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Commonwealth Games rider Ryan Connor has confirmed his entry for the P&O Irish Sea Tour of the North. The scene is now set for a big `local derby` between him and two-time winner Tommy Evans who will head a strong Terry Dolan.com outfit.

Evans and Connor went head to head last week at the Tour of Ards, with Evans taking the sprint verdict. Both are expected to start as favourites at this weekends big event, the John Beggs Memorial in Dromore, but next week will be a different matter, with 4 days and 5 stages of racing to decide the outcome.

Connor is the most recent winner of the event, in 2004 and interestingly enough it was Evans who was leading on the final day that year when a broken chain handed the win to the then 19 year-old Ballymena man. Ryan has gone on to represent GB at World level, and also picked up the All-Ireland U23championship last year.

Evans on the other hand has `been there and done it` having won virtually everything there is to win in Irish Cycling. Two Tour of the North wins, former Irish Champion an FBD Ras win are all in his CV, and on his return from the Games in Melbourne a couple of weeks ago notched up his 3rd win in the prestigious Tour of Ards event. Despite being `thirty something` Evans still packs a punch, and will be out to add to his 1999 & 2003 event victories.

This years 4-day format is not expected to be a local benefit, with an increased number of cross channel riders out to spoil Connor and Evans fun. The only other previous event winner in the start line up is 1998 victor, Andy Proffitt. Whilst he may not be expected to score another win, his two team mates in the Arctic Racing Team, Danny Axford and James Dobbin are both `Elite` category and could well be in the frame for success.

On paper, the mainland boys look strong with Elite category riders scattered among their number. Former British Under 23 Champion Neil Swithenbank heads up an impressive MK Cycles-Lancashire Road Club combine, whilst regulars, Fuji Bikes UK have Gareth Jones in contention. Another last minute entry is Greg Roche another useful Tour riders.

It could well be another `youngster` who pulls on Yellow on Easter Monday, as the Under 23 category has attracted almost 20% of the entry. Local riders out to make an impression here are Martyn Irvine and Adam Armstrong, already winners in 2006. They will be up against the well-drilled Agisco-Viner.co.uk squad, with Daniel Davies based in Belgium for `06, having ridden for the team in Holland in 2005.

All in all it is shaping up to be a cracking Tour, with a bumper field and quality to match, roll on Good Friday.

More details and information from Davy Ross or on (028) 9336 7703

P&O Irish Sea Tour of the North 2006 Entry List

P&O Irish Sea Tour of the North 2006 Entry List


Northern CC-Dave Kane

1  Adam Armstrong

2  Ashley Patterson

3  David Watson

4  Fraser Duncan

 

Balymena Road Club-

Scott Rooftiles

5  Conor McAllister

6  Andrew Hoey

7  David Dougan

8  Tommy Wilson

9  Ryan Connor

10 Ryan Bankhead

11 Paul Murdoch

 

Glasgow Whs-

Taylor Agency

12 Jamie Drever

13 Edward Cluer

14 Mark Symington

15 Gordon Murdoch

 

North Down CC

16 Michael Hamilton

17 Keith Millar

18 Declan McMackin

19 Phillip Marshall

20 Paul Ferguson

21 Myles McCrory (Apolo)

 

Apollo CT `B`

22 Connor Lavery

23 Keiran Downey

24 Johnny McGlade

 

Bann Whs

25 Liam Donnelly

 

Royal Navy CA

26 Steven Mercer

 

Dromara CC

27 Ian Mason

28 Timothy Edgar

29 Ronnie Smyth

30 Stephen Baines

31 Darren Weir

32 David McKnight

 

Arctic Shorter

Rochford RT

33 Andy Proffitt

34 James Dobbin

35 Danny Axford

 

Team Madigan CC `B`

36 Davy Clarke

37 Stephen Farr

38 Nick Giles

39 Joey Williams

 

Scotland

40 Ross Yates

41 Graeme Laughton

42 Callum Shields

43 Andrew Whitehall

44 Ross Creber

45 James McCallum

 

Apollo CT `A`

46 Tony McConville

47 Sean McGreevy

48 David Mulholland

49 David Gardiner

50 Tony Hare

 

Team Madigan CC `A`

51 Chris Roper

52 Jonathan Kyle

53 Gary McKeegan

54 John Neill

55 Paul Agnew

 

MK Cycles-LRC

Combine

56 Mark Dziobon

57 Neil Swithenbank

58 Julian Sharples

59 John Bellamy

60 Craig Battersby

 

Orchard Wheelers

61 Richard Alhadeff

62 Keith Gallagher

63 John Scott

64 Simon Williams

65 Allister Fiddes

66 Lester Fiddes

 

TerryDolan.com `B`

67 Brendan Graham

68 Ronan McLaughlin

69 Colm Watson

70 Alan Hall

71 Derek Evans

 

East Antrim – Audi

72 Jonathan Dempsey

73 James McConnell

74 Danny Hylands

75 Gary Cranston

76 Gordon Scott

77 Stephen McKenna

 

CicliSport.com

78 Alastair Steele

 

West Pennine RC

79 Peter Hey

80 Daniel Shand

81 John Hey

82 Andy Gott

83 Greg Roche

 

 

 

Roe Valley CC-

Classic Walls

84 Brendan O`Brien

85 Gary Nugent

86 Kevin O`Neill

87 Ryan Patton

 

Ards CC

88 Martyn Irvine

89 Brendan Kirk

90 Keiran McKenna

91 Warren Francs

92 Gareth Crothers

 

Clann Eireann CC

93 Michael Murray

94 Thomas Martin

95 Andrew Smyth

 

Castlereagh CC-Mattest

96 Gerard Hevern

97 Adrian Hughes

98 Mike Millar

99 Tony Boyle

 

Newry Whs-

Haldane Fisher

100 Padraig Lynch

101 Kevin Lynch

102 Karl Dolan

103 Liam Dolan

104 Drew McKinley

105 Mark McKinley

 

Team Kenesis UK

106 Peter Williams

107 Sam Thompson

108 Mark Thwaites

109 Jonathan McEvoy

110 Sam Webster

 

 

Team Murphy & Gunn

111 Paul Mulligan

 

Team Fuji Bikes UK

112 Gareth Jones

113 Iain Roach

114 Dafydd Dylan

115 Gareth Pugh

 

Agisco-Viner.co.uk

116 Sean Brennan

117 Liam Terry

118 Daniel Davies

119 Gyles Wingate

 

TerryDolan.com `A`

120 Gary Crory

121 Willie Hamilton

122 Brendan Doherty

123 Tommy Evans

 

Usher-Irish RC

124 Niall Delahaye

125 Matt Ward

126 Thomas Lavery

127 Shane Baker

128 Peter Hawkins

 

TotalCycling.com

129 Aaron Deane

130 Adrian McDermott

131 Paul Hanna

132 Chris Sandy

 

Phoenix CC

133 Barry Mullin

134 Paul Brady

135 Domhall Wildy