Bangor’s Youth Cycle Skills
North Down Cycling Club are again delighted to be associated with the Bangor Cycle Skills event, which focuses on children cycling safely. On Thursday 22nd school children from all the local schools will converge on Valentine’s Playing field to try their hand at a novel event which will test how skilled and safe they are at riding their bicycles. Clearly physical fitness and safety have been given a high profile recently and it is not surprising that the popularity of this event has grown and grown.
The skills that the young people will be expected to tackle include such activities as a slow bicycle race, riding through cones and even doing the limbo under a bar! All of these skills will demonstrate how well the competitors can handle their machines in difficult situations.
However, there are other aspects to the Cycle Skills Event. Before the activities commence, at 6 pm, everyone will have the opportunity of having their bicycles checked in a MOT type test. This check will be carried out by experienced members of North Down Cycling Club members and this service will be offered at absolutely no cost.
Thanks to generous support by North Down Sports Advisory Council and Kellogg, this event will again attract an extensive prize list. All the competitors will receive certificates and ‘goodie bags’, whilst the first three in each age group will also receive medals and vouchers.
All that’s left, therefore, is for all the school children in the borough to make sure they have entered. This can be done by contacting Jonathan Moffet at North Down Sports Advisory Council at Bangor Leisure Centre Email: Jonathan.Moffett@Northdown.gov.uk or tel. (028 91270271) as soon as possible.
This Saturday sees the first major championship of the cycling season, The Northern Ireland Youth Road Race Championships. For the third year in succession the event is being promoted by North Down Cycling Club, using the Donaghadee-Groomsport-Bangor circuit.
In all there will be medals up for grabs in the under 12 section, under 14 section and under 16 section. In previous years the pink and black colours of the North Down Club have been well represented in all categories. Indeed, in 2007 Stuart Henry, assisted by Gareth Boyle, won the Under 16 Championship, before heading off to the European Youth Olympics in Serbia.
This year, it seems that there will only be one North Down competitor, Nathan McLeer, in the whole event. This is Nathan’s first year as an under sixteen and although he has been performing well he faces tough competition, especially from the strong Orchard squad.
Groucho Grand Prix
Three North Down members took part in the Groucho Grand Prix in Richill last Saturday. Even a cursory look at the Cycling Ulster website clearly indicates that Paul Ferguson, Alan Lavery and Stuart Henry were always in the thick of the action. As is his hallmark, Alan Lavery attacked continuously from the start. His aggressive style of riding certainly has caught the attention and respect of many.
However, in the tough up-hill finish it was the guile, speed and experience of Paul Ferguson which shone through. As the bunch splintered on the steep ascent Paul came storming through to take third place in the bunch sprint and an excellent 6 spot overall.
Club Road Race
In the first club road race of the season the riders were blessed with beautiful weather. The race was divided into 3 groups – by 8 minutes. With Alan Laverty puncturing shortly after the start it looked a bit dodgy for the scratch group making up the deficit. Only at the end of the third lap did it become apparent that all the groups would come together. A bunch sprint resulted with Stuart Henry the clear winner after a long lead out by Ross Blayney, who was pipped for second by Noel Boyce.
1. Stuart Henry
2. Noel Boyce
3. Ross Blayney
4. Matt McInerney
5. Darren McKee
6. William Barclay
7. Nathan McLeer
8. Norman Wilson