The countdown is almost over to the big event - the 2017 An Post Ras. Above is our 5-man team comprising OWCC club riders Stevie McKenna, Davy McFall & Gary Donaldson. They will be joined on their mission by Darragh McCarter (Donegal Bay CC) and Kevin McKinney (Armagh CC).
The riders will take almost 800miles over 8-days of racing from 21-28th May. The team represents the first team from Co Tyrone in 25yrs, which makes this an especially important achievement for Omagh Wheelers CC.
The 5-rider team will be ably support by club stalwarts: Sean Kelly, Hugh McCann, Seamus Keenan, Ashley Donald, and Peter Ward. They will also have the expert physio services of Tim Gallagher.
The team are grateful to the businesses who have supported the team on their journey: Salthill Hotel Galway, Todd's Leap, Lavender Health Spa, Village Inn-Killyclogher, Pat McCaul, Hugh McCann Building & Maintenance contractor
The sun was shining in Omagh today for the McCann Cup races kindly sponsored by Ballymore Services Ltd. 267 riders turned out for a day of racing covering Laps of the Seskinore circuit.
First off were the masters with close on 40 riders fighting for top 3 places and covering 3 laps. Mickey Gallen - OWCC- set the pace early on and this was maintained for the duration!
1st - Michael Toal - Phoenix
2nd - James McCusker - Shelbourne / Orchard Wheelers
3rd - Tom Henry - NDCC
Tom felt that good he went on to compete in the A4 race!! As we found out when we went looking for him for the presentation ..... :)
Women's race followed with 12 competitors - also completing 3 laps.
The team worked well together over the course.
1st - Christen O'Neill (Velo Cafe Magasin)
2nd - Laura Blair (Ballymena Road Club)
3rd - Meta Johnston (Team Madigan)
That concluded the morning races ...
Afternoon races consisted of a full field of 77 A4 (completing 4 laps), 78 A3 & Juniors (completing 6 laps), and A1 / A2 fielding 60 riders over 7 laps.
A4 race stayed together for the duration, with one spill coming up to the finish
1. Neil Rafferty - Armagh CC
2. Shea Gribbon - Carn Wheelers
3. Stephen McCay - SLCC
4. Gary Lyons - Armagh CC
5. Niall McElhinney - Foyle CC
6. Derek Ferguson - Kings Moss
7. Nigel Gibson - Carn Wheelers
8. Michael Boal - Team Madigan
9. Michael O Farrell - Longford CC
10. Gordon Watt -ETCC
A3 race covered 6 Laps and the juniors were in battle from the gun...It was fair to say that Powerhouse Sport Junior team dominated throughout
PJ Doogan, Breandan Flanagan, Adam Ward, along with Conor Halvey from NRPT got away early on and stayed away until last lap, but it came down to a sprint finish with Harvey Barnes from East Tyrone taking the verdict.
1. Harvey Barnes - ETCC
2. Liam Wilson - Powerhouse Sport
3. Robbie Doherty - Ballymoney CC
4. Sean McGarvey - Velo Cafe Magasin
5. Ross Blayney - NDCC
6. Adam Ward - Powerhouse Sport
7. Michael McGlynn - Omagh Wheelers
8. Stephen Daly - Termon Wheelers
9. Andrew Hedley - Ards CC
10. Richard Archer - ETCC
Lining up then for the A1 / A2 race was race winner yesterday Angus Fyffe - Omagh Wheelers, Marcus Christie - Performance SBR, Gary Jeffers -ETCC, Ronan McLaughlin - Aquablue sport , to name but a few ....
First lap saw 5 A1 riders swallow up the 2 min handicap on the A2 riders, with Gary Jeffers and Marcus Christie setting a roaring pace from the start...with both men unfortunately succumbing to mechanicals in lap 2...
This group of 5 quickly became 11 by lap 3, gaining close on 3 minutes on the main field by Lap 5.
