Ireland Call-up for Henry
After his solid performance in the Tour of the North at Easter Regent House schoolboy, Stuart Henry has got his second call-up for the Ireland Junior team for the Manx Junior Tour, which will take place over the May Bank holiday. This is one of the toughest races in the UK calendar, but it is a great opportunity for Henry to rub shoulders with the best young riders on the mainland and Europe.
Henry, who spent last week in Switzerland with the junior squad, has been in sparkling form on the domestic scene this season. Currently he is ranked number one in the Irish junior rankings, but the three day race in the Isle of Man will prove to be a huge challenge.
In the Beggas Memorial at Dromore on Saturday young Nathan McLeer came home 7th in the Under 16 race. This was a very tough race on one of the most demanding courses in the country. On Saturday, although blessed with beautiful sunshine there was a strong breeze which made the going difficult. The race was won by Orchard’s Robert Anderson with Ryan Mullan (Navan) in second place and Mantas Spirquis third. These three broke away on their own at the half-way point and gradually increased their lead, finishing two and a half minutes in front of the bunch.
Adrian Ravenscroft recorded the fastest time in last week’s North Down time trial with a time of 24.34 whhich was exactly a minute faster than schoolboy Nathan McLeer, with Mark Hodgins a further 11 seconds in arrears. It was great to see many of the new members of North Down Cycling Club recording very sound performances in difficult weather conditions;
1 A Ravenscroft 24.34
2 N McLeer 25.34
3 M Hodgins 25.43
4 W Brown 26.17
5 P Gordon 27.36
6 R Doherty 27.46
7 G Swenarton 27.57
8 P Kirk 27.59
9 A Young 28.22
10 A McNally 28.32
This leaves Paul Kirk leading the Pacemaker Challenge by 3 points from Nathan McLeer on 16 points with Austin McNally lying in 3rd place with 14 points..
Meanwhile super vet Paul Swenarton has been clocking up impressive times in open time trials. Last week on the Woodgreen course near Ballymena he recorded a great time of 23.47. Knowing Paul, he won’t even be happy with that, as the event was won by another vet, record breaking John Madden, who recorded a time of 21.33.
Next week’s time trial is also on the Donaghadee to Groomsport course and starts at the boat house in Donaghadee. This event will take the form of a two-up time trial. The following week the racing scene will be moved to Kirkiston for the first of the closed circuit races. Race secretary, Eric Blayney, wants as many club members as possible to come along, even those who have never raced before, to try the thrills of racing in a structured environment.
Downpatrick Third World Group Charity Cycle
The annual Downpatrick Third World cycle takes place on Sunday 26th April with a sign-on at Downpatrick Cricket Club at 9.15. This is always a very popular tour which caters for families as well as the "serious" cyclist. The family tour is approximately 12 miles return journey from Downpatrick Cricket Club to the Villager restaurant car park (where light refreshments are supplied), and back. Riders can ride safely on the footpath-great for the kids! Back at the Cricket Club, there will be more substantial refreshments to feed those aching legs!
The main tour is approximately 60 miles long, taking in some of County Down's spectacular scenery. General route is Downpatrick-Clough-Castlewellan-Bryansford-Newcastle-Dundrum-Clough (refreshments)-Tyrella-Killough-Ardglass-Strangford-Downpatrick (of course-there'll be a few hills along the way!!)
Refreshments will be provided for participants back at the cricket club. Motorcycle marshalls and backup vehicles will support both routes. There will be an entry fee to be paid at registration on day (£10 each or £12 per family) with ALL proceeds going to projects in the Third World countries.