Belfast Telegraph

Taste of Italy lingers on long after the Giro d'Italia

By Pamela Ballantine

The legacy of the Giro is lingering on with the Italian theme influencing many of our establishments including the Merchant Hotel where a sumptuous seven course Italian dinner was matched with beautiful Italian wines.

Mezzo soprano Helen Aiken got everyone in the mood with a few carefully chosen musical numbers beforehand.

Following on from the pedal power it was the turn of the bikes with engines to take centre stage. The hospitality surrounding the Vauxhall International NW200 is legendary and this year was no exception with MLAs, sports stars and people from all walks of life enjoying the action from early in the day.

As the rest of his Ulster team mates were preparing for their semi-final clash in Dublin, Stephen Ferris was happily indulging in his love for bikes and the North Coast.

While the action is mainly on the roads at the NW200, in between the practice sessions and races, the riders had a bit of down time so local rider Ryan Farquhar organised an event to test their aim.

They gathered at a local gun club just outside Aghadowey for what it is hoped will become an annual event – The NW200 DTL Grand Prix.

Not surprisingly the riders' competitive streaks came to the fore at the clay pigeon shoot but it was Ryan who proved to be best shot.

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