Eoin Morton enjoys his trip to Tipperary

Eoin Morton secured his biggest career win yesterday in the Gas Networks Ireland Visit Nenagh Classic in Tipperary.
Eoin Morton enjoys his trip to Tipperary

The UCD-Fitzcycles man had plenty of time to savour the moment and salute the enormous crowd in Nenagh for the finish, as runner-up Conor Hennebry (Aquablue) and Mark Dowling (ASEA-Wheelworx) were some way back on the new champion.

Morton started aggressively, racing clear in a six-man break that included Sean Lacey and Anthony Walsh (both Aquablue), Gary Donaldson (Omagh Wheelers), Cathal Moynihan (Tralee Manor West/iBike) as well as Dutch rider Adrie Lindeman (Nija Trucks - Fila NWVG).

Over the first climb at Army Hill their lead was almost a minute, with Morton first to crest the summit. The Swords man was also first in the 19.16km sprint point at Thomas MacDonagh Heritage Centre, an intermediate sprint to mark the 100th anniversary of the Rising.

The margin extended to two minutes around the midway point of the 169km event, but, unable to sustain the pace, Walsh and Donaldson dropped off to leave just four up front: Morton, Lindeman, Lacey, and Moynihan, who was next to crack, as the riders headed for Templederry, but the leading trio now had a margin of just 1:30 over the main bunch.

Mark Dowling (ASEA-Wheelworx) was one of a number of riders leading the charge to close in on the front runners. Sensing danger, Morton took flight after the last climb at Bigpark and began to lose Lacey and Lindeman.

Aquablue were keen to salvage something and they sent Matteo Cigala and Conor Hennebry after Morton, but the gap was too great. Hennebry did manage to finish second, with Dowling squeezing third ahead of Cigala and Lacey.

The A3 event (110km) was won by Kieran Murphy (Galway Bay CC), with the NRPT pair of Cameron McIntyre and Aaron Kearney taking second and third, respectively.

The women’s race (81km) was won by Aideen Keenan (Scott Orwell Wheelers) ahead of Orla Montague (Dublin Wheelers) and Claire McIlwaine (Phoenix CC).

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