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Report - Round 7 - 2016

Date: Sunday 20 November 2016
Event: Ulster Cyclo-cross Round 7
Location: Ormeau Park, Belfast
Host club: Xmtb McConvey Cycles

Ormeau Park in Belfast was the venue for Round 7 of the 2016 Ulster Cyclo-cross series with host club Xmtb McConvey Cycles continuing to work closely with land owners Belfast City Council to build on their history of running events in the park.  The club had made a major shift the previous year in the location of the main centre of the race, moving the action closer to the Ormeau Road side of the park.  After positive feedback last year the event was again centred on that side of the park but further modifications had been on the course and the start/finish line.  Race morning was very cold with frost on the ground but thankfully the temperature lifted just enough to ensure that the riders could use some of the tarmac paths to race on.  The weather remained dry with little wind but was misty with the sun struggling to penetrate the haze.

The new set up meant that the finish line for all races was in the same place.  Just beyond the finish line the signage showed where the Under 6s, 8s, 10s and 12s courses went.  First to line up were the Under 6s who had to complete two laps of a short loop.  Once they  crossed the line they were provided with a goodie bag for their efforts.

Next up were the Under 8s who were gridded based on the Ulster league standings.  They had to complete two laps of their course.  Rhys Hepburn (Island Wheelers) took his 7th win out of 7 rounds.  Ethan Casey (Trail Demons CC) finished second with Jamie Rockett (Ards CC) third.  In the girls' race Emer Heverin (Castlereagh CC) chalked up another win as she crossed the line ahead of Emma Daly (Island Wheelers) with Aoife Craig (VC Glendale) taking the third spot.

The Under 10s lined up next and they had 3 laps to complete on their course.  In the girls race Aliyah Rafferty (Island Wheelers) made it seven wins out of seven.  Aisling Smyth (Apollo CT) finished second with Caitlin Hanna (Apollo CT) third.  In the boys race Conor Murphy (Rostrevor Mountain Bike Club) took a dramatic win from Harry Hobbs (VC Glendale) who had lead for the whole race.  Conor just pipped Harry on the line.  Calum Hepburn (Island Wheelers) finished third.

In the Under 12s race Island Wheelers filled the podium in the boys race with Shane Scullion taking the top step, Adam Rafferty second and Oisin Ferrity third.  In the girls race Aine Doherty (VC Glendale) took the win, finishing 4th overall.  Hannah Mullin (Trail Demons CC) was second with Keela Smyth (Apollo CT) third.

After the podium presentations for the youth riders the next race got underway at noon.  The Cyclo-cross B' race men lined up with the men's mountain bike support race setting off one minute later.  Brian Wilson (Dromara Cycling Club) took the early lead in the B' race and held it for two laps until Andrew Hicks (Newry Wheelers CC) took over the lead.  Brian finished second with Michael Havern (Newry Wheelers CC) third.  All three riders are now obliged to ride the A' race for the remainder of the season.  In the MTB race Ethan Creighton (Xmtb McConvey Cycles) stormed off to take a comfortable lead and the eventual win with Dean Lockhart (Carn Wheelers) his closest competitor leaving Ross Blayney (North Down CC) third.

Next up were races for the Cyclo-cross women, mountain bike support women, Under 16 boys and girls, Under 14 boys and girls.  In the CX womens race Beth McCluskey (Scott Orwell Wheelers) put on another fine display of racing to take the win with Gill Smith (Phoenix CC) second and Breda Horan (Scott Orwell Wheelers) third.  In the womens MTB race Angie Smyth (Apollo CT) won her 7th race out of 7 rounds with Nicola Nelson (Apollo CT) second and Andra Ungureanu (Dromara Cycling Club) third.  In the Under 16 boys race Lee Harvey (Xmtb McConvey Cycles) continued his dominance of the series with another win.  Drew Armstrong (Killinchy CC) took a fine second place ahead of Jake Rushby (North Down CC).  In the girls Under 16s race Niamh McKiverigan (Powerhouse Sport) had her 3rd win of the series finishing ahead of Darcey Harkness (Carn Wheelers) and Summer McGibbon (Trail Demons CC).  In the Under 14 boys race Dean Harvey (Xmtb McConvey Cycles) took his second win of the series with Darren Rafferty (Island Wheelers) second and Ryan Skelly (Carn Wheelers) third.  Katie Neill (Carn Wheelers) finished first in the Under 14 girls race with Lauren Hanna (Apollo CT) second and Lily McGibbon (Trail Demons CC) third.

The final race of the day was for the Cyclo-cross mens A' race.  This was held over 7 laps.  Barry Kellett (Dromara Cycling Club) lead the race for the first three laps until Roger Aiken (Team Asea) passed him and went on to take the win.  Graham Boyd from the host club came third with Christian Nachtigall (Phoenix CC) fourth and first unplaced Junior rider Craig McCarthy (Xmtb McConvey Cycles) finishing fifth. Brendan Doherty (VC Glendale) was the first unplaced M40 rider, finishing 6th overall, Thomas Creighton, also from the host club, was the first unplaced Junior, first unplaced M50 was Des Woods (Newry Wheelers CC) and first unplace Espoir was Nathan Sturrock (Banbridge CC). The team prize went to the host club.

Unfortunately during the day a bike was stolen belonging to a youth rider.  Participants are reminded not to leave their bikes unattended.  Thankfully the bike was recovered a short distance from the park.

Many thanks to Team Madigan for hosting this round.  Also thanks to Mech Monkey for providing mechanical support and to Lidl for providing some gift vouchers.  The next round will take place at Ormeau Park in Belfast and hosted by Xmtb McConvey Cycles. For more details see www.ulstercyclocross.com.

Commissaires: Martin Grimley, Lisa Millar

Report by Martin Grimley

Results here

Photos

Belgium project (FlickR) - here
Toby Watson (Facebook) - here, here, here, here, here, here and here
Bronagh Kirk (own website) - here
Lavery Photography (own website) - here