By Tommy Campbell
Reigning Irish criterium champion Eugene Moriarty is among the top riders expected to line up in Lurgan, Co. Armagh this Friday for a fast and furious criterium in the town. But Moriarty, who assumed the title just a few weeks ago in the national championships in Cork, won't have everything his own way. Last year's winner Tommy Evans is also a favourite for the event, and the two are among a pack of talented riders who will contest the crit.
In last year's event, Evans was pushed all the way by Dubliner Stephen O'Sullivan who has been impressive of late. Stephen's team Cycleways.Com, are also the current team champions' at the discipline. Bill Moore, winner of the final stage of this year FBD Insurance Ras, and Craig Sweetman from the same club has a good aptitude for the short circuit races such as the Lurgan event.
Locally, Lurgan enthusiasts will be shouting for Michael Murray and David Mulholland, both still juniors but with growing reputations. However, there is still a question mark over Murray, who is currently in Austria at the world junior track championships, and may not be fully recovered in time for Friday's event.
Racing kicks off at 7 pm, with the beginner's race, followed by youth events, where the Clann Eireann club expect Thomas Martin to be in the front of the action. The circuit is based on Kitchen Hill, the riders will be lapping the circuit every couple of minutes, taking in Union Street and Hill Street. The seniors and juniors start around 7.30 pm, for approximately 45 minutes of racing.