Club President, Harry Adams, got a late call-up for The Ras. Now I know Harry has been performing really well in the Over 50’s races, but he was called up to use his expertise on the massage table before and after each of the demanding stages of this year’s eight-day race. Harry will be looking after one of the top teams in the race – Giant Asia – and it’s great that the expertise of this unassuming North Down man is being recognized at the highest level.
On a windy night no fewer than 29 stalwarts took to the line in the toughest of conditions for the first 25 mile time trial of the season. With strong winds behind them they zoomed down the Ards Peninsula, without a thought t the return journey. Some came to regret their early impetuosity as they struggled back into a severe head wind. In the end it was visitor Robin Millar who recorded the best time a short distance ahead of our own Paul Swenarton with roadmen Ross Blayney and Matty Blayney filling the next two places, respectively.
1 Robin Millar (59.48)
2 Paul Swenaton (1.00.35)
3 Ross Blayney (1.01.9)
4 Matty Blayney (1.1.51)
5 John Hunter (1.03.44)
6 Mark Hodgins (1.03.49
Tour Around Ireland
Whilst Harry may be involved the hardest and fastest bike race in Ireland another group of North Down riders will be heading off to cover many of the same roads at a much more leisurely pace. A leisure tour around Ireland has been the brain-child of Noel Boyce and in the company of Keith and Flo Millar, Martyn Lyttle, Peter Doggart and John Brown they head off to cycle from the beauty of North Down to Dublin and on to Killarney, before returning via the west coast. In his own meticulous way Noel has planned a route around the coast with a total distance of around 950 miles, taking in such land marks as Mizen Head and Malin Head. This will be quite an experience and we just hope that the weather will be kind to them.
North Down Grand Prix
With the commisaires’ reports now forwarded all those associated with the North Down Grand Prix can feel justly satisfied. The unofficial feedback from the competitors on the day was very, very positive and this has now been confirmed by the official reports.
Mention must be made of the sponsors, North Down Borough Council, Regency Cars (Newtownards) and the Bokhara Restaurant (Bangor). Without their support the race would not have been possible.
The official reports place special focus, quite rightly, on the safety aspects of the race, and as so many of the North Down members contributed by marshaling or driving lead cars etc, everyone can feel justly proud. Clearly a job well done.