Ulster Cyclo-Cross


Ulster XC Series


All Ireland CX 2017


Report - McConvey Cross Cup

Date: Sunday 8 October 2017
Event: McConvey Cross Cup
Location: Lady Dixon Park, Belfast
Host club: Phoenix CC

Sir Thomas and Lady Dixon Park in Belfast was the venue for the McConvey 'Cross Cup hosted by Phoenix Cycling Club.  This was a series of cyclo-cross races for the Under 6s up to the adults around the park utilising the tarmac road, tree sections and the open meadow.  With a dry day the park was busy already with the general public but then add in the attendees for this race and the car parks were at capacity.  The dry weather meant dry racing with some fast times being set.

The first race of the day was for the Under 6s.  A great attendance of 15 boys and 10 girls lined up for this short race.  Next up were the Under 8s who had to complete 2 laps of their course.  Twenty nine in total, 23 boys and 6 girls, they were first gridded and then started separately with the boys setting off on the first whistle and the girls a few seconds later on the second whistle.  Darragh Murphy (Rostrevor Mountain Bike Club) has continued his impressive season with another win as he finished ahead of Josh McClune (Team Madigan C.C.) with Ryan McBride (Banbridge CC) third.  In the girls' race Aoife Kellett (Dromara Cycling Club) took the win ahead of Isla Doherty (Apollo Cycling Team) with Faye Galway (Killinchy CC) third.

Next up were the Under 10s who had a longer course to complete than the Under 8s.  The course designer had under-estimated just how quick these young riders can go and the decision of having 2 laps was only half what these riders would normally complete.  Racing was therefore fast but short.  Elliot Maitland (Killinchy Cycling Club) had a real ding-dong battle with Curtis McKee (Maryland Wheelers) with Elliot just taking the win.  James Armstrong (Dromara Cycling Club) completed the podium for the boys.  In the girls' race Aisling Smyth (Apollo Cycling Team) crossed the line ahead of Emer Heverin (Kinning Cycles) with Beth Campbell (Xmtb) third.

The Under 12s were using the same course as the Under 10s but after reviewing the lap times for the U10 race the U12s were given 7 laps to complete.  The format was, as usual, boys going off first then a few seconds later the girls.  This is significant as the leading girl, Aine Doherty (VC Glendale) managed to pass all of the boys and lead the race overall.  On a course that really suited her, Aine finished 12 seconds ahead of the first boy, Reuben Maitland (Killinchy Cycling Club) with Daniel Scott (Island Wheelers) second and Karl Rockett (Ards CC) third.  Completing the girls' podium were Zoe Lindsay (Dromore CC) and then Tori Moffitt (Phoenix CC), whose sister Cara Moffitt (Phoenix CC) had a nasty crash at the end of lap 2 as she was powering her way up the slight incline past the timing gazebo.

After prize giving for the youth categories the next race got underway.  This race was for the men's cyclo-cross B' race and, starting 2 minutes later were the Under 16 boys and then the Under 14 boys.  In the U14 boys' race Shane Scullion (Island Wheelers) took the win as he finished ahead of Travis Harkness (Carn Wheelers) with Matthew McKelvey (XMTB) taking the bronze medal.  Omagh Wheelers Cycling Club were well represented on the podium of the Under 16 boys race as Joseph Owens and Somhairle Owens Fisher took the top 2 spots with Donal Walsh (AAA Cycling) taking third.  The B' race men had 6 laps to complete with Aaron Baines (Spinning Studio Banbridge) leading from start to finish.  Daniel Daly (Phoenix CC) held onto second with Richard Gaffikin (Killinchy CC) third. Last week's winner, Jack Ferguson (Dromara Cycling Club), was fourth with Dean Lockhart (Carn Wheelers) fifth and Paul Ferguson (The Bike House CC) sixth.

The next race was an all-female affair with the Under 14 girls, Under 16 girls, Cyclo-cross women and mountain bike support women's races taking place.  In the CX women's race Trudy Brown (VC Glendale) came to the front of the pack after the second lap and held her lead as she fended off Gill Smith and Julie Rea, both from the host club Phoenix CC, who finished second and third respectively.  Niamh McKiverigan (Powerhouse Sport) lead on the first lap but dropped back to fourth, first unplaced junior rider.  In the MTB support race there were only 2 entries with Lisa Millar (Dromara Cycling Club) finishing ahead of Alison McMullan (Unattached).  Just 2 entered the Under 16 girls race with Darcey Harkness (Carn Wheelers) crossing the line ahead of Maria McAllister (Island Wheelers).  In the Under 14 girls' race Rachel White (North Down CC) took the flag with Keela Smyth (Apollo Cycling Team) second and Lily Brown (VC Glendale) third.

The final race of the day was for the men's Cyclo-cross A' race.  This was an 8 lap race with course conditions still running very fast.  There was a great battle between the top 3 riders David Montgomery (unattached), Graham Boyd (McConvey Cycles) and junior rider Thomas Creighton (McConvey Cycles) who were sticking very close together up until the last lap.  The race finished  in the order of David, Graham and Thomas.  Barry Kellett (Dromara Cycling Club) was fourth with Ross Collins (McNally Swords CC) fifth and Tim O'Regan (Aqua Blue Sport) sixth.  Alan Bingham (Cuchulainn CC) was 7th overall and first unplaced M40 rider.  First unplaced M50 was Peter McConville (Newry Wheelers CC) with course designer John Bogues (Phoenix CC) finishing a respectable 17th - second M50.  Breandán Flannagan (Powerhouse Sport) was the first unplaced junior with Matthew McAllister (Island Wheelers) the first unplaced Espoir.

A great selection of food was available after the race for all competitors including food off the BBQ.  Many thanks to all those who contributed to the success of this event.  The next race will be the Ulster Cyclo-cross Round 3 at Palace Demesne, Armagh hosted by Square Wheels.  More details on www.ulstercyclocross.com.

Commissaires: Jim Adams, Lisa Millar and Martin Grimley

Report: Martin Grimley

Results here


Belgium project (FlickR) - here
Toby Watson (Facebook) - here, here, here, here, here, here and here
Keith Wilson (own website) - here
Bronagh Kirk (own website) - here
Steven Lindsay (Facebook) - here