Charity Cycle Challenge
The big charity cycle event, the North Down Coastal Challenge is looming close and many residents of North Down are honing their skills for what is going to be an epic adventure. Once again there is a huge entry for the most popular cycling event in the country and terry Nicoletti and his crew have spent countless hours in preparation for what promises to be a memorable event, which will take place on Saturday 21st June.
North Down Cycling Club are once again proud to offer a scenic coastal route around the Ards Peninsula which has few inclines and takes a break in Portaferry for lunch. So whether you are a serious cyclist or a novice wanting to cycle the distance for the first time the NDCC Bangor Coastal Challenge is the event for you! The Challenge starts and finishes on the Old Belfast Rd. at the Bangor Sportsplex which has ample car parking, changing facilities and a secure baggage hall. En-route there will be water stations, a “broom wagon” for breakdowns etc. and the event will be overseen by local police assisted by an experienced team of marshals, with motorcycle paramedics and ambulance back-up. The event is limited to 700 riders and all finishers within the time limit of 8 hours will receive a specially commissioned commemorative T-Shirt. Already there are over 500 hundred entries so if you don’t want to be disappointed you’d need to visit the North Down Cycling Club website immediately.
The North Down club would also like to apologise in advance to motorists. With such a large number there is bound to be inconvenience for some vehicle users on the day. However, when one considers the huge amounts which will be forwarded to charity, thanks to sponsorship by the cyclists themselves and the Ulster Bank, it seems that a few minutes delay may well be well compensated.
June will be a busy month for North Down Cycling Club’s recreational cyclists. On Sunday 15th there is the Big Bike Challenge and Bike the Blackwater. The following Saturday is the Coastal Challenge and there are also the Monday, Thursday and Saturday morning runs as well as the Tuesday night cycle. Details of all of these can be found on the club’s website.
The pink and black of North Down Cycling Club was very much in evidence at the Emmerdale Extravaganza at the Folk and Transport Museum last Saturday. Certainly the colour and spectacle of the large group of North Down riders, resplendent in their new club kit was commented on by many. George Walker, the Aberdonian who organised the charity event was very pleased and indebted to the contribution of the North Down club and reported that their target of £100,000 for the Anthony Nolan Trust was going to be realized. Quite an effort!
Club Road Race
The first wet day since last Wednesday greeted the riders who competed the 3 lap Springwell Road/Donaghadee Road Race. The limit group was given a short handicap of 1min. 30sec. to get the legs warm and by the end of the first lap the scratch group had caught them. Duane McCreadie had to retire with a buckled wheel after almost coming to grief with Noel Boyce whose derailleur when into Duane's spokes at the top of the Springwell hill.
Despite several break-away moves the group were all together at the end of the second lap. However, on the final lap Alan Lavery and Neil McKenna showed their class by escaping from the peleton and stayed away until the finish, where Alan showed that he is edging back to full fitness with a fine win in a time of 59mins.27sec. When the bunch arrived 32secs later it was Paul Ferguson who out-sprinted the rest to take 3rd place just ahead of Matt McInerney.
1. Alan Lavery 59:27
2. Neil McKenna 59:27
3. Paul Ferguson 59:50
4. Matt McInerney 59:50
5. Liam Curran 59:50
6. Noel Boyce 59:50
7. William Barclay 59:50
8. Sam Craig 59:50
9. Matty Blayney 59:50
10 Nathan McLeer 60:10
The Road Race League is now really tight at the top with Noel Boyce, on 11 points, leading by one point from Alan Lavery, Matt McInerney and Stuart Henry, with Neil McKenna next on 8 points just ahead of Paul Ferguson and William Barclay on 6 and 5 respectively.