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Phoenix CC George Rooney GP Masters Race. 8th March 2020

The Phoenix Takes Flight.
Sundays Phoenix Grand Prix saw the home club well and truly mark ‘their territory’ with a dominant display that saw the green and white clad squad place four riders in the top six on general classification. Mirroring Deqeunick Quickstep’s Wolf Pack tactics, Phoenix CC utterly controlled the race. It was clear from the outset that the peloton was going to have a tough day in the face of the determined home team. An early attack saw Club Captain Jay Gault establish a leading break that stayed clear for three laps. This perfect tactic enabled his team mates to sit in the bunch saving energy for the final stages of the race. With the end in sight for the break however, time trial expert Gerry Maguire pounced, attacking by himself and quickly gaining a sizable time gap. This was the last the bunch was to see of Gerry until shaking hands after the finish line as he sped off for a fine solo victory, the dream result for all racing cyclists. With the Phoenix policing the bunch over the last lap protecting Gerry’s lead the only question left was would the guys be able to make the podium as well. Climbing ace Niall O’ Gorman dealt perfectly with the hill to the new finish line and claimed a superb second place. Early escaper Jay Gault somehow mustered the strength to take a fantastic fourth with team mate Michael Tolan taking a great sixth place rounding out one of the best days performance in the club’s racing history. In the words of a Newry rider, “there was nothing we could do in the bunch. The Phoenix men controlled every move all day in an outstanding team display, Chapeau!”

By Mark Short

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