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Bray GP




Tour of Ulster

May 4-6, 2003

The stages

  • Stage 1 - May 4: Craigavon - Downpatrick, 95 miles
  • Stage 2 - May 5: Downpatrick - Craigavon, 80 miles
  • Stage 3 - May 6: Craigavon - Craigavon, 76 miles

Stage 1 - May 4: Craigavon - Downpatrick, 95 miles

O'Donoghue in yellow

By Shane Stokes

Eddie O'Donoghue overcame gusting, wet conditions and the efforts of all his main rivals to win the 98 miles opening stage of the UCPC Tour of Ulster yesterday. The Usher IRC rider had been part of a nine man group which went clear ten miles after the start at the Cycling Ulster Centre of Excellence/Craigavon Watersports Centre, and after taking the KOM primes at Armagh and Crankey, he and his breakaway companions were joined by five reinforcements.

With many of the main field suffering in the awful conditions and being further hindered by a spate of punctures, the leaders were able to maintain their advantage all the way to the 3.6 mile finishing circuit in Downpatrick, and beyond. Split by this stage into four groups, O'Donoghue proved fastest of the three front runners at the end of the race, with 2001 Tour of Ulster winner Tim Barry (Cidona Carrick Wheelers) and Total Ford's Denis Easton next to finish.

Just over two minutes later, Brian Kenneally (Carrick Cidona) led home Gary Cranston (East Antrim CC), with the remnants of the break finishing further back and the bunch itself over eleven minutes down. Seventh on the stage was Cycleways Lee Strand rider Stephen O'Sullivan, who holds the King of the Mountains jersey going into the second day of the race today.


Stage 2 - May 5: Downpatrick - Craigavon, 80 miles

Easton on top in tour of Ulster

By Shane Stokes

Total rider Denis Easton took over the lead in the Tour of Ulster today when he won the 80 mile second stage from Downpatrick to Craigavon. The rider was fastest in the five man sprint which decided the 80 mile stage, pushing Conor Murphy (Crannog Monaghan) and Eugene Moriarty (Cycleways Lee Strand A) into the lesser placings in the gallop for the line.

The rain-lashed stage had seen a twelve man group go clear at the start, enabling King of the Mountains leader Stephen O'Sullivan to fortify his lead with prime wins at Castlewellan and Hilltown. A partial regroup saw the front group swell to 24 riders, after which Northern Dave Kane rider Brian Stewart attacked and led the race for some time. After his recapture, Barry made a solo move and opened up a lead of over one minute. Following the KOH at Keady Mountain, he was reeled in by four chasers who all combined well to further distance the yellow jersey of Eddie O'Donoghue (Usher IRC), and to ensure the stage win would be fought out between them.

In the dash for the line, it was Easton who proved faster than Murphy, Moriarty, Barry and Brian Kenneally (Cidona Carrick Wheelers), taking the five seconds winner's bonus and edging ahead of Barry, who had been second yesterday.

By Tommy Campbell

Denis Easton and Timmy Barry of the Carraig Cidona Club looked as thogh they have the overall victory within their grasp after two stages of three in the Tour of Ulster. Certainly the weather conditons have been less than favourable to the orignal start list of 80 which started out on Saturday.

Up front on the leaderboard is Easton who has slender five second advantage on the 2002 winner Barry. Both of them have been in all the moves which has them locked for the overall victory.

Overnight leader, a former Cidona club man, Eddie O’Donoghue now with the Dublin based Usher IRC failed to cover a move on yesterdays stage from Downpatrick to Craigavon when his breakaway companions from Saturday, Timmy Barry of Carraig Cidona and Easton moved ahead. In the sprint to the line it was Easton who triumphed, thus moving him into the pole position for today’s final stage. At the finish they had a gap of over two minutes on the chasing pack led in by O’Donoghue who must now realise that the overall win is out of reach.

Evidently, the five second cushion that Easton holds on Timmy Barry may not be sufficient as the Corkman has a lot of resources with a well disciplined team who may see him repeat his overall win of 2002.

Also it is notable that Brian Kenneally who started back to competition in the Credit Union Ras Mumhan and last Sunday in the Swiftpost Elliott Memorial is showing the skills that saw him as a force in Irish cycling a coiple of seasons ago. Today he'll be a major player in the shake up which should see Barry his clubmate, overturn the deficit on Easton.


