McDunphy Wins Stage 1 of Tour of Ulster
The Tour of Ulster started this year in Banbridge, a group of 26 riders moved clear within the first few miles and by the time the race reached 8 miles covered the gap was 1 minute to the main field. The race averaged 30mph for the first hour. The 26 leaders were Antoine Le Corre (UCD Cycling Club), John Buller (Banbridge CC), Kevin McKinney (Banbridge CC), Mark Shannon (Burren CC), Charles Prendergast (Burren CC), Conn McDunphy (Lucan County Dublin), Ben Joughin (Newry Wheelers), Lindsay Watson (Powerhouse Sport), Lee Masters (Powerhouse Sport), Joe Evans (St Piran), William Harper (St Piran), Cameron Jeffers (St Piran), Oli Maxwell (St Piran), Philip Lavery (Strata3-VeloRevolution), James Davenport (Strata3-VeloRevolution), Stephen Murray (Strata3-VeloRevolution), Dillon Corkery (Team Gerard-DHL), Cian Sutcliffe (Team Gerard-DHL), Toni Ballester Llobera (Team Sportactive Racing), Matteo Cigala (Team Viner Caremark Pactimo), Conor Hennebry (Team Viner Caremark Pactimo), Craig Rea (Team Viner Caremark Pactimo), Jordan Levasseur (VC Toucy), Wilfried Canales (VC Toucy), Jake Gray (VC Toucy) & Scott Auld (VC Toucy).
By the time the race reached Antrim, with 30 miles covered, the 26 leaders had over 2 minutes lead, but the race behind had split into numerous groups.
At the second KOH of the day at Randalstown with 40 miles covered. The lead group was almost 4 minutes over the next group with the main field at 6 minutes.
With 60 miles of racing covered a group of 17 riders formed behind the leaders and were over 2 minutes 30 seconds behind and consisted of Gareth McKee (Banbridge CC), Roger Aiken (Banbridge CC), Paul Kennedy (Blarney CC), Jarleth Hassett (Burren CC), Darragh McCarter (Donegal Bay CC), Des Woods (Newry Wheelers), Conor McCann (Newry Wheelers), Greg Swinand (PanetX Carnac), Donal Shearer (Phoenix CC), Liam Holohan (Rhino Velo Race Team), Matthew Garthwaite (Rhino Velo Race Team), Kirk Vickers (Rhino Velo Race Team), Oliver Hayward (Rhino Velo Race Team), Jake Alderman (St Piran), Darnell Moore (Team Caldwell Cycles ), Ronan McLaughlin (Team Viner Caremark Pactimo) & Siim Kiskonen (VC Toucy). Another group of 20 riders at over 3 minutes 30 seconds and the main field at over 7 minutes.
William Harper (St Piran) attacked out of the lead group and built up a lead of 45 seconds before being caught.
There were various attacks from the main group, until McDunphy finally got away and stayed away until the finish.
The leader of the King of the Hills competition after day 1 is Cameron Jeffers (St Piran).
The stage tomorrow starts at Belmont Hotel, Banbridge (09.45 am) and finishing at Newry Road, Banbridge (1.30pm), and with the race going through the Mournes this 97.7 mile stage is another tough stage with 7 climbs on route.