First win of 2012 for cyclists

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Clann Eireann Cycling Club had it’s first win of the year when John Bann-Lavery won the Clann Eireann Cup on St Patrick’s Day.

The race had a full field of over 60 riders from across Ulster. The Clann Eireann team was represented by Bann-Lavery, brothers Marty and Barry McConville, and Conor Grimes who all rode aggressively throughout the race.

After much attacking in the opening three laps, Bann-Lavery broke clear of the main bunch with four other riders including two from the Phoenix club in Belfast, one from North Down Cycling Club and a rider from the Castlereagh club in Belfast.

This breakaway group rode strongly to the finish of the 50 mile race when Bann-Lavery sprinted clear to cross the line ahead of Chris Richardson (Castlereagh) and Alistair MacAulay (Phoenix Belfast).

Conor Grimes led in the fast finishing bunch to take a fine sixth place, with the McConville brothers finishing closely behind in what was a great team performance as these three riders covered the counter attacks well in the bunch when Bann-Lavery was in the group ahead.

On Sunday’s race, the PJ Logan Cup in Coalisland, Grimes’ legs were still good despite Saturday’s efforts as he finished eleventh from a strong field of top riders in the 55 mile main event.

In the support races on Sunday, Harry Martin had mechanical problems in the Masters race, whilst Kenny McConaghy and Jerome Donnelly competed in the A4 race and rode well in the opening miles.

Next weekend the Clann riders will race in the Cicli Sport Grand Prix in Cookstown on Saturday and the Carne Wheelers Classic in Maghera on Sunday.

In other news Declan Mulholland has been selected on a four rider Irish Youth team due to compete in an event in Scotland over the Easter weekend.