Erigal Youth Tour

12 August 2012

Ballymena Road Club youth section cyclists George Graham and Breandan McCavana took part in the Errigal youth tour three day stage race in Donegal last week.

George gives an account of his race. "Stage one was 5 laps of a 6 mile circuit and was very hilly terrain the whole way round the circuit which made it hard but challenging.

The race pace was fast and excitable so I spent majority of the first lap off the back of the pack. At the start of the second lap I couldn't hold on for any longer an was dropped back a group, I finished 59 out of 80 and 18 minutes down on first place. 
Stage 2 - Stage two was a 0.9 mile hill climb time trial to Church Hill and on the morning warming up I didn't feel too great and during the event I didn't feel I could go to my limit and I ended up in the 50's. 
Stage 3 was a 5 lap race of a 6 mile circuit and there was one very big hill at the end of the lap which climbed 300ft in about 200metres so the gradient was very steep.

I was in the middle of the pack until the start of the second lap when I was dropped into a group of about 5 riders, we kept riding and picking up people an dropping others until we reached the last lap. I finished 49 in the stage which was only 10 minutes behind the leader, this brought me up around 8 minutes in the GC lifting me into the forties, as many riders were pulled out a they were being lapped. 
Stage 4 was a 1.28 kilometres per lap Criterium in Letterkenny, with my class doing 30 minutes plus 5 laps.  Right from the start the pace was fast and furious and there was a long line of people being dropped and I was dropped about 4 laps into the race, I settled into a back group of about 12 riders and we kept sweeping up dropped riders right until the end.

At about 28 minutes our group was pulled in as we were getting lapped by the main field and they didn't want to have any crashes in the closing laps, we were one of the last groups to be pulled in and in the en results we were given 3 minutes 20 seconds behind the leader, this kept me in 49 out of 80 in the final U16 GC and 18th in the U15's. 
Ballymena Road Club congratulates both boys for being so successful and for finishing this most prestigious youth event, well done.