2011 UCI Track Cycling Masters World Championships:
While our road racers have been lashing round municipal parks in the mud and rain our very own Paul Swenarton has been basking in the glory of World Championship Competition. Representing both club and country at the world famous Manchester velodrome.
The velodrome has a reputation for speed. By 30 March 2008, more than 15 world records had been set there, including Chris Boardman’s 1996 and 2000 hour records and the 4000 metre team pursuit record set by the Great Britain men’s team at the 2008 World Championships. The track is 250 metres long with its bankings reaching an incredible 42 degrees in the middle!
During October “Big Swenney” displayed his devastating power and speed on the same boards that household names such as Sir Chris Hoy, Bradley Wiggins and of course Victoria Pendleton made a name for themselves.
Paul was racing over three days competing in the Pursuit 2k, 500m Time Trial and the 200m sprint. Paul, whilst participating at this highest level also gained valuable experience regarding his gearing etc and with a winter program already in mind who knows what he’ll achieve next year? At the tender age of 51 he’s just beaten his previous PB over 10 miles so there’s still a bit of life left in the old dog!
Cyclo Cross – Round 3 Seacourt, Larne:
Whilst “Big Sweenie” was covering himself in glory our North Down ‘cross team was again covering itself in mud. Sunday 23rd Oct saw the latest round of cyclo-cross for our intrepid North Down ‘cross team. Unusually it was small turnout from the boys though Garth Beattie finally showed up getting a chance to show his hand. What a day he chose to debut though! Conditions were even worse than Lurgan Park with high winds and lashing rain for the duration of the race.
Although the course was relatively flat the rain made every corner treacherous and the steep descent was treated with respect by even the most experienced ‘cross rider. Top ‘cross riders were falling all-round the course and even descending on the top-tube with their feet “unclipped” in an attempt to stay upright!
Credit to the North Down team though as they soldiered on through the nightmare conditions with both riders finishing in (ahem) respectable times.
Next event will be Ormeau Park, Belfast on 20th November. Don’t forget that there are plenty of support races for Mountain Bikes and also the junior categories. Get yourself involved in this exciting form bike racing! Races are only an hour long so what’s to lose? Otherwise, it’s only a short trip up from Bangor, so why not turn up for a great afternoon’s entertainment supporting your friends and clubmates?