9 October 2007

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Henry – Double National Champion

At the Cycling Ireland Awards Night in Dublin, last weekend, North Down Cycling Club’s Stuart Henry was honoured for his wins in the 3000m junior pursuit and junior 500m time trial at National Track Championships earlier this year.  Henry has in the past won numerous championships at under-age level, but to win championships at under 18 level is quite an achievement for the 16 year old Regent House pupil.  

The awards ceremony proved a fitting finale to a very successful year for Henry who not only represented Ireland at the Youth Olympics, but in addition, picked up medals at the All-Ireland Road and Time Trial Championships, the Ulster Cyclo-Cross Championships, the Ulster Time Trial Championships, The Northern Ireland Hill Climb Championships and The Northern Ireland Road Race Championships.  Perhaps the most encouraging element of the awards ceremony for young Henry was the President of the Irish Olympic Council’s reference to the high percentage of those who qualify for the Youth Olympic who eventually make it to the full Olympics.  Certainly this fact was not lost on the North Down cyclist who has been given an objective to which he can aspire.

Cycling Ireland AGM
The two motions put forward from North Down Cycling Club to the AGM of Cycling Ireland were received positively.  However, it was decided that the status quo should be maintained on the situation regarding allowing underage riders to up-grade to the junior ranks. With regards to the second proposal (the concept of using senior races as a preparation ground for international teams) was widely supported and was passed to the Youth Commission for formulation and ratification at board level.   

North Down AGM
Members are reminded that the North Down AGM will be taking place on Monday 12th November.  As with all organizations, this is the most important meeting of the year and all members are asked to make a special effort to attend.  If any member, for instance, wishes to change any rule in the club, then it must happen at this meeting.  If anyone wishes to have any proposals considered then they should forward them to the honorary secretary, Anthony Mitchell, immediately.

As mentioned last week, a number of committee members have suggested that they would like to step down this year.  This is as it should be, where the governing body is made up of both experienced members and those with fresh invigorating ideas.  Certainly the current committee was greatly enriched by the likes of Wilf Renshaw and Ciaran Andrews volunteering their considerable services and expertise.  We hope that more will come forward this year and help maintain the high standard of service to which we have become accustomed in North Down.

Sam Shows the Way
The new cyclo-cross season kicked off last weekend, and it was young Sam Craig who showed many of the more experienced cyclo-cross riders how it should be done.  To be fair to Sam, he once again made his intentions very clear as early as July, pointing out that the high level of training he was putting in was simply in preparation for the up-coming cyclo-cross season.  

In the six lap race Sam Craig led from start to finish, quite an astonishing performance.  In fact so emphatic was Sam’s performance that the battle for second was the main feature of the race as Vet rider Paul McMenamin (Specialized/Leisure Lakes) battled all the way with his travelling buddy Michael Holland (Lakeland CC), Paul eventually shaking off the challenge from Michael on the last lap.

Another of our roadmen who rode exceptionally well in the Craigavon event was Paul Ferguson.  Paul, more associated with fast road races, finished in a fine fourth place.  Clearly there is much more to come from this talented athlete.  Last year North Down picked up lots of accolades and championship medals in cyclo-cross events.  It seems that this winter’s events could be equally lucrative.

North Down Awards Night
The North Down Cycling Club’s own Awards night, on Monday 22nd October, is looming very close and is certainly promising to be a night not to be missed.  At a cost of £12.50 the value in the Bohkara Restaurant is exceptional.  Those who wish to partake of European fayre will also be catered for.  

This has proven to be an exceptionally enjoyable function in recent years.  Gone are the trappings of speeches and extended homilies so often associated with such events.  In its place is an ambiance of a very relaxed nature.  However, it is only but fitting that on such an occasion those who participated in recreational and competitive events this year should be honoured.  If you fit into either of these categories or you simply want a relaxed evening in good company you should get in touch with Tom Henry (thomashenry@hotmail.com) immediately.  Remember this is a night when all the family will be made most welcome.  Incidentally, anyone who has a perpetual cup from last year should make sure that it is engraved, cleaned and passed on to Harry Adams immediately.

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