Craig McAuley (Caldwell Cycles), Angus Fyffe (OWCC), Paul McCarter (DBCC), and Jude Sands (Newry Wheelers) maintained their lead to the end with Angus Fyffe comfortably taking first place, followed by Craig McAuley (Caldwell Cycles), Paul McCarter (DBCC), and Jude Sands (Newry Wheelers).
1st – Angus Fyffe (Omagh Wheelers)
2nd – Craig McAuley (Caldwell Cycles)
3rd – Paul McCarter (Donegal Bay CC)
4th – Jude Sands (Newry Wheelers)
5th - Darnell Moore (Caldwell Cycles)
6th - Dave Watson (Bikehouse CC)
7th - Davy McFall (Omagh Wheelers)
8th - Cameron McIntyre (AC Biscontine)
9th - Ronan McLaughlin (Aquablue Sport)
10th - Stevie McKenna (Omagh Wheelers)
Thank you very much to all our marshals today who helped out from our own club and neighbouring clubs! Without your help we could not the race to such a High standard. Thanks to our commissaires Kevin Hughes, Tommy McCague, Paul Devenney, and Francie Coyle, and our chief judge Ian Barfoot. Your help and guidance much appreciated as always!
Thanks to Martin Grainger and his team from Order of Malta for their expert assistance! Thanks to Joanne and team for refreshments at the race and to Ethna McGuigan and her team for a fantastic spread afterward. Thanks to Sorcha and her team at sign on, to Amanda McGale for organising marshals, and our team of sign putter uppers' barrier placers, road sweepers, and all the other unseen jobs that make our events so professional.....
Last but not least thank you to the organizing team: Hugh McCann, Seamus Keenan and Siobhan McGrath. This was the 15th edition of the McCann cup...starting out with 35 riders all those years ago!!.
Marc Potts gets his first win on Belgium soil
On Monday 27th July, Omagh wheelers riders, Marc Potts and Angus Fyffe, who are currently riding for PCT Tomacc took part in a criterium in Boezing, Belgium.
The race consisted of 40 laps of a 1 mile circuit over the notorious cobbles. The team PCT Tomacc rode very aggressive, having a rider in every move. Marc got away with two laps to go with fellow Tomacc rider Ryan Sherlock. Ryan rode very hard on the last corner setting Marc nicely up for the sprint, in which he got 1st. Ryan ended up coming 6th. Angus Fyffe who is also riding for PCT Tomacc ended up in a brilliant 17th position.
Two Wins in Two Days for Marc Potts
Recently home from a stint of racing in Belgium, Marc Potts has shown fabulous form over the weekend, taking two wins in consecutive days. On Saturday 5th July, Omagh wheelers riders Marc Potts, Angus Fyffe and David McFall travelled to Cranford in Donegal to take part in the JG memorial. The race consisted of two laps of a twenty five mile circuit. The circuit consisted of tough rolling roads and exposure to the wind. In the latter part of the race, both Fyffe and Potts slipped into a break with two others. Using their numerical advantage they showed good tact, with Potts eventually slipping away with one other rider. This move stayed away to the finish, in which Potts took the sprint for 1st place with Fyffe not far behind in 3rd.
On Sunday 6th, a strong contingent of Omagh wheelers racers travelled to the County Galway to take part in the tough Galway Classic race. The race took in multiple laps of a circuit, which included a tough climb each time round. Marc Potts lined up with strong riders from all over Ireland, including team mates Paul and Darragh McCarter. The Omagh three riders rode smart to ensure that each break away had at least one Omagh rider in it. Eventually, in the latter part of the race, Potts clipped away with four other riders and stayed away until the line, in which Potts took the gallop for a fantastic 1st place. In the B race, Gary Donaldson had a good showing, taking 6th place in a field of 100 riders. This bodes well for the young rider, who is hoping to ride the Newry 3 day in August.
