Race four in the Cycling Ulster Masters League took place on Sunday 13 March, The Danny Boy Races on roads around Feeny organised by Roe Valley CC. The joint Ladies and Masters race was well supported with a strong field heading west out of Feeny towards Claudy at a now customary swift pace. Despite the pleasant sunny morning start a strong side wind was evident as the riders traveled towards the first turn on the way to Park. Into the head wind the high pace was maintained on the rolling course before easing briefly on the back roads. On towards Park saw a few attacks which were quickly pulled back in by the main group. According to an unofficial time keeper, my wife, the masters and ladies completed the first lap almost 5 minutes faster than the A4 race. Forgot to mention Wendy had decided to take revenge for all the runners I had photographed on a hill by positioning herself just short of the top on the main climb.
The one mile climb back towards Feeny saw me drop of the back of the bunch by 50 odd meters giving me a substantial gap to close at the start of the final lap. Settling back into the main group, I was just catching my breath when the guy beside me points out there’s no one behind us. As with the first lap there is a reprieve from the fast pace for a few miles on the back half of the course. Downhill on the last quarter of the circuit saw the peloton hit speeds of 40 mph as a two man break was chased down before the final turn towards the start finish line. A short sprint and the main group hit the climb for the last time, the first half mile saw a steady almost slow pace as everyone waited for the first person to make a move. As with the first climb I found myself off the back again. The sprint to the line saw Brian O’Kane of Square Wheelers take first place with Brian Hannon of Banbridge CC second and Neil McCartan of Power House Sport taking third. A good days racing and looking forward to The Carn Classic next weekend.