2 October 2007

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Cycling Club Looks to the Future

Last week North Down Cycling Club unveiled an extensive events programme for 2008.  Once again the mammoth Coastal Challenge Charity Recreational Cycle in June will headline the club’s promotions.  This is an amazing event which has continually grown in popularity in recent years to currently be acknowledged as the premier recreational cycle in the country.  So popular is the event that this year the entry list had to be closed at 700 and it is envisaged tat the 2008 version will be equally popular.

Anther charity event penciled in for June is the extravaganza being held at the Folk and Transport Museum.  The expertise which North Down Cycling Club has in promoting big events led to them being invited to link up with the stars of television soap series Emmerdale to raise funds for local charities.

On the competitive side North Down will once again demonstrate its commitment to youth cycling by promoting the Northern Ireland Youth Road Race Championships.  This event was won by our own Stuart Henry this year but he’ll be unable to defend his title next year as he’ll be in the junior ranks.

In addition, the local club will be promoting no less than two other major championships, the Northern Ireland Hillclimb Championships and the Northern Ireland Road Race Championships.  Both of these events were a tremendous success this year and it is the club’s ambition to build upon that success in 2008.

Awards Night
However, as the North Down Cycling Club look forward to 2008, it is appropriate that they reflect upon the successes of 2008.  With this in mind, Monday 22nd of October is a night worth putting into your diary.  

On that occasion we will have an opportunity to remember all those recreational cycles in beautiful April and May and all the soakings in June, July and August.  In addition, those who participated in club races and open races will be honoured as well as a few who brought honour to the club in their own special way.  Amongst those picking up club awards will be unsung hero Noel Boyce.  Noel has come into the sport late, but he has made an incredible impact.  The unassuming Conlig rider can always be relied upon to produce performances which are ‘top drawer’.  Nowhere was this more evident than in the final road race of the year when he tracked International rider James McMaster all night and picked up not only the Ardill and Patterson Trophy but also the North Down Road Race Championship.  Noel’s character was even evident off the bike when the accolade for top club roadman was mistakenly bestowed, in this column, upon Matty Blayney.  Noel, in characteristic style never complained, but thanks to the awards night he will be able to receive public acclamation for his magnificent efforts this year.

Others who will be honoured on the night will be those who performed so magnificently in the Northern Ireland Hillclimb Championships.  On that evening in August Stuart Henry picked up his first full senior medal when he came home in silver medal position, just ahead of bronze medal winner William Barclay.  In the Veterans category that night Martin Lyttle took the laurels, whilst Nathan McLeer was the first underage rider.

So this is a timely reminder for anyone who received a trophy in 2006 to have it engraved, cleaned and returned to Harry Adams as soon as possible.  Once again, the venue for the awards night will be the Bokhara and the usual excellent fayre provided by one of our major sponsors.  Clearly it’s a case of ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ as last Sunday’s social event in the Bokhara proved.  Everyone is reminded that this is an occasion which is not restricted to club members, but rather all will be made most welcome.  Places will be given on a first come first served bases and so its important to book your place with Tom Henry immediately.

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