15 September 2009

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Henry Lifts Silver in Ulster Championships

It was almost the perfect send-off for North Down junior cyclist, Stuart Henry last weekend when he took silver in the Ulster Road Race Championships for Elite, Juniors and Veterans promoted by Phoenix CC. Henry, who now heads off to Chester to read French and Criminology, was at the head of affairs for much of the day, in a very competitive field.

The race covered 67 miles on the undulating, Nutts Corner, Seven-Miles Straight circuit. The race was fast from the very start, with Dromara's Davy McKnight and East Antrim's Gary Cranston going from the gun, soon opening a gap of 30 seconds. It was at the twenty mile mark, though, that the decisive action took place. On the long drag up towards Belfast there were several punishingly fast attacks and out of these the decisive break of ten began to pull away from the remainder of the bunch.

Only two juniors, Stuart and his Irish teammate Peter Williams made it into this group – those who missed it were multi Irish champion Marcus Christie and defending champion Philip Bremner. The break, which included East Antrim's Kieran McKenna, Thomas Martin (Clann Eireann), Balllymena brothers Leo and Conor McAllister, Fergus Rooney (Phoenix CC), Darren Weir (Dromara CC), Juiced Orchard's Peter Williams. North Down's and Stuart Henry, managed to open a gap of over a minute within 10 miles.

After a further ten miles, with the gap gradually increasing, a small group of chasers which included Marcus Christie (Usher IRC), Lakeland's Dane Dunlop and National 'B' Champion Mark Buchanan from North Pole, made a counter move. They managed to get within one and a half minutes of the leading group, but they were unable to sustain the effort and they gradually slipped further back from the sweetly moving breakaway group.

With fifty hard miles covered it was clear that the winner was going to emerge from the lead group. It was at this point that Cranston, Conor McAllister and Martin made a huge attack which split the group. For Henry and Williams, however, there was a race within a race. The two juniors, who have competed ferociously since schoolboy days, wanted to finish their junior careers on a high. Noted sprinter Williams was clearly not wishing to repeat the experience of the schoolboys championship two years ago when he surprisingly lost a sprint finish to none other than Stuart Henry. Over the closing miles he marked Henry skilfully and in the final dash for the line he was a clear victor. The laurels in the senior event went to Thomas Martin who had ridden strongly all day. There was also success in the veterans’ race for local cyclists Liam Curran and Alan Lavery, Liam sprinted to victory and led the Curran team to the team prize, with John Madden being the third man.
Results Ulster Road Race Championships 2009
Elite Men 110km
1. Thomas Martin (Clann Eireann)
2. Conor McAllister (Ballymena Scott Tiles)
3. Gary Cranston (East Antrim Audi)
4. Kieran McKenna (East Antrim Audi)
5. Leo McAllister (Ballymena Scott Tiles)
6. Fergus Rooney (Phoenix CC)

Junior Men 110km
1. Peter Williams (Juiced Orchard)
2. Stuart Henry (North Down)
3. Marcus Christie (Usher IRC)
4. Peter Lilley (Banbridge CC)
5. Jonny Beers (East Antrim)
6. Philip Bremner (Ballymena Scott Tiles)

Veterans 90km
1. Liam Curran (Curran Racing)
2. Ronnie Smyth (Dromara CC)
3. Daniel Logue (Four Masters)
4. John Madden (Curran Racing)
5. Alan Lavery (Curran Racing)
6. Gordon Scott (East Antrim Audi)

Recreational Cycling

Team Madigan’s 2009 John Lindsay Memorial Torr Head Charity Cycle Challenge for the Northern Ireland Hospice takes place this Sunday 20th September at 10.30 am from Ballygalley on the Antrim Coast. The charity cycle is open to anyone who wishes to be involved, and third party insurance cover is provided for all participants. You choose the distance that suits you:

70-miles Torr Head Challenge (Hilly) Start from Ballygalley Public Car Park, take A2 Coast Road to Carnlough, Cushendall, Cushendun (Tea Stop), Torr Head’s unclassified road to Ballyvoy, A2 back to Cushendall, Carnlough, finish at Ballygalley (Tea at finish).

50-miles Cushendun Challenge (mostly flat) Start from Ballygalley Public Car Park, take A2 Coast Road to Carnlough, Cushendall, Cushendun (Tea Stop), return via A2 Cushendall, Carnlough, finish at Ballygalley (Tea).

20-miles Carnlough Challenge (Flat) Start from Ballygalley Public Car Park, take A2 Coast Road to Carnlough and return on A2 Coast Road to finish at Ballygalley Public Car Park (Tea).

Age Concern Charity Ride

Juiced/Orchard's Age Concern Charity Cycle on Sunday 20th Sept will be a 100km loop starting and finishing in Richhill. The route will take riders through Armagh, Blackwatertown, Benburb, Eglish, Castlecaufield, Donaghmore, Dungannon, Coalisland, Stewartstown, Tamamore, Kilmore and back to Richhill although there will be a refeshment stop in Dungannon at the Age Concern Day Centre off Scotch Street.

There will also be refreshments at the finish in Richhill.
The entry fee is £10 for seniors and £5 for juniors and U16's. Sign on is in the WI Hall in the Main Street, Richhill and this will be open from 9.00am with the first group of riders leaving the village at 10,00am. If anyone has any queries they should contact either Paul Williams on 07709454047 or Eddie Polin on 07748444483

Date for Your Diary

Sam Craig and Glen Armstrong are organising an innovative event on the 27th September. Their watch the Worlds at the Bokhara event will combine recreational cycling and eating! What more could one want? For further information why not visit the North Down Cycling Club website?

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