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Cong, Co. Mayo, July 4, 2004
Barry wins Ras Connachta
By Shane Stokes
Cidona Carrick rider Timmy Barry was the final winner of the Rás Connachta yesterday, ending the three day, four stage race six seconds clear of Padraig Marrey (Western Lakes) and Ravens' Ian Paine.
The first stage of the prestigious post-championships event went to Cycleways Lee Strand rider Philip Cassidy, who had gone clear on the second of four laps on Friday's opening 48 mile stage. Together with eight other riders they opened a strong lead over the main field, with Cassidy and Paine slipping away close to the finish. Cassidy was quicker in the sprint, while Micheal Fitzgerald (Cidona Carrick Wheelers) out-galloping Stephen O'Sullivan (Cycleways Lee Strand), Padraig Marrey and Cycling Ulster's Matthew Ward sixteen seconds later.
Barry bounced back from a ten second time penalty on day one to take the next stage, going clear approximately 25 miles from the finish and opening up a big advantage by the line. He finished 1 minute and 27 seconds up on his team-mate John Dempsey, with Simon Kelly (Galway Bay CC) in the same time. Fitzgerald, Gerard Heverin (Castlereagh CC) and Team Ireland's Maurice O'Brien were a further 25 seconds back. Cassidy retained the race lead.
Barry continued strongly in the final two stages, finishing fourth in the 6.8 mile time trial behind Ben Hallam (Western Lakes), Marrey and Simon Coughlan (Donamond Dynamos) and then making sure of his overall victory when he finished to the fore on the final 78.6 mile race. His main rival Cassidy had dropped out of contention due to injury, but things weren't plain sailing for the Cidona Carrick rider as he had a nervous chase back after a puncture in the closing stages.
Six riders were clear for most of the final day but were hauled back by the bunch just before the finish in Cong. At the line the victory went to Fitzgerald, who got the better of Frank O'Learly (Bray Wheelers CC), Maurice O'Brien (Team Ireland) and Shane O'Halloran (Duhallow Safaris) in the dash for the line. Kelly and Philip Finnegan (Cycleways Lee Strand) were fifth and sixth.
Stage 1, 48 miles 1 Philip Cassidy (Cycleways Lee Strand) 2.00.57 2 Ian Paine (Ravens CRT) same time 3 Micheal Fitzgerald (Cidona Carrick Wheelers) 0.16 4 Stephen O'Sullivan (Cycleways Lee Strand) 5 Padraig Marrey (Western Lakes CC) 6 Matthew Ward (Cycling Ulster) Stage 2 1 Timmy Barry (Carrick Cidona) 2.45.54 2 John Dempsey (Carrick Cidona) 1.27 3 Simon Kelly (Galway Bay) 4 Fitzgerald, at 1 min 52 secs 5 Gerard Heverin (Castlereagh CC) 6 Maurice O'Brien (Team Ireland) Stage 3, ITT, 6.8 miles 1 Ben Hallam (Western Lakes) 16.04 2 Marrey 0.06 3 Simon Coughlan (Donamon) 0.17 4 Barry 0.18 5 Cassidy 6 M. Munroe (Team Ireland) 0.31 Stage 4, 78.6 miles 1 Micheal Fitzgerald (Cidona Carrick Wheelers) 3.13.30 2 Frank O'Leary (Bray Wheelers CC) 3 O'Brien 4 Shane O'Halloran (Duhallow/Safaris) 5 Kelly 6 Philip Finnegan (Cycleways-Lee Strand CC) Final general classification 1 Timmy Barry (Carrick Cidona) 8.18.33 2 Marrey 0.06 3 Paine 0.28 4 O'Sullivan 5 Eoin Conncannon (Killorglin Credit Union CC) 1.05
Local results 2004