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Watty in Yellow at Tour of Omagh

8 Aug 2015
Watty in Yellow at Tour of Omagh

Bangor man Steven Watty is leading the Tour of Omagh after completing three stages this evening. Ryan Wallace (Ballymoney) is fractions of a second behind with the third man Gavin Corey (Harps CC) just one second down.Going into tomorrows final road race stage the top twenty on general classification are within 20 seconds so the race is far from over.Stage 1 on Friday evening was a 44 mile loop starting and finishing in Omagh and included two sprints and King of the Hills primes.The race ended in a bunch sprint won by 27 years old Robbie Silcock (Island Wheelers). Adam Leach (North Down CC) mopped up a lot of the K.O.H. points to load this competition while Alan Lavery (Unattached) was on the attack so much that he took the combatifidy leaders jersey.Silcocks time as race leader ended in the Stage2 time trial on Saturday morning on the Dromore Road. He dropped to 46th place losing 38 seconds to stage winner Christopher Birney (Team Sportactive) who clocked 5 mins 20 seconds for the 2.5 mile course. Lorcan Healy (unattached) was second with Steven Watty (North Down) third.

Eileen Burns guesting on (Bann Valley RC) did an outstanding performance to place fourth in the stage to take a clear lead in the ladies race.Birney was now in Yellow before the afternoon’s hilly stage which did two loops around Carrickmmore and finished back in Killyclogher near Omagh.

Leach added to his K.O.H. competition lead with a first place at the Carrickmore prime after 12 miles.A five man break gained a lead of 1 minute 30 second during the stage. Watty (North Down), Ryan Wallace (Ballymoney CC), Lorcan Healy (unattached), Alan Campbell (North West CC) and Tiit Talumaa (Unattached)  worked well together but despite there efforts a 50 strong leading bunch caught them on the head wind run in back to the finish. The stage was won by The Apprentice TV star Jim Eastwood (Harps CC) with another young Ballymoney rider Gareth Peden second and Les Brown (Phoenix) third.

Although the breakaway group got caught the five riders still were rewarded for their efforts.Watty took the yellow jersey as Birney came in 43 seconds down. Ryan Wallace (Ballymoney CC) won two sprint primes which gave him a total of 6 seconds in bonuses and lifted him five places to 2nd overall. Alan Campbell now leads the sprints competition while Healy is joint leader of the Combativity Jersey  and is in fourth overall.Eileed Burns (Bann Valley) leads the Ladies race by 20 seconds from Judith Russell (Phoenix) and Sinnead Oakes (Nenagh) is third at 52 seconds. Tomorrow’s final stage takes in the hilly roads around Plumbridge and Gortin and is due to finish at C&M Motors, Omagh around 12 noon.

report by Brendan Kirk

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