ON Tuesday night the West Down Wheelers headed to Scarva for another round of the road race series for the Imperial Cup.
With rain on the way only 20 riders turned up. This was to be four laps of a tough, hilly circuit.
The 20 riders were split into two groups but half way round the first lap the rain came on. As safety is always the priority and there is a very fast descent the officials were getting a bit concerned.
At the end of lap two and due to the heavy rain most of the scratch group pulled in so the word went out that the third lap was the final one.
Coming from Gilford the pace was kept high and approximately a quarter of a mile from the finish new rider Mathew McKinstry went for glory. Due to inexperience he went too soon and another new powerhouse, Colin Williamson, shot past for his first win. Colin is an excellent prospect a very strong rider indeed and one definately to watch out for in the future.
In second place and a rider coming back into very good form after his recent spill is Neil Seffen. Neil is improving with every race and is showing what an excellent rider he will be - unfortunately the season is coming to an end too soon for him but watch next year.
In third place another new rider, Brian Hanna, has every one talking. Brian was an excellent rugby player but has switched over and he too will be a rider to watch next year as he improves with each race. Mathew McKinstry took a very good fourth. On Thursday night 18 Wheelers headed to the quarry circuit for eight laps of a short, tough circuit. With riders still on holidays this was a very good turnout.
As this is the Wheelers club night no guests were able to take part and what a race it turned out to be. The 18 riders were split into three groups with the scratch five minutes back from the limit group.
There was never any change in the first few laps but the very tough hill half way round was proving to be a killer.
With riders finding it hard to hang in several decided to pull in, some taking a lap out, but the leaders - Brian, Darren and Matt were going really well with Clive, Mark, DG and Neil working hard to get up to them but Wilkie, Ian, Ally and John were trying to close them down.
And so it came down to the very last lap when half way round lap seven Wilkie’s group caught Clive’s and then a half a mile from the finish they caught the leaders - it was a hectic last half mile.
Wilkinson took a deserved win, riding strong all night. In second was John, third was DG, fourth was Matt and fifth was Mark.
This was a class race with no giving off at the end by anyone. Billy and Clive got the handicap spot on which made it a very good finish.
First year rider Alistair McCourt deserves a lot of credit for finishing in the main bunch, as do Brian, Darren, Neil, and Matt.
The club has a lot to look forward to when all the new riders get a good Winter’s training in their legs.
This Thursday will see another race take place which had been called off earlier due to rain. It will be an Australian Pursuit on the Castlewellan Road. Due to road works it will start in Katesbridge and go to the Castlewellan roundabout and back which is a 20 mile round trip. Next year the club hopes to start it where the 25 TT starts.
As this is a club night no guests will be allowed to take part but if a few turn up they won’t be turned away.
- ON Saturday July 28 members of West Down Wheelers attended the David McCall Foundation Charity Cycle Ride.
Weather conditions were anything but favorable but this didn’t stop well over 120 hardy riders from various cycle clubs tuning up and taking part in the event.
The riders stopped near Nuts Corner roundabout at the location where David McCall was knocked of his bike by an overtaking motorist. A short sermon took place and a member of Maryland Wheels placed a bunch of flowers.
The 80 mile hilly route saw wheelers Clive Adamson, Alistar McCourt, Paul Wilkinson, Alistair Walker, Ian Walker, Davy Cartmill, DG and guest rider Neil Seffen (Harps CC) travel in tight formation from Lisburn to Ballygally and back.
At the halfway mark much appreciated refreshments were provided at the historical Ballygally Castle Hotel. All proceeds will be donated to the David McCall Foundation.