Banbridge Cycling Club’s Cameron McIntyre recorded an emphatic victory on the final day of the Lakeland Two-Day in Enniskillen, only weeks after his debut stage against senior competition.
The young cyclist won the stage, the king of the hills competition, the leading young rider competition and the overall General Classification. Cameron had played the team role over Easter at the Tour of the North in support of his Banbridge CC team mates; stage winner and yellow jersey wearer Gareth McKee and under 23 winner Mark Downey, however this time around he had the freedom to chase his own ambitions.
Riding in only his first year as a Junior, Cameron has broken onto the road scene as a bit of an unknown to many of his competitors having spent most of his years racing in the youth categories focused on mountain bike competition.
That has quickly changed thanks to a string of strong rides from the start of the year where he has been mixing it with the top tier of Ulster cycling, and is surely now confirmed as a serious threat to consider for any races he lines up for in the coming months.
Cameron showed his intent to be in the thick of the action on Stage One in Enniskillen when he finished fifth in the bunch sprint which was won by Jake Gray of the Nicolas Roche Performance Team.
Stage Two was a short time trial of four kilometres which was once again won by Gray, but Cameron kept him within touching distance as he finished with another fifth place, only a mere three seconds behind. A total of six riders were all within four seconds of the lead which meant everything would come down to a tough finale on Stage Three. This would see the cyclists face the toughest climbs.
With so many riders in close contention, the breaks came thick and fast from the start of the stage and with many of the leading riders being supported by strong teams there were plenty of tactics at play on the road. Another impressive young rider, Mark Heaney of Carn Wheelers was among the leading riders. He won the recent Bann Valley Classic and his team were leading the team classification. Gray and his teammate Aaron Swan of the impressive Nicolas Roche Performance Team, made up the rest of the contenders.
Cameron played a game of patience however and showed a race craft beyond his years and experience, waiting until the final climb of the day before playing his card.
On the final ascent up to Doon, Cameron launched an attack so blistering it would see the gap to his nearest rival open out to almost 30 seconds at its peak and enough for him to crest the climb and enjoy his win with an advantage of 24 seconds.
This was enough to see him wear the final yellow jersey of the race winner.
Everyone at Banbridge CC would like to congratulate Cameron on a fine victory and look forward to watching this promising rider continue his season in great form.
With his recent accomplishments, showing both a strong ability to work as part of a leading team as well as fight for his own triumphs, he will be on the radar of many team selection panels for provincial and national duty.