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Gene Moriarty Classic League Race
Listowel, August 3, 2003
Crowley wins Gene Moriarty Classic League Race
By Shane Stokes
Aidan Crowley continued in his vein of rich form today when he sprinted to a fine victory in the Gene Moriarty Cup classic league race in Listowel. The Cycleways Lee Strand rider landed what was probably the biggest win of his career when he out-galloped Colm Bracken (Usher IRC), team-mate Adrian Hedderman and the rest of a small breakaway group at the end of the 70 mile race.
The group had gone clear from the rest of the field on the first of seven laps and opened up a maximum lead of 3 minutes over a chasing group which included professional rider David O'Loughlin and the Cidona Carrick Wheelers team. With one lap remaining this lead had been cut to just over one minute, prompting a strong O'Loughlin to set off alone, close the gap, and take what was an eventual sixth place.
Meanwhile Totalcycling.com rider Aaron Deane landed the overall victory in the FPM Newry 3 day, jumping to the head of the general classification when he won the day two time trial.
The opening stage of the race saw Ards CC rider Lennie Kirk take a mass bunch sprint, ahead of Colm Watson (Totalcycling.com Lindsay Ford), Chris Tierney (Apollo CT) and the rest of the field. Deane stepped forward the following day when he raced around the 5.74 mile time trial in a time of 12 minutes and 46 seconds, 6.7 faster than Miles McCorry (Apollo A) and a further five quicker than Toyota North Down's Declan McMackin.
The afternoon stage then saw another Kirk winning a bunch sprint, Lennie's brother Brendan proving quickest on this occasion. A seven-man break had gone clear early on in the stage but the Totalcycling.com team succeeded in dragging them back before the line, paving the way for the group finish. This pattern was repeated on the final 54 mile stage when nine riders got clear, opened up a two minute lead but lost their momentum on the climbs towards the back end of the race. The last of them were caught between Hilltown and Rostrevor, enabling Stamullen M. Donnelly's Simon Mulvanney to take the win ahead of Paul Reid (Finglas Ravens) and Mac McGready (Apollo B).
Elsewhere, Mulvanney's team-mate Craig Sweetman won Friday evening's Ballyconnell Grand Prix with a strong solo attack three miles from the finish. Sweetman was followed home by Denis Easton (Totalcycling.com) and Stamullen M. Donnelly team-mate Robert Moore, with the Meath club's rider Colm Crawley taking the junior prize.
Sweetman and Moore were also in the thick of the action again in yesterday's Mount Nugent Grand Prix, coming to the finish as part of a five man group which was completed by Stephen O'Sullivan (Cycleways Lee Strand), Newbridge's Fintan McCormack and Earl of Desmond rider Kieran McMahon. Sweetman and McCormack had joined the three others with just over a mile remaining, and although the Stamullen M. Donnelly rider then launched an immediate attack, he was caught with 200 metres to go. McMahon then kicked for home to beat Moore, McCormack, O'Sullivan and Sweetman to the line.
1 Aidan Crowley (Cycleways Lee Strand) 2.30.15 2 C. Bracken (Usher IRC) 3 A. Hederman (Cycleways Lee Strand) 4 M. Quigley (Mayo Wheelers) 5 D. Lynch (Kanturk Credit Union) 6 D. O'Loughlin (Ofoto Lombardi) 7 P. Finegan (Cycleways Lee Strand) 8 D. Peelo (Usher IRC) 9 F. O'Leary (Usher IRC) 10 M. Concannon (Killorglin CC) Second cat: Liam Ryan (St. Finbarr's CC)