Sports

Harp riders in tune at Newry 3 Day

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Harp riders in tune at Newry 3 Day thumbnailNathan Weir in the break on the first stage.

COOKSTOWN based Harps Cycling Club saw their four man team finish third in the prestigious Newry 3 Day event.

The Harps team consisted of Nathan Weir, John Morton, Brian Mitchell and John Conway, while the team car was manned by Gerard Mooney and Dolan Dunlop. Co-ordinator for the team was Barry Doyle.

Riders from all over Ireland took part, including various talent teams and teams from larger well known cycling clubs.

On the first stage, there was a starting field of 94 riders and 19 teams.

The Harps riders were in the mix during the whole three days of the event.

During the first stage, one of the Harps riders, Nathan Weir went with a break away group and ended the stage with a two minute gap to the chasing peloton, finishing in eighth position.

The rest of the Harps team finished comfortably in the chasing peloton.

On Saturday's stage, John Morton finished in third place after a hard fought sprint finish of the 64.5 mile stage.

The rest of the team came over the line in the same group, meaning the Harps CC riders ended the day with the same time as the GC leader.

Nathan Weir was still in with a chance for the race lead as he still had a one minute 25 seconds gap to the riders behind and over three minutes to quite a few more riders down the field on GC time.

He was still in eighth position and only 36 seconds from the yellow jersey.

After the fantastic riding from the quartet, the Harps Team were now in third position in the team event.

The final stage was on the Sunday. This was a hard stage, consisting of 71.4 miles of tough rolling roads with four category climbs during the race.

Nathan Weir tried to get away from the field a few times as he was trying to pull back the 36 seconds needed for the lead, but to no avail as all the teams were keeping a close eye on all the GC contenders and wouldn't let any attacks stick.

John Conway was unlucky to take a mechanical, but he had helped his team well beforehand.

Nathan Weir, John Morton, and Brian Mitchell came over the finish line in the middle of the front of the first finishing group, meaning they had secured third place in the team event, only 20 seconds off the second place team.

Nathan Weir finished the event in eighth place, equal on time with the seventh place finisher and still only 36 seconds off the yellow jersey and winner of the event.

Both Nathan Weir and John Morton also gathered more points to their racing licenses which has promoted both riders up to A1 category.

All the Harps CC Team did themselves proud and their club.

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