Ulster Cyclo-Cross

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Date: Sunday 3 October 2010
Event: Ulster Cyclo-cross Round 1
Location: Lurgan Park
Host club: Apollo CT

On Sunday 3 October 2010 the first round of the 2010 Ulster Cyclo-cross series took place at the picturesque Lurgan Park in County Armagh. The host club was Apollo CT who have run many cycling events in this park due to the continued support of Craigavon Borough Council who even had staff on hand from early in the morning helping to prepare the course. The morning was very busy for the small team of enthusiasts who had to set up over 2 miles of course in time for both the practice laps and racing programme. Sign on took place in the Cush Pavilion beside the tennis courts with the start/finish area situated just outside the building.


The course designers had incorporated new sections of the park into the course including an excellent stretch around the tennis courts which formed the 'mini' course for the youth races. This focus on the youth riders continues at Apollo who, along with many of the other Ulster clubs, have helped to build up the youth entries this season. There has been a 250% increase in the number of Under 16s competing when you compare today's event to the same event last year.

First race of the day was for the Under 8s which took place at 10:30 and involved one lap of the 'mini' course. Twenty-one young riders lined up for this event, including seven girls, with many of the riders having competed in the mountain bike races during the year. Jack Baird (Banbridge CC) took the win ahead of Daniel Donnelly (Newry Wheelers) with James Buller (Banbridge CC) third. Fraser Harrower (Dromara CC) was fourth with Niamh McKiverigan (Banbridge) fifth (and the first female), with Shea O'Kane (Phoenix CC) in sixth.



Next up were the Under 10s with 12 riders lining up to complete 2 laps of the mini course. As expected it was Mark Buller (Banbridge CC) who finished first ahead of Cathir Doyle (Carn Wheelers), who moved up from racing in the Under 8s this season, third was Drew Armstrong (Dromara CC), fourth was Max Melville (Dromara CC) with the first female Kathryn Doyle (Carn Wheelers) finishing sixth.



At 11:05 the Under 12s race began with the 6 competitors having to complete 3 laps of the 'mini' course. It was a clean sweep for Banbridge Cycling Club with John Buller first, Richard Baird second, Shannon Buller third and Stuart Dunlop fourth.



The start line then moved down the tarmac path towards the entrance beside Waves Leisure Centre. At 11:30 the mountain bike support race got underway with 20 male and 6 female riders making use of the full 2.5 mile course. The males had 3 laps to complete, the females 2. Two minutes later the Under 14s and Under 16s started their races, 1 lap of the full course for the Under 14s and two for the Under 16s.



There were 5 competitors in the Under 14s race which was won by Joseph Baird (Banbridge CC). Alex Bell (Xmtb McConvey Cycles) was second with Adam McCullough third, Marc Heaney (Carn Wheelers) fourth and Jonathan Collins (Dromara CC) fifth.

The Under 16s race had just four competitors with Chris Oakley (Xmtb McConvey Cycles) taking the win ahead of Daniel Runciman (Banbridge CC) with Curtis Bell third and Aimee Ogilby fourth, both from Xmtb McConvey Cycles.



In the woman's MTB support race Andrea Harrower (Dromara CC) finished first ahead of Claire Oakley (Xmtb McConvey Cycles) with Pauline Griffin third, Julie Murphy (Maryland Wheelers) fourth, Nicola Oldham (Banbridge CC) fifth and Flo Millar (North Down) sixth.



In the men's MTB support race it was Gareth Blair (ChainReaction Cycles) who took the win ahead of Cathal Doyle (Carn Wheelers) with junior rider Robert Anderson (Orchard Wheelers) taking third ahead of Peter Lilley (Banbridge CC), with Mark Bartley (Cols Sport) fifth (the first veteran rider to finish) and Ryan Walsh (Carn Wheelers) sixth.



The main event of the day was the Cyclo-cross race with competitors racing on specific cyclo-cross bicycles which are very similar to road bicycles with just some modifications including off-road tyres and cantilever brakes. The bicycles are designed to be light and easy to carry over the obstacles which are incorporated into the course. Lining up for this event were 46 riders from across Ireland including 2 females. All had 4 laps of the course to complete. Racing got underway around 1pm with all riders getting off the line safely but within 20 metres there was a pile up triggered by Matthew Adair (Banbridge CC) going down heavily and others falling over him including John Bogues (Phoenix CC) who was wearing a head camera for the day. Matthew got up quickly but was among the back third of the pack. John was the last to get going again.

 

 



The course took in the 'mini' course for the youth riders before heading across the main path to take in some wooded sections at the far side of the park. Among the obstacles that the riders had to carry their bicycles over was a water obstacle and a series of 3 planks which tested the riders' skills in dismounting and remounting their bicycles at speed. Matthew had made great progress after the crash to lie fourth after lap 1 with John finishing 22nd. At the end of lap two Matthew had made his way up to second with John up to 14th. At the end of lap 3 the top 7 places had been established with Matthew leading the event and John up to 12th place. At the finish line Matthew Adair was well clear of the chasers finishing in just over 49 minutes. Conor Campbell (Newry Wheelers) was second, David O'Neill (Team WORC) third, Glenn Kinning (East Antrim) fourth, Aiden McDonald (BikePure) fifth and Peter McConville (Newry Wheelers) sixth and first unplaced veteran. John Bogues showed great tenacity to finish 10th overall. Francine Meehan (Tullamore CTC) won the woman's race ahead of Val O'Neill (Dromara CC).

 

 



After the race the riders were able to enjoy the great spread of sandwiches, cakes, buns, tea & coffee laid on by the hardworking club members. Representatives from RedBull were also on site during the day handing out samples to the exhausted riders. Prize giving was conducted by Paul McCormac and Fred MacSorley.



Many thanks to Fred MacSorley, Marty Rogers, Paul McCormac, Derek King and to all the Apollo CT members who helped set up and organise the race. The next round of the Ulster Cyclo Cross series will be held on Sunday 24 October 2010 at Eden Playing fields, Kilroot hosted by Team Madigan. For more details see www.UlsterCycloCross.com. There is also more cyclo-cross racing for the adults this Saturday 9 October 2010 with the first round of the Stevens Supercross Cup.



Commissaire: Michael Murray
Assistant Commissaire: Martin Grimley

Full results here
Report & photos: Martin Grimley
More photographs here
Video here
Garmin stats here