Another busy weekend for Dromara cyclists

John Shanks competing in the XMTB Spring League.
John Shanks competing in the XMTB Spring League.

DROMARA Cycling Club members and other cyclists alike were once again kept busy this weekend as they were treated to three races over the course of the weekend, with one race on Saturday and two on Sunday.

The club’s riders were to compete in the two Sunday races, which were the John Haldane Memorial race promoted by Newry Wheelers, and the final round of the XMTB-McConvey Cycles Spring League.

The John Haldane memorial race was held on the Newry-Warrenpoint carriageway, starting at the Greenbank Industrial estate and makings its way around the first roundabout at Newry before heading towards the Warrenpoint roundabout, passing the Narrow Water castle along the way. Billed as a ‘sprinters’ paradise’ due to the flat nature of the course, the pace was high throughout all races with average speeds ranging from 23mph to 27mph.

First race of the day to get started was the A3 race, which had a small handicap on the A1/2 riders. These riders had to complete five laps of the course, totalling 47 miles.

Competing in this race for Dromara was junior rider Zak Hanna and Marty McAnulty. From the off there were riders attempting to break away from the chasing peloton, with none being successful due to the high speeds the riders were achieving. Nearing the end of the second lap the A1s and A2s had caught the A3s making the bunch bigger and faster.

As the race entered the final lap more attacks went but they were soon chased down by a bunch of determined riders wanting this race to be a sprint finish, and they got their wish. In the last 500m East Antrim –Audi formed a well-organised lead out train to allow Peter Kennedy to gallop to the line to take the victory, with Ballymena-Chain Reaction’s Ryan Bankhead in second and Bryan McKinney of Duffin Transport coming in third. Zak and Marty finished well in the bunch, a good result for them both in what was such as fast race.

The A4 race was next on the agenda, and there were four Dromara CC riders taking part in this race, Ryan Mallon, Kevin McDonald, David Hawthorne and Ryan Calvert. They had to complete four laps of the Newry-Warrenpoint carriageway circuit, and they too were treated to a fast paced race.

Attacks were going from the gun but it wasn’t until the riders were nearing the end of their race a break eventually got away, and this break turned out to be the winning break with Ciaran McVeigh of Phoenix CC getting then win with the host club’s Jude Sands taking second and Cuchulain CC’s Richard Murphy coming third.

The four riders from Dromara managed to finish safely in the bunch, well done to them all.

In the combined Masters and Women’s races, over fourty riders in total were entered, with Alywynne Shannon competing in the women’s race held over three laps of the circuit.

After a strong ride in a fast race Alywynne managed to bag an excellent fourth place finish, another excellent result after a strong ride in the Phoenix GP last week.

Well done to all riders who competed in the John Haldane Memorial race.

*XMTB-MCCONVEY CYCLES SPRING LEAGUE-FINAL ROUND: The final round of the ever-popular XMTB-McConvey Cycles Spring League was also held on Sunday, and once again the club were well represented which the shows the growing popularity of the discipline in the club.

The riders produced some excellent results, with notable performances coming from John Shanks who finished eleventh in the Senior race, with Peter Ritchie twenty-fifth in the same race.

Thomas Creighton came second in the under 14 race, with Ben Wilson second in the under 12s race and his sister Kelly third in the female under 12s race.

Well done to all who competed in the league!

*In the coming weeks the schedule for the club league is to be announced, and it isn’t long until the MTB leagues start in both Ulster and Ireland, so stay tuned for the weekly updates from the club.

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