A WEEK after winning a gold medal at the National Junior Men and Women’s Championships, and fresh from victories at the Carn Classic and Bann Valley Classic, Adam Ward was again on the top step of the podium.
The Powerhouse Sport rider, who is still only 17 years of age, has been in an impressive run of form of late, and he managed to add to his recent winning streak on Sunday of last week by claiming a solo victory at the demanding Tour of the Mornes.
The Donemana man won ahead of Cian Delaney (Stamullen RC), Conor McCann (Inspired Cycling), Gareth O’Neill of host club Newry Wheelers, and Caldwell Cycles duo Craig McAuley and Gary Donaldson, the latter of whom won the Wallace Caldwell Memorial a week earlier.
Having finished sixth overall last year, Ward was delighted to claim the coveted trophy this time around.
“It felt good to win it,” he beamed. “And it feels good to look at the trophy and see the past winners, like Marc Potts won it last year when my team-mate Brendan Flanagan was second, so I have one up on him there!”
While Ward won it well in the end, it looked like he had missed the boat earlier in the race because he sat out the initial break.
“I saw the guys go and it looked like a strong group, but I knew there were enough good riders in the bunch that if they went to go across we’d catch them,” explained Ward, who was correct in his assumption about a possible pursuit, which he joined. The two groups would soon merge to form the main breakaway of the day in the 127km race, staying largely intact until the closing stages.
It wasn’t until the last climb that Ward put in an attack and brought four others with him. They would pull clear of the rest of the breakaway, until inside the last 10km when he made what was deemed an innocuous move off the front.
However, he engineered a slight gap and sensing those he was with were stalling,
he went for broke to ride clear to a solo win.
“On the final climb I attacked and four others came with me and with about eight kilometres to go everyone sort of sat up and looked at each other,” he observed.
“I had the momentum, so I clipped off the front and kept the pressure on and when I saw I had a gap I decided to put the foot down!”
Adam will focused on training over the weekend as the Tour of Ulster took centre-stage.