THERE were just two cyclists from the County Meath based DECTEK team amongst the 70 starters in the Tour of Armagh, which was sponsored by the Classic Mineral Water Company, but they dominated the event, taking the two top places after 100 kilometres of racing.
After a short lived attack by Clann Eireann cyclists Michael Murray and John Heverin in the first twenty miles, Mark Dowling of the DECTEK team went ahead in the company of several others
Dowling took the prime at Keady Mountain, and as his breakaway companions faltered, his teammate Fiacre O’Muire joined him at the front. This duo held on to a sometimes precarious lead that hovered around thirty seconds from Markethill to Gilford, when the fifty or so chasers seemed to ease up a little.
In the end O’Muire won by half a wheel from Dowling, and later went home with the Patsy O’Connor Cup.
A chase group of seven came in around fifty seconds later, and the main bunch containing the rest were just over a minute behind at the line.
Results: 1, Fiacre O’Muire, Dectek; 2, Mark Dowling, Dectek; 3, Paul Mulligan, Eurocycles; 4, Colm Quinn, Cuchullain; 5, Gary Cranston, East Antrim; 6, Dane Dunlop, Lakeland; 7, Chris Greene, Lurgan/unattached
In other races Clann Eireann cyclists were in action at the Madigan Grand Prix on Saturday at Kilroot. Harry Martin took a good sixth place in the veterans race, and John Heverin was seventh in the main senior event.
Elsewhere, Ciara Mulholland was away in county Mayo with an Irish Ladies Development team, racing against the men. The ladies were there for the experience, and that they got aplenty. For Ciara it was by far the longest event she had ever raced. Overall, Ciara was 69ths.
TheInterclub League produced another win for Clannsman John Heverin, who left the scratch group behind with ten miles to go, and who only just managed to get past the frontrunners in the last mile.