THERE is realistic chance that there could be a local winner of the Ulster 25-mile Time Trial Championship on Saturday, which is being hosted for the first time by Omagh Wheelers.
The club, along with Fintona CC, Caldwell Cycles and others, have been instrumental in the development of young riders for many years, but over the last five or so of those there has been an explosion of talent emerging in Tyrone.
Reigning Ulster 25-mile TT champion, Darnell Moore, from Dromore, and his brother Calvin, Beragh’s Marc Potts, Omagh’s Angus Fyffe and Gary Donaldson, Bready’s Marcus Christie, ex-Omagh Wheelers trio Adam Ward, Paul and Darragh McCarter, are amongst the Tyrone contingent to have shone on the Irish stage and beyond.
And should even a small proportion of that particular group of young racers enter Saturday’s race, then there is a more than likely chance that there will, at the very least, be a local rider standing on the podium, if not atop it.
“Darnell [Moore] is the defending champion, so if he enters there’s every chance he’ll be adding to his collection of National jerseys!,” Wheelers stalwart, Stevie McKenna speculated.
“But you’ve also got Marcus, who is an unbelievable athlete and will be hard to beat.
“Then you have a couple of ‘Masters’, who are TT specialists, like John Madden, who has multiple titles and he’s not far off Marcus’s level.
“The ideal would be to have a local podium, and with Darnell, Marc Potts, if he’s home, and possibly the two McCarter brothers, who started out with Omagh Wheelers, but are now racing for a team in Donegal, there is absolutely a chance of getting a local winner.”
The current generation of cycling stars haven’t come through the ranks by accident.
Years of grassroots work has been going on at the local clubs in order to bring through this particular crop, but McKenna believes, not only does the success they achieve inspire them to greater things, but it also gives hope to the next generation.
“Success feeds success, but it’s about getting the basics right first,” he explained.
• The action is scheduled to get underway at 10am and entries close tomorrow (Thursday).
FULL STORY IN TODAY’S ULSTER HERALD
Posted: 2:59 pm July 11, 2018
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