Dromara cyclists compete in the Lakeland Grand Prix

Chris Magowan, Rodney Stewart and Ivan Bradford in the A4 peloton at the Lakeland GP. Picture courtesy of Marian Lamb of Cycling Ulster.
Chris Magowan, Rodney Stewart and Ivan Bradford in the A4 peloton at the Lakeland GP. Picture courtesy of Marian Lamb of Cycling Ulster.

ON Sunday past Dromara Cycling Club had 16 members made up of racers and supporters left Dromara at 8am en route to compete in the Lakeland Grand Prix in Enniskillen area.

With the coach supplied by RJ Bullick of Rathriland, the journey didn’t take long arriving at the Lakeland Forum in good time to re-build bikes and get signed on. With the race starting at 12 noon the riders were rounded up at 11:15am to be lead out to the start by race officials, and riders were put into their race categories before the start, with over 180 riders signing on for four races.

Gavin Magowan, Derek Hanna, and Tony Quinn rode in the A3 category, with Chris Magowan, Rodney Stewart, Ryan Mallon, Gary Gray, Ivan Bradford, David Chambers, Barry Van Kellett, Paul Mawhirt, Phil O’Neil and John McGuigan competing in the A4 category. Mike Barton was the sole Dromara representative in the Over 50s race.

All categories had to race approximately 44 miles on the Glensheaver circuit, covering one lap. With the race starting near Belleek the race was reasonably flat for around 18 miles before entering the mountains to tackle a long 3.3 km climb to the peak, then a long 20km descent to the finishing straight on the Shore road near the Lough Erne Resort.

Throughout the races Dromara riders were in the middle of the action keeping the peloton going at a fast pace, and all riders are to be commended on finishing their respective races.

First category home was the A3 race which had a break in the peloton with 5 riders edging away to form a small group of 5 riders, with Tony Quinn in the middle of it all, racing for first place. In the end it was Gary Jeffers of East Tyrone CC who came out victorious in the A3 race, with Tony coming in safely in fifth place after a blistering ride over the mountain to stay with the lead group. In the main bunch finish Gavin Magowan finished just outside the top 10 with Derek Hanna coming in just after the main bunch.

In the A4 race it came down to a sprint finish for first place and Dromara jerseys could be seen in every part of the bunch, and out came Phil O’Neil who took the sprint for second place, with the next Dromara riders Chris Magowan and Rodney Stewart finishing inside the top 10, with the other riders finishing well up in the bunch.

In the over 50’s race Mike Barton finished in a group of other racers in what was first ever road race, and what a race to begin at!

After the prize giving the Dromara crew went to Wetherspoons for dinner and a few drinks for heading home after what was a class day all around with everyone enjoying themselves.

Well done to all riders who competed in what was a tough circuit with tough winds, hopefully another day out can be organised again soon!

Thanks to RJ Bullick for the transport and to the driver for transporting us to and from Enniskillen, and to Derek Hanna for organising the whole day.

*Congratulations to Rodney Stewart who finished second last week in the Bann Valley Classic A4 race, getting stronger every week with a win and an upgrade not too far away!

CLUB LEAGUE ROUND 4-SOLO 10 MILE TT-ANAHILT - Thursday night past saw round four of Dromara CC’s popular summer league take place on the Anahilt circuit, a 10 mile TT starting at the flower nursery on the Ballynahinch road, then onto the Ballycreen road towards the Glebe road to Anhailt and then onto Ballynahinch to finish below McVeigh Accident Repair Centre.

Forty-five riders signed on ready for 10 miles of pain with the weather being kind with the sun shining and a slight breeze blowing. Fast times were expected as riders lined up equipped with time trial bikes, helmets, deep-section wheels, disk wheels, tri-bars and other aerodynamic accessories, anything to shave a few seconds off their time. After the timekeepers got the riders set off it was up to the finish to record the finishing times. Once the times were recorded there was much excitement to see who got the fastest time and who got new personal bests. In the end it was Gavin Magowan who set the fastest time of 23 minutes and 15 seconds, ahead of Ronnie Smyth who set a time of 23:27 with Rodney Stewart in third with 23:38.

Thanks to the marshals and timekeepers who helped out on the night and to Martin Grimley for checking times and snapping up photographs.

Next round is this Thursday night coming with a road race on the Maze/Flatfields circuit, with racing starting at 7pm. Keep an eye on the club website (www.dromaracc.co.uk) and check the message board for updates.

DROMARA RIDERS COMPETE IN ROUND ONE OF ULSTER XC LEAGUE - Fifteen MTB riders from Dromara travelled up to Ballykelly Forest in Limavady to compete in the first round of the Ulster XC MTB League. With this course not being used in over 10 years it was time for it to make its return onto the racing scene with Strabane/Lifford CC the host.

All riders finished their respective races with special mentions going to mother and son duo Dianne and Ben Wilson who won their race categories, with Dianne winning the Senior 3 women’s race and Ben winning the under 10s category. Well done to them both!

On Sunday 29th April Cuchulainn Cycling Club are holding the second round of the Irish Mountain Bike National Points Series in Bellurgan Park near Carlingford, and Dromara riders will be travelling down to the race. Once again check the website and message board for updates.