Marc Potts takes Win at Donegal Bay Kermesse
On Saturday 17th May, Donegal Bay cycling club held their annual kermesse. A kermesse is a short circuit race that includes multiple laps, in this case; thirteen laps of a seven kilometre circuit. The circuit included a one kilometre climb that hit a 21% gradient in some places. This meant that only the strongest racers would stay in contention throughout the race. There was an A and B race on the day, in which Omagh Wheelers were represented in both. In the B race, David McFall rode strong throughout the opening laps and managed to take the king of the hill prime half way into the race. Disaster struck for McFall during the penultimate lap when his chain snapped, ending all possibility of a strong finish.
In the A race, Omagh Wheelers had a strong contingent on the start line which included brothers Paul and Darragh McCarter , Marc Potts and Angus Fyffe. The four Omagh men used their numerical advantage to place Marc and Darragh in the break. Potts and McCarter rode strongly throughout the race, with Potts eventually distancing his break away companions. Potts then rode to the finish with twenty seconds to spare over second place. Darragh McCarter finished in a fine fourth place, with Fyffe just behind in fifth. Paul McCarter suffered bad luck, puncturing just two laps into the race.
Fyffe Takes another Win at the Mid Ulster GP
Sunday 27th April saw local club Island wheelers host their annual Mid Ulster GP. The A race seen a mix of three categories and took in six laps of a 10 mile circuit. The A3 Category was given a four minute handicap over the following A1s and A2s. The Chasing group contained over 20 riders, which meant for aggressive riding to try and split the race up. Eventually Marc Potts got across to the front group with 4 others. The remaining chasers hovered at 40 seconds. On the final lap, the chasers eventually made contact with the leaders. With four mile remaining, Fyffe jumped clear in which proved to be a decisive move. He pulled 10 seconds out of the chasing bunch with another rider. Fyffe then showed his strength to take the 2 up sprint for a fine victory. Success continued as Marc Potts took the bunch sprint for 3rd with Gary Donaldson taking a fine 7th place and first unplaced A3.
Omagh Wheelers Riders Continue to Impress
On the 26th April, Omagh wheelers riders; Angus Fyffe and Marc Potts travelled to Bray, County Wicklow to take part in the Shay Elliot Memorial race. The Shay Elliot is perhaps the most prolific one day race in Ireland and attracts the very best riders from all over Ireland. The race involves an 80 mile trek around the foothills of the Wicklow Mountains. The race began at a blistering pace as riders tried to jump clear from the 100 strong bunch. Almost immediately a small group of twelve riders which included Potts and Fyffe distanced the peloton. Both riders got to work with the other riders for what would be an 80 mile break way. 60 mile into the race, Potts punctured before a crucial climb and had an incredible chase to rejoin the leaders. Fyffe was distanced on the climb by the stronger riders. Potts, who was riding for the Ulster team, continued with the small contingent of break away riders and finished 7th. Fyffe rode strong for the remaining 15 mile and finished 11th.
Omagh Wheelers at Ras Mumhan
During the Easter weekend, a six man team from Omagh Wheelers travelled to Killorglin, County Kerry to partake in one of the country’s biggest stage races; The Ras Mumhan. The six Omagh Wheelers riders included Stephen McKenna, brothers Paul and Darragh McCarter, Marc Potts, Angus Fyffe and Gary Jeffers. A backup team also travelled which included Sean Kelly, Ryan Kelly and Gary Donaldson.
The race involved four road stages over four days that took in over 330 mile of County Kerry’s toughest roads. Stage one began in the centre of Killorglin and was a relatively flat 65 miles. This meant the speed was kept high for the whole stage with an average of 27mph. Gary Jeffers who was Guest riding with Omagh Wheelers for the weekend had a terrific first stage and managed to nip into a break with 15 miles remaining. He finished in a superb 12th place out of over 200 riders. The rest of the team finished safely in the bunch. Stage 2 was possibly the hardest stage of the weekend, taking in 85 miles that included six categorised climbs, one of which was the notoriously difficult Healy Pass. The stage started at a blistering pace meaning the race had already split into different groups before any climbing began. Over fours later the stage finished, with Marc Potts finishing in a fine 21st place. The third stage was another gruelling 85 mile that took place largely on coastal roads. High winds rolled in of the coast all day which meant for large line outs and nervous racing. All of the team found this day to be tough. Potts managed to hang on to the front bunch and eventually took the sprint for 11th on what was a leg sapping day. The final stage started in Killorglin and took in 3 large laps outside the town and then finished with 7 small laps in the centre of the town. All of the team finished within the main bunch and were happy to see the finish line after four hard days of racing.
