McCann stakes claim for selection


THERE was additional incentive to impress in the Shay Elliott memorial race at Bray yesterday, following the announcement from the UCI that there is one place in the Olympic road race line up at Atlanta available for an Irish rider and David McCann grabbed the opportunity to stake his claim to selection.

McCann, of the Phoenix club Belfast, followed up his success in the Tour of Ulster at Enniskillen last weekend, with another demonstration of his high level of fitness achieved after riding across America from Florida to California and winning three races en route. He was to the fore for most of the 75 miles yesterday and at the end produced a powerful uphill sprint to beat Tommy Evans from Banbridge.

Peter Daly, back from France to take his place in the Ireland team in the FBD Milk Ras, which starts on Saturday, had to settle for third place - he lost 53 seconds to McCann and Evans in the last six miles - but he did much better than national champion Michael Fitzgerald.

Fitzgerald is also based in France and he is number one on the Irish team but, after getting into a chasing group halfway around the circuit, he dropped out of contention.

With the 12 points for second place, Evans took a four point lead in the classic league with 27 points.