Ronan McLaughlin takes strong win against the odds in Donegal

Posted on: March 17th, 2019

Ronan McLaughlin won some great races last year and has now continued that winning run into the new campaign. He was best on home roads on St Patrick’s Day.


Having won some of the biggest races on the domestic scene last year Ronan McLaughlin has now opened his account for 2019.

The Dan Morrissey-MIG-Pactimo rider claimed the main event at the St Patrick’s Day Races in Burt, Co Donegal.

At one stage McLaughlin was in a four-man group with no fewer than three Caldwell Cycles Omagh riders.

However, after catching early breakaway man Donal Shearer (Phoenix CC) and impressive junior Kevin McCambridge (NRPT-Chill) close to the finish, McLaughlin won.

It was McLaughlin’s third time to win the race. But spare a thought for Donal Shearer; third place on the day after a truly epic ride.

The event was run off in handicapped format, with the A1 scratch riders giving away three minutes to the A3s and two minutes to the A2 riders.

While McLaughlin would run out the winner, it was Shearer who very nearly pulled it off.


McLaughlin leads Fyffe and McAuley in the chase group that would eventually catch McCambridge and Shearer.


Phoenix CC man Shearer broke away from the scratch group early in the race, catching the two groups ahead and going through them.

By the time he had done that, Kevin McCambridge (NRPT-Chill) had attacked from the A3 group and was leading the race solo.

However, Shearer would join up with McCambridge, a winner last week at the John Haldane Memorial, to make a formidable duo off the front.

Back the road, the A1 group had split and McLaughlin found himself in a move of about 10 riders.

However, he had no team mates with him and with poor cooperation in the group McLaughlin attacked them on a climb.

That split the A1 breakaway, which had caught and passed all the other riders in the race bar the two leaders.

The eventual winner now found himself in a four-man group; the other three all team mates from Caldwell Cycles.

Cycleways Cup winner Angus Fyffe was present along with Craig McAuley and Darnell Moore.

Given the Omagh men had the numbers, McLaughlin was able to lean on them to close the gap to the two men who were still ploughing away out front.

As the riders turned into a crosswind section towards the finish, the urgency in the chase group was increased.

They quickly caught McCambridge, though Shearer remained impressively up the road on his own.

Fyffe and McCambridge both lost their places in the chase group and McAuley then did a huge amount of work to try and close the gap to Shearer in the final kilometres.

However, with 3km remaining the riders were still getting time checks of 30 seconds to the lone leader.

McAuley then did another series of big turns on the front; working to try and catch Shearer so Moore had a chance of victory.

However, such was Shearer’s power up ahead that Moore and McLaughlin also had to put serious effort into getting the Phoenix man back.

And as the gap was reduced right down just before the finish, McLaughlin jumped hard on a drag with about 1km to go.

He managed to distance the two Omagh riders; catching Shearer and going straight past him to win.

Moore was 2nd and Shearer was so close to the finish line for victory that he hung on for 3rd place.

Then came McAuley, Fyffe and McCambridge. Richard Maybin (Ballymena RC) was best of the rest, taking 7th place.

Keith Philips (Bike House) was 8th from Jody White (Phoenix) and Ciaran McVeigh (Phoenix CC).


St Patrick’s Day Road Races

Burt, Co Donegal

Promoted by North Pole CC

A1-A2-A3 Race

  1. Ronan McLaughlin Dan Morrissey-MIG-Pactimo
  2. Darrell Moore Caldwell Cycles Omagh
  3. Donal Shearer Phoenix Cycling Club
  4. Craig McAuley Caldwell Cycles Omagh
  5. Angus Fyffe Caldwell Cycles Omagh
  6. Kevin McCambridge NRPT-Chill
  7. Richard Maybin Ballymena RC
  8. Keith Phillips Bike House
  9. Jody White Phoenix CC
  10. Ciaran McVeigh Phoenix CC 


A4 Race

  1. Fergus Callaghan Four Masters CC
  2. Trevor Cawley Yeats Country
  3. Phil Doherty Saddle Rock
  4. Johnny Kane Foyle Cycling Club
  5. Ardal McDermott Four Masters CC
  6. Cathal Wilson North Pole CC
  7. Donal Gallagher Omagh Wheelers
  8. Stephen McClean Saddle Rock
  9. Piotr Zietala Roe Valley Cycling Club
  10. Darren Thompson Lakeland CC


Masters Race

  1. Thomas Wilson Ballymena RC
  2. Johnny Webb North Down Cycling Club
  3. James Gault Phoenix CC
  4. Paul Kirk North Down Cycling Club
  5. Michael Tolan Phoenix CC
  6. Daniel Logue Foyle CC
  7. Chris McCann Phoenix CC
  8. Stephen Finnegan Yeats Country
  9. Glen Howe Bann Wheelers
  10. Gerard Maguire Phoenix CC


Women’s Race

  1. Ciara Kelly North Pole Cycling Club
  2. Grace Smith Ballymena RC
  3. Debbie Lee Gaffney Team Cavan Racing