The riders would like to thank Sean Kelly, Gary Donaldson and Ryan Kelly for their help over the weekend. The three men worked tirelessly to look after the team and to keep everything in order. The team would also like to thank Gallen Vehicle Hire for the use of a van, Solo Petroleum (a primary sponsor the team), Costcutter Omagh, and Omagh Wheelers for the support.
Club racing league
Tuesday evening (8th April) sees the 2014 Omagh Wheelers club racing season take off with the first event of the year – a road race of 3 laps of the Seskinore circuit. This initial event is for A4 and club competition riders only, and is designed to encourage club members in these categories to take part in this year’s Interclub series, which begins in just two weeks’ time. The event is however open to all clubs.
The start / finish line is at the Halfway House, Tattyreagh Road. Sign on will be from 6pm and please note that for safety reasons, this event will start at 6.45pm sharp.
Riders not eligible to take part are encouraged to marshal on the night. If available for marshalling, please get in touch with Hugh McCann via Facebook.
Please note that in all this year’s club races, as there are separate events for juniors throughout the year, riders must be at least 16 years of age on 1st January 2014.
Good luck to all taking part!
Omagh Wheelers Riders Continue With Results
During the last weekend of March, Omagh Wheelers racing members took part in the Tour of Connacht, which was held in County Mayo, and the Ciclisport GP which was held in Moneymore.
At the tour of Connacht, the Wheelers had three members in attendance in the shape of Marc Potts and also brothers; Paul and Darragh McCarter. The race took in three stages over 170 kilometres in total. The race was highly competitive and included some of the best junior riders in the country. During the first stage a dangerous break went away which was never seen again until the finish. Potts ended up taking the bunch sprint for 7th. On stage 2 the bunch largely stayed together until the final kilometre in which a rider jumped and hung on to the finish. Potts again showed good form and took the bunch sprint for a fine 2nd place. The final stage was an individual time trial of 8 kilometres. Potts and Paul McCarter showed great strength to take 10th and 11th place respectively. Strong riding by Marc and Paul in stage 3 placed them 7th and 13th in the final general classification which was a great showing by the Omagh men.
At the Ciclisport GP senior A race, Angus Fyffe rode a smart race, nipping away into a break early on. This break worked well over the 60 mile race. The break began to split into smaller groups with 4 mile to the finish. Fyffe crossed the line in a fine 8th place which was a good result considering the high calibre of riders and racing.
Omagh Wheeler’s McCann Cup a Huge Success
On Sunday 10th March, Omagh Wheelers held their annual McCann cup race at the Halfway House, Tattyreagh. The race was run by the home club, and was generously sponsored by Hugh McCann Building and Maintenance specialists. On the day, there were five races which catered for A1234, Masters and women. Over 280 cyclists racing cyclists attended the event which made sure all categories were hotly contested.
In the Masters race, there was a big group of 25 riders on the start line and the pace was relatively high throughout. A tough circuit meant that the race eventually came down a bunch finish which was taken by Banbridge's Paul McGuckin. He was followed in by Kevin McCrossan of Four Masters and Brendan McAllister of Glens CC. The Women’s race was set of 5 minutes after the masters, in which a field of 25 strong battled throughout the race. Coming to the line the sprinters went for it with Val O'Neill of Phoenix CC just pipping Amy Brice of DID Electrical to the post.
In the afternoon, the most popular races began. First up was the highly competitive A1/2 race. A large field of 40 riders meant for aggressive racing which saw the home clubs riders; Stephen McKenna and Marc Potts in amongst the action. Near the end of the race, Caldwells Cycles Members; Thomas Martin and Conor Murphy used their experience to make the decisive break along with Marc Buchanan (North Pole). At the finish, Conor Murphy took home the win closely followed by Buchanan and Martin.
