13 October 2009

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Mitchell Motors

North Down Cycling Club stalwart , Anthony Mitchell recently took part in a Derny training course in Dublin. This efficacious use of a motor bike to pace track cyclists is a very skilled exercise as the rider of the Derny must be able to empathise with those he’s pacing.

A total of twelve coaches from across Ireland were selected for the course, which was taken by British Cycling tutors Alex Wharton and Derek Marloe. In all, five motorbikes were brought across for the course, which included classroom input and practical sessions both on the Derny and riding behind them.

After two days of testing and rigorous training we are pleased to say that North Down Cycling Club now has a fully qualified Derny rider. Everyone in North Down sends their congratulations to Anthony.

Henry in Ireland Under 23 Squad

Stuart Henry may have left these shores to study in England, but he clearly has not fallen off the radar of Cycling Ireland as he, along with Marcus Christie, Jonnie Cole and Charlie Prendergast were the only juniors to be promoted unto the national Under 23 squad.

This is a tremendous boost for the 18 year old who had a successful year both at home, on the mainland and in Europe. He started off his competitive cycling season by racing as part of the Ulster team in Malta where he was placed fourth on one of the four stages. Following this, he had several domestic wins against senior opposition and it was not, therefore, any great surprise that he became a permanent fixture on the national team, representing Ireland in Switzerland, Belgium, Isle of Man, Wales and in both the Tour of the North and the Junior Tour of Ireland. In the European Championships he was the best placed Irish rider and fourth in the fourth stage of the Manx Junior Tour.

In addition, Stuart spent much of his summer racing in Belgium as part of the Lotto team. Whilst in Belgium he scored many notable successes, including 2nd in Vijve, 5th in Tourinnes and 4th in the highly prestigious Kampenhout Criterium.

On returning home in August he took silver and bronze medals in the Irish track championships in the sprint and pursuit disciplines. It is pleasing, therefore, to see that he is very much in the plans of Ireland’s High Performance director, Phil Leigh.


Everyone is encouraged to be at the clubrooms tomorrow night (Friday 16th) for the North Down Cycling Club’s Annual General Meeting. Motions to change the club constitution have been forwarded to the secretary, Julie Stevenson and it is only but right and proper that they should be aired and a democratic decision reached.

It is also the time when officers are elected for the incoming year. There is an adage that an organisation always gets the leaders it deserves. In North Down we have been fortunate to have had committee members who have reflected a motivation and energy which is second to none. To enable this situation to replicate itself there is a plea each year for others to give a little of their time to serve on the committee and thus ensure that the organisation of the club can go from strength to strength. This year is no different and it is hoped that there will be standing room only in the clubrooms on Friday night (7.30pm).

Social Night

The AGM would be an ideal time for anyone wishing to go to the social night to purchase their tickets. The event, which incorporates the annual prize presentation, will take place on Saturday 7th November in Pickie Bowling Club. The cost of the night, which includes a buffet, cabaret and dancing is amazingly only £10 per person. Members who won perpetual trophies are reminded that they should now also be cleaned and forwarded to Eric.

Youth Hostelling

As with the social night, Julie Stevenson will be on hand at the AGM to take bookings for the Youth Hostelling weekend. It takes place in Fermanagh from Friday 20th November until Sunday 22nd November.

There are a limited number of places left and anyone who can’t make it to the AGM should contact Julie Stevenson immediately by Email at julielstevenson@yahoo.co.uk or by telephone 07980884683.

Turbos in the Clubroom

The winter’s turbo sessions have begun in the clubrooms. Noel Boyce plans to organise more than one weekly session, if demand is high. However, initially the sessions will take place on Thursday nights.

Recreational Cycles

Although many of the outdoor activities associated with the club may be curtailed due to the dark winter nights there are still several recreational cycles at the weekend and mid-week. One of the most popular of these cycles is the Saturday morning run which leaves the clubrooms at 9am. Such has been the popularity of this event in recent times that riders have been asked to avoid going out in bunches of more than 15-20 cyclists as a courtesy to other road users. A full list of recreational events can be found on the club’s website www.northdowncc.com.

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