2018 SPAR Tour of Omagh


2018 SPAR Tour of Omagh rides to success


The final day in the SPAR Tour of Omagh proved to be a real cracker in both the A4 and Women’s races. In the A4 race, up to 25 riders were within 30secs of the overall lead so it was all to play for. After the 2ndKOH of the day, the first dangerous attack came from Damian O’Hagan (Clogher Valley Wheelers), who opened up almost 30secs of a gap in a solo effort. However, he suffered for his efforts as the race went deeper into the Sperrins and on the final Cat 1 climb at Gortin, the KOH leader David Irvine (Team Caldwell) stamped his mark on the race and by the top had over 40secs on a chasing group of 10 riders. The yellow jersey at this point had lost almost 2mins.


The chasing group would make the connection to Irvine, and it came to a sprint at the finish with Clogher Valley rider Tomas Knapcock taking the stage win. Irvine though would take the overall win for the event, and he also extended his lead in the KOH competition sponsored by Capital Reinforcing. Barry Rodgers (Harps CC) took the overall Points competition, and Shane Murray (Oldcastle CC) took the Best Young rider competition. Harps CC also took the best overall team competition. Declan McEntee (Emyvale CC)was the Best Unplaced Master.


In the Women’s event, Ellie Mc Ardle (Cycling Ulster), Lyndsay Bryce (Leinster) and Ciara Ni Fhlathartaigh (Orwell) were determined to make it a hard chase for the scratch group and with almost 4 mins of an advantage approaching Drumquin it looked to be playing dividend as the scratch group was being carefully contained by The TC Riders protecting the pink jersey. 


This was to change very quickly between Drumquin and Castlederg with Jennifer George in the Pink Jersey launching an attack of the front which was quickly covered by the group but the increase in speed meant the gap to the front group had reduced dramatically and by the time the race reached Castlederg the cars between the group were removed. 


The group eventually merged on the descent to Victoria Bridge and from then to the finish we witnessed some super racing, first to go on the attack just after the group merged was Jennifer bates from Cycling Leinster, she was to be caught on the climb out of Victoria Bridge and then her team Maria Claffey (Leinster) was to go off the front open a 15 second lead before being absorbed by the group. As the peloton turned in Newtownstewart to head another Leinster rider Sinead Molloy was to jump of the front of the group. Sinead was to gain a maximum of about 20 Seconds before being caught. 


The next break was to be the decisive one as Fiona Guihen from Leinster and the white jersey holder Lara Gillespie were to attack on the final climb into Gortin before the riders reached the Category 1 Climb on Lenamore Road. Gillespie was to forge on quickly distancing herself from Guihen as they approached the climb. By the foot of the climb Gillespie has opened a 30 second lead with only George in the pink Jersey closing the gap with a smaller group further back. The pink and white jerseys crested the climb together and had a lead of over a minute on a group of two Isabel Oakes (Smugglers Cc) and Ellen Barker (IOM) with another group of five, Maria Claffey, Fiona Guihen, and Aisling Flanagan all Leinster with Sofie Loscher (Womens Commission) and Eleanor Davies (IOM) a further 40 seconds back with the rest of the bunch in pieces on the climb. 


A furious descent of the glens towards Omagh ensures that the stage win will be fought out between the pink and white jerseys, and with 1 km to go they were still locked together with National Junior Champion taking the sprint to claim her second stage win of the weekend and George with a second place retaining the Pink Jersey.

Yet again the women delivered some top class racing vindicating host club Omagh Wheelers commitment to the Ladies Race. 


Thanks to all the volunteers in Omagh Wheelers and local clubs  who helped including Strabane-Lifford CC, Lakeland CC, Termon Wheelers, Omagh Motor Club, Omagh Tri club, Clogher Valley Wheelers, and East Tyrone. Thanks to the PSNI and Ambutran for their valuable assistance and co-operation. And thanks to Drumragh Sarsfields GAC.


