23 November 2006

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The awards night for any organisation is an important event as it recognises the achievements and triumphs of its members over the year.  North Down Cycling Club is no exception and at its recent dinner and prize presentation note was made of the many and varied successes of not only its riders but also its officials.

The event was held in the Bokhara Restaurant, King Street, Bangor – one of the club’s main sponsors in 2006.  In a short address club chairman, Harry Adams thanked the many sponsors and friends of the club who had helped make 2006  successful in so many ways.

For example, Harry pointed out that the club races, especially the club road races, had attracted exceptional entries week upon week. The prize winners in this section included:

1    P Downie 59min. 37sec. BAR gold standard
2.   N Boyce 60.05. BAR gold standard
3.   O Parkes 60.15. BAR gold standard
4.   M Geddis 61.30. BAR silver standard
5.   T Johnston 62.19. BAR silver standard.

The results for those competing in the time trial series of kilometre, 5 and 10 miles were:.

1    M Hodgins 44.37  silver standard.
2.   G Paul 45.34 silver standard.
3.   C Andrews 46.46 silver standard.
4.   C Swenarton 47.33 bronze standard.

Special  performances were recorded by:

N Boyce 16.30 in the  Circuit TT  ;
C Swenarton, O Parkes, N Boyce, 1.24 in the 1 kilometre;
O Parkes 12.48 in the 5 miles TT ;
P Downie 27.5910 miles TT ;.
Paul Ferguson Road Man’s BAR
Paul Swenarton Time Trial BAR
Ray Brownfield Off-Road Performance
Neil McKenna Open Road Race Performance

In the open section Harry again noted the upsurge in interest with North Down riders competing all over the British Isles.  For example, there were no less than three veterans from the club, Glen Jordan, Paul Swenarton and Anthony Mitchell competing in the Masters World Championships in Manchester.  In the senior ranks there were several new members carrying the colours of the North Down club with distinction.  Riders deserving of particular mention in the senior ranks this year were Tommy Simmons, Paul Ferguson, Ray Brownfield and Neil McKenna. 

Once again it was in the youth section that North Down won the largest haul of championship medals.  For example, Craig Swenarton, in his first year of racing, won the Northern Ireland Youth track championship.  Rachel Mitchell had no fewer than two silvers and a bronze from the All-Ireland track championship to go along with a gold in the Northern Ireland 10-mile time trial championship.  Stuart Henry, although only a first year under sixteen, won four under-sixteen open races as well as a number of seconds and thirds and he brought silver and bronze medals back from the all-Ireland track championships, a bronze from the Northern Ireland and All-Ireland time trial championships and, for good measure, he won the Scottish Youth Road Race Championship.

However, just as the cliché tells us ‘behind every good man there is a good woman’ so behind every successful club there is a successful committee.  North Down is blessed with many enthusiastic, energetic officials and it is, therefore, fitting that one of the most prestigious trophies of the night is always the Flood Trophy for Clubman of the Year.  In the running for this huge cup must have been our Webmaster Keith Millar, treasurer Mark Coyle and the current chairman Harry Adams.  However, the unanimous decision went to club and Northern Ireland Cycling Federation stalwart Anthony Mitchell for his work on the micro and macro level.

Woburn Cyclo Cross

There was another strong turn out of North Down riders at last weekend’s cyclo cross, organised by Madigan Cycling Club in Carrickfergus. The weather for the event was atrocious with strong gusting winds accompanied by heavy rain and sleet. Indeed, so bad were the conditions that North Down star, Ray Brownfield withdrew early on in the event fearing that a heavy fall could put him out of more important, up-coming events.  However, it was good to see Matty Blaney and Dwayne McCreadie put in sterling performances.  Both these riders have an excellent pedigree in this aspect of the sport.  Their ability was clearly visible, especially as both have only recently returned to competing after pre-mature retirements.  In this gruelling event Matty eventually finished in 10th place whilst Dwayne was 15th  just ahead of Andrew Rea.  The race was won by Lewis Ferguson from Holywood.

Youth Coaching Weekend

All our youth riders are reminded that the closing date for the Cookstown training camp, on the of 9th/10th December, is drawing very close.  This is an excellent opportunity for young riders to gain valuable experience on preparation for races and on-the-bike coaching. This camp is open to all those youth cyclists who are resident in Ulster, provided they have a valid licence. If any of our young riders would like to attend then they should contact Tom Henry for further information.

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