Road cycling...and Billy Kerr of Ireland on Sunday (22 April) won the Sealink International Race.?
Road cycling...and Billy Kerr of Ireland on Sunday (22 April) won the Sealink International Race. He finished thirteen seconds ahead of Britain's John Parker.
SYNOPSIS: This was an earlier stage of the five-day race -- the strenuous circular route through the Wicklow Mountains region of Ireland on Friday (20 April). The first stage had begun in Manchester, England two days previously. After cycling through Wales, the riders had shipped themselves, their teams and machines across to the Irish Republic. At this stage, Kerr was the overall leader in the yellow jersey. At thirty-four, he was the oldest of seventy-two competitors.
Steve Wakefield, a rider from Grimsby in England, takes a refresher. The Sealink, along with the Milk Race, is one of the two British road races of 1979. The winner of this stage was twenty-two year old Scots rider, Graeme Nisbet. The Scot just managed to hold off Toni Huijzen in a tight finish.
Kerr scored the yellow jersey as continuing leader because Nisbet had lost time penalty points over this stage.
So....back to Britain for the fifth and final stage...one hundred and ten miles (176 kms) between Llandudno in Wales and Manchester. Heading the pack was London rider Glen Mitchell, with teenager Mark Bell in hot pursuit.
As the field swept towards Manchester, Kerr had moved into second position, trying to maintain his thirteen seconds lead over Parker. Kerr had a worrying moment when he broke a brake cable coming down Horse Shoe Pass. But he changed cycles with a teammate and was able to hold his lead, in part because Parker had also lost time....through a puncture.
Kerr had finished this stage sixty-eight seconds behind its winner, Des Fretwell of Britain, who beat his rivals Mikael Marcuccen of Denmark and Mark Bell. Kerr's overall winning time was eighteen hours, thirty-five minutes and four seconds. Parker was second, and Magne Orr of Norway was third.