Next up was the A3 race which included some of the finest underage riders in the country. The race was aggressive from the gun, with many riders keen to leave their mark on the race. Eventually at the 50 mile mark, a small break opened up gap between the rest of the field. The break of six worked well and included Angus Fyffe (Omagh Wheelers), Jake Grey (East Tyrone) and Jude Sands (Newry Wheelers). The break fought it out for the top positions in which home clubs’ Angus Fyffe took victory, closely followed by Grey and Sands.
The last race of the day was the A4 race. The race was fast from the gun with speeds that seen a much reduced peloton sprint it out for the line. In the end it was Richard Archer of East Tyrone getting the jump on the bunch to take his first win in style. Stewart Graham of Strabane/Lifford just had the edge on another newcomer Brendan Marsh of the Smugglers Club in Cavan.
Omagh Wheelers’ Fyffe and Donaldson Podium in Newry
On Sunday 2nd March, Newry Wheelers held their inaugural race, the ‘John Haldane Memorial’. The race was held on the Dual carriageway between Newry and Warrenpoint and consisted of a number laps depending on each race category. On the day, racing started in cold and blustery conditions but soon deteriorated into freezing rain. Omagh Wheelers had members represented in all categories, and all had a good showing in difficult conditions. In the A4 race, Gary Donaldson showed good form, taking second place in the bunch sprint. The young rider rode aggressively throughout the race and was well marked as being a danger man. In the end, Donaldson used his craft and strong kick to finish in second place, centimetres of first position. A similar scenario occurred in the A3 race with Fyffe also using his strength to try and break the bunch into a smaller group, but to no avail. After 50 miles of fast racing, the race was to be decided in a bunch sprint in which Fyffe also used a good kick for third place and gained valuable points.
Success for Omagh Wheelers on Opening Weekend of Racing
On Saturday the 22nd February, Omagh Wheelers racing members travelled to Banbridge to take part in the first road race of 2014 – Annaclone GP. On the day, riders were faced with cold blustery conditions and a tough, hilly circuit that would be sure to test rider’s legs after the first hour of racing. Omagh Wheelers had riders represented in both the A and B race and all Omagh men had a strong showing, however young Gary Donaldson done better than that. In the B race, he was aggressive from the start and looked to distance the rest of the field on several occasions. Eventually three riders got away and Donaldson was left in the main pack. Coming to the finish, he used his strong kick to win the bunch sprint for a fine 4th place and in the process earned important points.
On Sunday 23rd February, Phoenix cycling club held their inaugural ‘Phoenix GP’. The day consists of five races including women’s and masters races. Omagh Wheelers had members represented in the A3 and A4 race. In the A3 race, Angus Fyffe was the sole representative. Strong winds and energy sapping roads meant that the race eventually split into smaller groups with the stronger riders generally making the front groups. Fyffe used his experience to ensure he was in the selection group with a strong group that worked well together. Eventually this group came to the finish before the rest of the field in which Fyffe took the sprint for 3rd.
Omagh Wheelers recently confirmed a new sponsorship deal for 2014 with Lakeland Bikes from Enniskillen for the Development Programme. The programme was first introduced in late 2012, and offers young, talented, local riders the opportunity to receive support in both training and equipment. The programme is aimed to develop riders so that they achieve their potential, and to race at a high level. The program in its first year proved to be massive success.
Lakeland bikes decided they wanted to help support the programme after they seen the professionalism of the program, and also the success Angus and Marc reached in the 2013 season. Lakeland bikes will be providing the two riders with top of the range 2014 Cervelo bikes. Fyffe will be on the Cervelo S5, which is known for its straight-line speed and stiffness which will suit his riding style. Potts will be on the highly acclaimed Cervelo R5 which is known for its climbing capabilities and comfort. Both riders are currently in the under 23 category, and hope to race at the highest level in Ireland for the 2014 season.