Top-class finish for Wheelers
13 March 2019
Mark McKinley proudly raised his hand in the air crossing the finish as the winner of the twenty-sixth John Haldane Memorial Road Race.
This was a super result for the start of Mark's 2019 racing season and it made the win that bit more special with his club mates Des Woods and Jude Sands taking second and third place respectively.
On a day that literally had four seasons in one morning - mainly winter - with snow showers and high cross winds throughout all four races, the John Haldane Road Race was a sellout with record numbers for the Ladies Only race.
First off on the day was the Ladies Only race and it was brilliant to see so many strong competitors on the start line. Teresa Parr, Ciara Havern, Roisin McGivern and Caroline Wade all started for the Newry Wheelers. In a strong field of 22 riders, Wheelers had two ladies finish in the top 10. This was a debut for Teresa Parr just coming in ahead of the ever-consistent Ciara Havern to take fifth and sixth place respectively.
The main race of the day followed for the A1/A2s, with six laps of the course to cover (55 miles). This was a Newry Wheelers team effort special, with all the red jerseys doing their bit to keep the pace up. Barry Convery, Sean Featherstone, Colm Quinn, Andrew Hicks, Gareth O'Neill, Michael Havern, Des Woods, Barry McKenna and McKinley were all in the main moves. McKinley pushed it on and got into the break on the third lap with Sands and Woods following him and covering moves. Their hard work paid off with McKinley sprinting to the finish, with the powerhouse of Woods in second place and Sands making it a trio of Wheelers with third place. This result also sees Jude back to A1 racing with the points he has picked up over the last two weekends.
The A3/Juniors were next up and they brought some good action all morning. Kevin Lynch, Mark Gordon, Henry O'Neill, Kenny Bagnall and Paul Gannon all started on the line, with Lynch taking second place and O'Neill rounding off a super racing weekend for him, taking third place.
Last but by no means least were the A4 riders with 37 miles to cover. This was a debut for a few Newry Wheelers and they didn't disappoint with some strong riding. Thomas McCaul was unlucky with a puncture coming into the last lap. Larry McCabe finished top 10 and has given him a taste for the open racing. Padraig McKernan, Mark Kearney and Cliffy Hamilton all finished well in the bunch.
This was a very proud day for the club. With just over 100 members, Newry Wheelers had 28 members racing and countless helping out marshaling, providing first aid, driving, supporting and the after refreshments. These events cannot take place with the help and the support of our sponsors. Thanks to McKinley Contracts and Haldane Fisher who sponsored the John Haldane Memorial Race.
Ras Naomh Finian Race
Gareth and Henry O'Neill travelled to Meath on Saturday for the Ras Naomh Finian Road Race, which is well-organised by Clonard Road Club. The boys both made the journey worthwhile, when Gareth picked up third place in main race. A super result whilst up against some of the top riders in Ireland and his dad Henry is proving one to watch in the A3 racing, picking up some points taking fourth overall in A3 race.To read more subscribe to our online Newspaper