Epic 50km solo puts O’Regan in Yellow
WAS it naivety? Was it madness? Or did he know what he was doing? We’ll probably never know.
All we do know is that John O’Regan is a machine.
A strong team of St. Tiernan’s riders went into the SPAR Tour Of Omagh seeking to build on Darren Guy’s second from 2015. Today’s Club Racing Director John Malone kicked things off in 2013, taking overall fourth, then the present Treasurer Adam Greally bumped St. Tiernan’s best up to third. Cue Guy. Cue dreams of the yellow jersey.
He was in contention after the first two stages, losing little time – with Dowling and Bonnie also close up and the likes of Damien Heffernan playing a vital supporting role.
After some early skirmishes on stage 3, including attacks by Heffernan, O’Regan took flight with over 50 kilometres to race.
After 15 kilometres out front he had built a one-minute lead and that built to three minutes. The bunch worked hard to close him down and with less than 25 kilometres to go his lead had been whittled back down to a one and a half minute advantage.
Through a strong wind he battled on, the bunch sitting up as the gap shrunk to 30 seconds by the 5k banner, thinking their work was done – it was not.
The sprint bore down on O’Regan in the final stages, but he held on by 22 seconds, going into yellow, taking top spot in the sprint classification and being crowned most combative rider.
After Saturday’s brilliant solo victory O’Regan still had it all to do on the Queen Stage of the SPAR Tour of Omagh. He had as many as 20 potential suitors for the coveted yellow jersey, all of whom were within 20 seconds of top spot as the stage commenced.
His team worked tirelessly, he worked fearlessly, and in the end, only Michael Anderson (Northwest CC) could pull clear, but his four seconds was not enough. Victory was ours.
SPAR Tour of Omagh
Stage 1 Result
1 Colm O’Brien (Ratoath Wheelers)
2 Mark Gordon (Newry Wheelers)
3 Michael Anderson (Northwest CC)
4 Paul Harvey (Emyvale CC)
5 Declan O’Brien (Longford CRC)
6 Aidan Brady (Longford CRC)
27 John O’Regan (St Tiernan’s CC) @10″
41 Marcus Dowling (St Tiernan’s CC) @ s/t
53 Brendan Bonnie (St Tiernan’s CC) @2.14
Stage 2 Result
1 Daniel Daly (Phoenix CC) 04’53.39″
2 Stephen Dreydin (Bann Wheelers) @02.00″
3 Martin Connolly (Emyvale CC) @07.37″
4 Dean Lockhart (Carn Wheelers) @11.36″
5 David Wright (Phoenix CC) @11.45″
6 Roger Brown (Bann Wheelers) @12.29″
20 John O’Regan (St. Tiernan’s CC) @20.47
25 Marcus Dowling (St. Tiernan’s CC) @20.73
44 Brendan Bonnie (St. Tiernan’s CC) @29.82
Stage 3 Result
1 John O’Regan (St Tiernan’s)
2 Conor Dowler (Scott Orwell Wheelers) @22″
3 Garry Rainey (East Tyrone CC) @24″
4 Gerard Craig (VC Glendale) @28″
5 John Morton (Harps CC) @ s/t
6 Colm O’Brien (Ratoath Wheelers) @ s/t
44 Marcus Dowling (St. Tiernan’s CC) @ s/t
65 Brendan Bonnie (St. Tiernan’s CC) @ s/t
Stage 4 Result
1 Michael Anderson (Northwest CC)
2 Enda Farrell (Longford CC) @4″
3 Colin Fox (Harps CC) @s/t
4 John Morton (Harps CC) @09″
5 Ronan Kernan (VC Glendale) @10″
6 Garry Rainey (East Tyrone CC) @s/t
13 John O’Regan (St. Tiernan’s CC) @s/t
Final General Classification
1 John O’Regan(St Tiernans CC)
2 David Wright (Phoenix CC) @11″
3 Michael Anderson (North West CC) @19″
4 Enda Farrell (Longford CC) @21″
5 John Morton (Harps CC) @22″
6 Ronan Kernan (VC Glendale) @23″