O’Loughlin looking to make home advantage count

Brendan Mooney

The race commemorates one of the great administrators of Irish cycling and a Carrick winner would be a fitting tribute.

O'Loughlin has already figured in a number of big events this season he won the big mountain stage in Ras Mumhan and almost took the yellow jersey on the final stage.

Sunday's race will start and finish outside his door and there could not be a more popular winner, but, on the road, he can expect nothing easy over five laps of the notorious Kearney's Road Circuit.

To add to the tension, a number of riders will be using the event as their final blow out before the FBD Insurance RAS and what would appear to be a compact field will be going flat out.

The Dan Morrissey Carrick Wheelers team hold a strong hand despite the fact that they will be without Timmy Barry, John O'Shea and Rory Wyley.

Barry and O'Shea are guesting with the Murphy & Gunn team in the Tour of Turkey, where Timmy Barry is lying seventh overall after finishing 7th, 9th and 15th over the past three days.

John Dempsey, who won Ras Mumhan, won the first stage of the Tour of Ulster last weekend and the circuit will suit him. Last weekend he outsprinted David McCann and Tommy Evans for stage victory and that was no mean feat.

Others who impressed up North were Vincent Gleeson (West Clare) and Daniel Lynch (Kanturk Credit Union).

Daniel Lynch, who stayed back to complete his studies while his twin brother, Denis, went to ride on the Continent, rode what astute observers said was his best race in two years over the weekend when he figured in the action every day.

Sean Lacey (Earl of Desmond) finished fifth in the north last weekend but the big danger on Sunday could be Eddie O'Donoghue (Murphy & Gunn), who took last weekend off.

The race will pass within a mile of his house and he proved both in Ras Mumhan on Easter Monday and in the Stamullen Grand Prix on April 17, that he still has that winning mentality and is a man to be feared in a sprint.

The Cycleways team will be in action in the Lincoln Grand Prix near Heathrow on Sunday.

They include Eugene Moriarty who took the KOM in the Tour of the North and Aidan Crowley who won the final stage; Philip Finnegan and Stephen O'Sullivan also compete.

Eugene Moriarty will be looking for another good performance after he finished eighth in the Archer Grand Prix on his last visit to Britain.

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