A4 Overall Classification

1st. David Irvine (Team Caldwell)

2nd. Jakub Tarnowski (Fixx Roulers)

3rd. Tomas Knapcock (Clogher Valley Wheelers)

4th. Jay McCauley (Strabane-Lifford CC)

5th. Padraig Dougan (Carn Wheelers)

6th. Simon Woods (Keevan CC)

7th. Sean Maguire (East Tyrone CC)

8th. Frank McDermott (Oldcastle CC)

9th. Lee Somerville (Lakeland CC)

10th. Peter McBride (Banbridge CC)


A4 Points Classifcation

1st. Barry Rogers (Harps CC)

2nd. Tomas Knapcock (Clogher Valley Wheelers)

3rd. Jakub Tarnowski (Fixx Roulers)


A4 King of the Hills

1st. David Irvine (Team Caldwell)

2nd. Paddy Maguire (Omagh Wheelers CC)

3rd. Steven Wensley (East Tyrone CC)


A4 Team Classification

1st. Harps CC

2nd. East Tyrone CC

3rd. Lakeland CC


Best A4 Young Rider

Shane Murray (Oldcastle CC)


1stUnplaced Master

Declan McEntee (Emyvale CC)


Women’s Overall Classification

1st. Jennifer George (TC Racing)

2nd. Isobel Oakes (Smugglers CC)

3rd. Agniesica Wozniak (Cork County CC)

4th. Jane Wilkinson (Cycling Ulster)

5th. Lara Gillespie (Cycling Ulster)

6th. Fiona Guihen (Cycling Leinster)

7th. Sofie Loscher (Cycling Ireland Women’s Commission)

8th. Ellen Barker (Team Isle of Man)

9th. Eleanor Davies (Team Isle of Man)

10th. Aisling Flanagan (Cycling Leinster)


Women’s Points Classifcation

1st. Jennifer George (TC Racing)

2nd. Lara Gillespie (Scott-Orwell Wheelers)

3rd. Fiona Guihen (Cycling Leinster)


Women’s Best Young Rider

1st. Lara Gillespie (Scott-Orwell Wheelers)

2nd. Ellen Barker (Team Isle Of Man)

3rd. Eleanor Davies (Team Isle of Man)


Women’s Team Classification

1st. TC Racing

2nd. Cycling Ulster

3rd. Scott-Orwell Wheelers

SPAR Tour of Omagh ready to race


With only one week to go, excitement is building ahead of the 2018 SPAR Tour of Omagh. Based in the heart of county Tyrone, the 3-day event features 4 stages to test competitors around the beautiful Sperrin roads and mountains. 


Now in it’s ninth year, the event has gone from strength to strength with two distinct races on offer: the ‘A4’ Men’s race which is renowned as the best in Ireland; and a Women’s race which is attracting international riders from across Ireland and the UK.


The Women’s event has been grabbing the headlines over the past few years, and this year will feature a team travelling from the Isle of Man, a national Women’s development team, Ulster and Leinster development teams along with a number of top British riders guesting for domestic teams. 


Race Director Stevie McKenna is looking forward to the racing action “After hard work over recent years the A4 men’s race is recognized as the most popular and best-organized A4 stage race in Ireland. Growing the Women’s race was my main target for 2018. I wanted to build on the Women’s race from 2017, which proved to be the most exciting race yet. 


“Thankfully the Women’s race will be on another level this year, whilst we can still cater for newer riders to the sport. That is an important part of the event for us, to create that stepping stone for cyclists to the higher levels in the sport. Testament to that is a number of riders who have progressed from our event through to professional ranks and representing their country. We are very much grateful to our main sponsor SPAR who have enabled us to develop the race and make it a national level event”.


Sara Murphy - SPAR NI Brand Manager, Henderson Wholesale, said she was looking forward to building on the partnership. 


“We’re delighted to once again be involved with the SPAR Tour of Omagh as the headline sponsor. SPAR stores across Northern Ireland are committed to promoting healthy eating and the benefits of an active lifestyle so it’s great to see events like the Tour of Omagh giving people the opportunity to come together as a community and keep fit. We’re looking forward to an exciting three-day event and wish both race organisers and participators a successful tour.”


The event takes place from 27-29thJuly, and further information can be found on our website www.tourofomagh.co.uk, on our Facebook page https://m.me/SPARTOO17or on Twitter https://twitter.com/SPARTourofOmagh

Hosts of the 2015 All Ireland Championships

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