan Foyle Racing Team @s/t
30 Buchanan, Mark Caldwell Cycles Omagh @s/t
31 Foley, Dylan Comeragh Cycling Club @s/t
32 Swinand, Greg PANDUIT Tipperary @s/t
33 Taylor, Jonathan Carn Wheelers @11m11s
34 Mulhearne, Hugh PANDUIT Tipperary @s/t
35 Parks, Aaron Keevan Cycling Club @11m20s

For full results following this link.