10 April 2007

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Bangor Coastal Challenge

The brilliant weather over Easter has served as a wake-up call for those of you who want to take up the Bangor Coastal Challenge this year.  This hugely popular event gives anyone interested in recreational cycling or simply getting fitter has a raison d’etre to get on their bikes and prepare for this 100k challenge.  

This year the charities to benefit from the event will be the Diabetes and Stroke Heart and Stroke Units at the Ulster Hospital.  So this serves as another very good reason to ‘get on your bike’ and start preparing for the event which will take place on June 16th.

For anyone wanting an entry form then they should check out the designated website at www.entrycentral.net.  It should be noted, however, that entries must be received by the 30th May and the police have capped the numbers allowed to participate to 700 – so it’ll simply be a case of ‘first come first serve’.  

Youth Development
It was recently announced that Aquatech (which specialises in cleaning driveways, patios, decking, forecourts etc.)  has offered to support the youth development within North Down Cycling Club.  Some of the innovative ways in which this local firm propose supporting youth cycling include paying in full the fees of anyone under 18 years who has never been a member of any cycling club – in other words encouraging more converts to the sport of cycling.
For those already involved in the club it has been proposed that they will receive 20% of any costs they may have incurred through of coaching or development courses and 20% towards travelling costs (for return journeys of not less than 50 miles).  In addition Aquatech will cover up to 20% of the cost of ordinary race entry fees, 100% of the cost of entry fees in championships and will contribute towards subsidence at major events – such as stage races.  All the young people have to do is to keep records of their expenditure and make a written submission to the club secretary on monthly bases.  This will then be considered by the committee on the first Monday of each month.  Clearly this is a very welcome and philanthropic gesture and one which will hopefully encourage new young talent into the sport and also motivate our current crop of youth riders to greater achievement.

European Youth Olympics
The second event in the selection procedure for the European Youth Olympic was held last Tuesday night in Portadown.  This event again took the form of a short time trial (5 miles) but unlike the last one, in Aughnacloy, the weather although cold and a little windy was much more clement.  

The course on this occasion was the rather dead Birches circuit, where the Ulster Championships were held in 2006.  On that occasion Stuart Henry surprised many by, as a first year under 16 rider, taking the bronze medal.  However, this year as a second year under 16 and having won the first Ulster selection event he was given the honour of starting last – as race favourite.  Nor did Stuart disappoint returning a time of 11minutes and 51 and beating his nearest rival by 19 secs.

Also taking part in this selection event was young Bangor Academy pupil Craig Swenerton.  Craig has been improving by leaps and bounds and bettered the time he recorded in the first time tria by over 3 minutes on l!
Stuart Henry (Bangor)        11.51
Jonny Beers (Antrim)        12.10
Peter Williams (Richhill)    12.23
John Cole (Carricfergus)    12.35
Mark Ramsey (Limavady)    12.49
Craig Swenerton (Bangor)    1310

Get Well Soon Gareth
One young rider who has not been able to take part in any of these events has bee Gareth Boyle.  Gareth was injured in a rugby match recently and sustained a broken collar bone.  We wish Gareth a speedy recovery.

Club Race
The first club event of the season, 1 kilometre time trial, was held last Wednesday night on the Groomsport Road.   Nineteen riders took part in a cold but sunny evening with a moderate headwind on outward leg. Times were averaged over two legs with the fastest single leg being achieved by Paul Swenarton  (1.15). Of the others only Paul Ferguson and Ross Blayney got under 1.20.
1. P Swenarton     1.18
2. P Ferguson         1.20
3. R Blayney         1.21
4. M Blayney         1.25
5. N Boyce         1.26
   C Swenarton     1.26
7. O Parkes         1.27
8. W Barclay         1.28
9. D McCreadie     1.29
10. P Bertenshaw     1.30
     J Wilson         1.30
12. T Johnston     1.31
     J Hunter         1.31
     P Downie         1.31
15. M Hodgins     1.34
16. G Swenarton     1.35
     C Andrews     1.35
18. L McCreadie     1.40
     R Mitchell         1.40 (PB)

This Weekend’s Events
On Saturday 14th, East Tyrone CC promote the Cicli Sport Grand Prix. This 90 km handicap Road Race is open to all categories. The race will be run on the Springhill-Tamlaght-Loup circuit. The event begins at 12 noon with sign on at the race headquarters at the CNC Components on the main Coagh-Loup (B181 Road) from 11 am.

On Sunday the action moves to Seskinore where Omagh Wheelers promote the McCann Cup. This event is not open to S1 riders. The event begins at 1.00 pm with sign on at 12 noon at the Halfway House, Carnalea Rd.

Our youth riders will be in Stamullan for European Youth Olympic selection races on both Saturday and Sunday.

For those of you who prefer a more leisurely ride with a chance to take in the beauty of the area, then The Four Masters have just the thing for you. The are running the Knockalla Tour on Sunday, beginning at 9.30 am. Sign on is at the Letterkenny Community Centre from 8.30 am. For more details contact Liam Tinney on 0872902515

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