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Ward powers to provincial title before saying ‘adios’

ADAM Ward is intending on putting his A in GCSE Spanish to good use over the winter when he moves to the Iberian Peninsula from November to March to work and train ahead of next season.

And he said a successful adios to Ireland on Sunday of last week when he won his first Ulster title after being crowned provincial Hill Climb champion near Limavady.

The 19-year-old blitzed the demanding Tircreven Road that leads up to the top of Binevenagh Mountain, covering the one mile, 720ft ascent with an average gradient of 14% in a stunning time of 6.42:94 minutes.

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The Team Bioracer-DHL-FR Services racer finished almost eight seconds ahead of runner-up Christopher Birney, while third placed Stuart McCaughey was a further two and a half seconds adrift.

“It was pretty brutal. It was only a mile long, but it was short, steep. hard work and it was over relatively quickly. It wasn’t a bad day out!,” beamed Ward, who admitted he was confident of victory ahead of the race.

“I haven’t really taken a rest after the season ended, so I knew the form was half decent, so I thought ‘I may as well give it a go!’

“It’s my first ever Ulster title, I’ve only ever come second in Ulster championships before. It’s taken a few National titles to get an Ulster one!”

The Dunamanagh native wasn’t the only North Tyrone racer to tackle the Roe Valley CC promotion on Sunday of last week.

Strabane Lifford CC trio, Rhys Stevenson, Ashton Moore and Conor Kelly were all entered into the youth section and each of them finished on the podium.

Stevenson was the first home in 9.03:67 minutes, with Moore second in 11.05:30 and Kelly third in 16.15:58.

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The Strabane Chronicle is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
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