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Darnell Moore Wins Round 3 of the National Road Series for Men - Shay Elliott

Darnell Moore Wins Round 3 of the National Road Series for Men - Shay Elliott

OMAGH’S Darnell Moore secured a breakthrough victory with an impressive solo victory in Sunday’s Round 3 of the Cycling Ireland Men’s National Road Series in Wicklow.

The 20-year-old former Fermanagh footballer had enjoyed a series of podium places in the build up to the Shay Elliott Memorial Race, and finished fourth in the 2016 edition after taking second in the lower tier SHA3 on the same card previously.

Going into 2017’s longer, tougher, 164km Bray Wheelers Classic, he described himself as “an alright climber” and that he proved and more when surging clear from the breakaway at the top of the day’s main climb, the Shay Elliott and Glenmalure.

Getting a gap, he increased his lead on the descent and rode alone at the front of the race for several kilometres, before being caught by six key riders, including fellow Omagh man Angus Fyffe.

With 16km to race, National Road Series second Mark Dowling, and fourth Matteo Cigala, were among the group of chasers to join the leaders, but the harmony would not last long as the winning move was to follow within minutes.

He said: “There was a bit of messing about for four or five miles after I got caught and another group joined us, then Conn McDunphy just rode straight through us.

“Angus Fyffe knocked up the road after him, and I’d be friendly with Angus, so I thought I may as well try to work with him.

“I got across with him, then McDunphy tried to attack us twice, but everybody stayed together, then, with about 1km to go, I just had the legs and gave it a dig.”

Moore hit the line four seconds clear of Fyffe at the summit, with Dowling nicking third from the enterprising McDunphy, and the Aqua Blue Academy pair, Sean Lacey and Matteo Cigala, back in fifth and sixth.

He added “Conn and Angus have been winning races most of the year. That was my first one. I have had plenty of thirds and seconds, but hopefully that’s the breakthrough one.”

The victory promotes Moore to fifth position in the National Road Series standings, leader Darragh O’Mahony dropping back to third, behind new leader Dowling and new second Cigala.

Fyffe moves up to fourth for his efforts, with McGlinchey taking sixth, two points ahead of Mark O’Callaghan, Lacey, and McDunphy.

For Moore and much of the field, the An Post Ras is next. Moore, who will be riding the race for the second time, took the County Rider’s Jersey into Dungarvan on Stage 8 last year and will be riding for Down Bikehouse with David Watson, James Ambrose, Adam Armstrong and Lewis Ferguson.

The action gets underway on Sunday, May 21, with Round 4 of the National Road Series hosted by Tuam Cycling Club at the Brian McNamara GP in Galway on Sunday, June 11.

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