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Two National Series go down to the wire in Ulster this weekend

Two National Series go down to the wire in Ulster this weekend

 Two National Series go down to the wire in Ulster this weekend

There is still all to play for as the Cycling Ireland Men`s National Road Series and Joe Daly Women`s National League both reach their finale on Sunday in County Down with the North Down Grand Prix.


Already one of the richest one-day events on the calendar carrying a first prize of approximately 430, (£300), Sunday will also see someone walk away with the top prize of 670 as the Men`s National Series winner.

All eyes will be on the super strong Asea team, with their man Bryan McCrystal firmly in the driving seat for overall honours.


He currently leads in-form Mark Dowling (Dunboyne CC) by 7 points, and will start Sunday`s event as a firm favourite.


Dowling, also winner of the Ulster Seat Super Seven Criterium series over the past three months, has an uphill task to take the National Series away from McCrystal, and not all of it is in his hands.


He has to win the event – a tall enough order, but McCrystal has to finish off the podium to hand the series, which got underway back in March with the Ras Luimni in Munster – to the Dunboyne man.


There are also close battles among the top 10 overall, with all riders eligible to drop their worst score from 5 and replace it with a top drawer performance on the Ards Peninsula on Sunday.


The North Down club, one of the biggest in Ulster, have a full day`s action planned, with the Women`s event also the decider in their National league, and races for Youth and masters also on the days itinerary.

In the Women`s League, Cork rider Grace Young (De Ronde van Cork) is tied with Aideen Keenan (DID) for the top spot. They are a full nine points ahead of the next rider, Ann Horan (Orwell) so barring a big upset the title is between the two riders.

But it all boils down to the final race of the Joe Daly Women`s National League on Sunday. Keenan is just back from a fractured collar bone and has yet to regain the form she showed earlier in the year. Young though is just back from a solid block of training abroad and has built on steady form earlier this year to show good class.

The action centres around the county Down coastal town of Donaghadee with a full programme throughout the day.


Cycling Ireland Men`s National Series positions.


1.   Bryan McCrystal.                  294 Points

2.   Mark Dowling.                     287

3.   Eoin Morton.                        262

4.   Sean Lacey.                         232

5.   Daire Feeley.                        231

6.   Dermot Radford.                   227

7.   Ali MacAuley.                       198

8.   Chris Reilly.                          197

9.   Derek Joyce.                         194

10. Patrick Clarke.                       186

Grace Young & Aideen Keenan

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