Stage 3 - May 6: Craigavon - Craigavon, 76 miles

Overnight leader a no-show

By Tommy Campbell

The third and final stage of the Tour of Ulster lacked a race leader in yellow when overnight leader, Denis Easton failed to come to the start line for the 76 miles of competition with a start and finish in Craigavon. This put Timmy Barry of the Carraig Cidona team as the leader minus the distinctive tunic. He was not found wanting as his team ushered him through the stage nullifying any breaks that would cause any problems for Timmy who last won the event back in 2001 when he overcame Eugene Moriarty in the final miles to snatch a victory that seemed so remote as the race entered its crucial stage.

Not so on this occasion as his form in recent weeks made him look invincible as finished in the main pack surrounded by his able lieutenants as they acknowledged the well wishers as the winner of the 2003 Tour of Ulster.

Brian Stewart of the Northern Dave Kane CC who led in a breakaway group of four put his sprinting ability to good use to claim a well deserved victory.



Stage 1 - May 4: Craigavon - Downpatrick, 95 miles

1 Eddie O'Donoghue (Usher IRC)                   3.42.46
2 T. Barry (Cidona Carrick Wheelers)                0.02
3 D. Easton (Total Ford)
4 B. Kenneally (Cidona Carrick Wheelers)            2.03
5 G. Cranston (East Antrim CC)
6 B. Stewart (Northern Dave Kane)                   2.48
7 S. O'Sullivan (Cycleways Lee Strand A)
8 E. Moriarty (Cycleways Lee Strand A)              3.02
9 E. Baxter (Isle of Man)                           3.34
10 J. Dempsey (Classic Walls)                       5.03
Vredstein King of the Hills
Cat 2, Armagh
1 E. O'Donoghue
Cat 3, Crankey:
1 O'Donoghue
Cat 3, 7 Sisters
1 S. O'Sullivan
Cat 1, Castlewellan
1 S. O'Sullivan
Cat 3, Ardglas
1 S. O'Sullivan
KOM Leader: S. O'Sullivan

Stage 2 - May 5: Downpatrick - Craigavon, 80 miles

1 Denis Easton (Total Ford)  3.27.08
2 C. Murphy (Crannog Monaghan)
3 Moriarty
4 Barry
5 Kenneally
6 O'Donoghue                                        2.23
7 M. O'Loughlin (Cidona Carrick)
8 G. Cranston (East Antrim CC)
9 M. Slattery (Earl of Desmond)
10 B. Stewart (Northern Dave Kane CC)
General classification after stage 2
1 D. Easton                                      7.09.31
2 Barry                                             0.05
3 Kenneally                                         2.12
4 O'Donoghue                                        2.26
5 Moriarty                                          3.12
6 Cranston                                          4.40
7 B. Stewart (Northern Dave Kane)                   5.28
8 O'Sullivan                                        5.30
9 Murphy                                            8.22
10 O'Loughlin                                      10.53
1 Easton                                              15 pts
2 C. Murphy                                           12
3 E. Moriarty                                         10
Vredstein King of the Hills
1 Stephen O'Sullivan                                  32 pts
2 T. Barry                                            18
3 B. Stewart                                          13
Teams classification
1 Cidona Carrick
Under 23
1 Conor Murphy.
2nd cat
1 B. O'Brien (Classic Walls).

Stage 3 - May 6: Craigavon - Craigavon, 76 miles

1 Brian Stewart (Northern Dave Kane CC)          3.24.35
2 K. Gallagher (Orchard Wheelers CC)
3 M. Mulcahy (Usher IRC)
4 A. Donnellan (Dublin Wheelers CC)
5 M. Cavendish (Isle of Man)                        0.11
6 D. Cunningham (North Kildare CC)
Final general classifcation
1 Timmy Barry (Carraig Cidona)                  10.34.42
2 B. Kenneally (Carraig Cidona)                     2.07
3 E. O'Donoghue (Usher IRC)                         2.20
4 E. Moriarty (Cycleways/Lee Strand CC)             3.05
5 Stewart                                           4.37
6 S. O'Sullivan (Cycleways/Lee Strand)              5.25 

Previous results from Ireland