16 December 2008

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Cycling on the Up and Up

North Down Cycling Club, like cycling itself, is on the up and up. These were the thoughts of club president, Harry Adams, who is at the vanguard of an exciting new era in the club’s history with the establishment of a dedicated racing section. North Down has an unsurpassed recreational side and a fine racing heritage, but it is Harry’s aim to put in place a continental style racing team with director sportif, soigneur and sports scientist to ensure that the undoubted talent in North Down is given the very best opportunity to self actualise. Speaking from his home in Ballyholme this week the club president urged everyone to ‘watch this space’ for a New Year roll-out of what promises to be a sporting outfit befitting a club of the stature of North Down.

Template for Success

When one looks for templates for efficient, effective racing units, one needs look no further that Team GB. Just a short number of years ago they were considered to be ‘also rans’ in world track cycling. Last weekend BBC Sports Team of the Year went to the GB Olympic cyclists.

Star of the night was undoubtedly Chris Hoy, who was crowned the 2008 BBC Sports Personality of the Year, capping an unbelievable evening for the whole GB Cycling Team. Chris received a huge ovation when he was presented with his award and he then made an emotional speech, paying tribute to his family and to the GB team: "I wouldn't be standing here without them. It's been a fantastic year for cycling. – the support we have from the team is incredible!"

Indeed not only did the cyclists win the individual and team awards they also took the coach of the year in the form of GB Team boss Dave Brailsford. I wonder how long it might be until Harry Adams is in line for a similar award?

Massive Growth for British Cycling

Not surprisingly, new figures released by British Cycling show that it is growing at an unprecedented rate on the same day that Sport England figures show that cycling is the second fastest growing sport in Britain. For the first time ever today, British Cycling has more than 25,000 members. In addition, 13,000 cyclists also hold racing licences – more than at any time since British Cycling's formation in 1959.

North Down Cycling Club has similarly seen a massive increase in numbers this year. More and more people are recognising the recreational and sporting aspects of cycling and it is right that the North Down club should be reacting to the demands from all areas, not least racing. We all, therefore, wait expectantly for the launch of the racing team in the New Year and know that it will complement the excellent work which has been done on the recreational side within the club.

Hot Port Run

There was a huge turn-out for the first of the hot port runs last Saturday. The cyclists took the ‘Traditional Route’ via Comber, Crossgar and Saul to Portaferry and back via the Saltwater Brig to Ards. The second Hot Port Run will take place this Saturday, leaving the clubrooms, Park Drive at 9am.

Mince Pie Cycle

A date for your diary will be the Mince Pie Cycle on the Saturday after Christmas (27th December). The organiser this year again is Noel Boyce who did such a fantastic job last year. Noel has booked the Marquis Hall, just off Abbey Street and is planning to have three runs this year, with a minimum of two leaders on each run, to cover the child protection issue. The distances are 2 miles, 10 miles and 25 miles. Sign on is from 9.30am with the first run 25 miles leaving at 10am, 10 mile run leaving at 10.20am and 2 mile run at 10.30am. Upon returning to the Marquis Hall, between 11am and 12.30, everyone will be welcome to some hot mince pies and warm hospitality. Noel would really appreciate the help of club members to assist in the marshalling of this very popular event.

Merry Christmas

North Down Cycling Club would like to wish everyone a very Happy Christmas and a successful New Year.

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