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P&O Irish Sea Tour of the North - NE

Ireland, April 9-13, 2004

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Stage 1 - April 9: Stormont ITT, 1 mile

Rose's record at Stormont opener

By Anthony Mitchell

Welshman George Rose, riding for the Energycycles Racing Team opened his account at the 2004 P&O Irish Sea Tour of the North by winning the Prologue Hillclimb stage at Stormont on the outskirts of Belfast. In doing so he also set a new course record for the climb, previously held by fellow countryman Jullian Winn since 2001.

Rose's ride of 2 minutes 5 seconds was five seconds ahead of 2002 prologue winner Jonathon Dempsey (Classic Walls-Roe Valley CC). East Antrim-Audi rider Ben Morrow, off number 15 of the 102 starters, was an early leader, setting a time of 2.11. He held the provisional race lead until Dempsey, off number 55 and then Rose, off number 78 relegated him to the minor podium place.

The threatened rain stayed away, but as the evening progressed the wind increased and got colder, perhaps giving the earlier starters a slight advantage, but there was no stopping 27 yearold Rose as he put himself in to the race leaders Pink Jersey for tomorrows 62 mile stage in Downpatrick.

Last years winner Tommy Evans posted 2min 21 seconds, and like the majority of the pre-race favourites is not far off the pace.

Results

1 George Rose (Energycycles Racing Team)             2.05.00
2 Jonathon Dempsey (Classic Walls-Roe Valley)        0.05.00
3 Ben Morrow (East Antrim-Agnew Audi)                0.06.00
4 Willie Hamilton (East Antrim-Agnew Audi)           0.09.50
5 Matt Ward (Phoenix CC)                             0.09.53
6 Mike Harrison (Cyclesuperstore.co.uk)              0.09.83
7 Gary Crory (Totalcycling-Litespeed)                0.09.99
8 Luke Myer (Surrey League)                          0.11.08
9 Stuart McManus (Glasgow Wheelers)                  0.11.42
10 Ryan Connor (Ballymena Road Club-Scotts)          0.11.48