An inaugural cycling race took place yesterday, in an event designed to compete directly with the Giro d’Italia road race which sees one of the stages taking in Armagh.
Local organiser, Terence Kerr from the Rock, proudly told us,
“It was an unqualified success. I know we only had one person who entered for it who didn’t even finish, but that’s not the point. Well, it sort of is, but you’ve got to try, haven’t you? And what’s so special about Armagh anyway? It’s not a patch on Tyrone. It says in the paper they’re starting the race at the Shambles in Armagh. Why not Donaghmore? You should see thon speed bumps on the main street. Now they’re a proper feckin’ shambles. That’s why we’ve done our own race. Armagh can stick their apple orchards up their holes”.
The lone participant, 32-stone man Sidney Clarke from Cabragh, collapsed with exhaustion just two miles into the 124-mile route.
“I had done all my preparation and loads of training and was taking it all deadly serious”, he admitted regretfully. “In fact I bought so many go-faster stickers out of Argos I couldn’t fit them all on my Raleigh Chopper. And all the gears were working apart from the first and second, so I’m not really sure what went wrong”.
Onlooker Gerard McMahon from Urney confirmed,
“Ah, now poor Sidney wouldn’t be fastest thing on two wheels. Some of the wee’ans coming out of St Joseph’s at home time were going faster than him. The poor man was on the bike for three hours, and that was just going up Pomeroy main street. And I don’t really think the stabilisers helped much. The critter. Sweat was lashin’ off him. He’s a big lad, carrying plenty of beef. By the time he finished, they had to burn the saddle. Tara”.
Kerr advised that the Giro D’Onaghmore race originally attracted interest from over 300 people, until nearly all of them realised the race was nothing to do with collecting their Giro from the post office on a Thursday morning. Plans are already underway for a 2015 cycling event, the Tour de Fintona.