THURSDAY night past saw Dromara Cycling Club hold round 20 of their summer club league in what was ideal conditions for a road race.
The weather was warm with little wind making it a favourable night for most racers. This round was a road race and the riders were competing for the Harry Ferguson Memorial trophy, which was donated by the Harry Ferguson Celebration committee.
The race circuit started at the Harry Ferguson Memorial garden on the Magheraconluce road, taking the riders down the road only to turn left onto the short sharp climb that is Rafferty’s Hill, then descending down to the crossroads at Drumlough church before turning left down past Ballykeel Baptist church then left onto the finishing straight at the memorial garden for the finish.
The circuit itself was approximately 2.5 miles long which was to make racing tough and fast, with over thirty riders signing on for the race. The club also had four guests present, three riders from Banbridge CC and one from La Lanterne Rouge CC.
Once the timekeepers put together the race groups as organised by Gavin Magowan racing soon got underway just after 7pm with group one going off first, followed four minutes and 15 seconds later by group two, group three 7:30, group four 10:00 and group five 12:00.
The riders had to complete seven laps of the course and the groups were completing each lap at a good pace and it wasn’t very long until the group three had caught then first two groups, leaving groups four and five to chase hard to catch the groups in front before the finish.
The race came together about 1.5 miles from the finish, and it soon split as the front runners which was made up of all of group five, a few members of group four and a couple from group three powered towards the finish as a bunch gallop was certain to happen, and after a few attempts from other riders to break away it was Gavin Magowan to sprinted to victory with Ronnie Smyth a close second and Barry Van Kellett third. The top five was completed by Aaron McGrady and Anthony Quinn in that order.
The remainder of the riders rolled in not too far behind the winning group, and the prize giving got underway with the top three stepping onto the podium before Harry Ferguson celebration committee members Robert Kerr and David Poots presented Gavin Magowan with the Harry Ferguson memorial trophy for 2012.
A group photo was then taken before the riders turned for home with sore legs and dreams of winning the Harry Ferguson memorial race next season.
Many thanks to the marshals and timekeepers who helped out on the night, and to Michael Maldwin and son from the Ghostriders MCC for doing motorbike outrider on the night. Also thanks to the Harry Ferguson Celebration committee for the use of the memorial garden car park.
The next round of the club league is this Thursday night and it is the return to the 10 mile time trials this time round, and the Dundrum road will host the riders that night. Sign on is at 6:30pm at the car park across from Eurospar. See www.dromaracc.co.uk and the message board for more details.
*The club would like to send out a message of good luck to two riders who attended Thursday night’s race, Mark Downey and Matthew Teggart, who are heading off to Germany and Holland this week to race with the Irish FBD Talent Team.
*Congratulations to three club members, John Clyde, Mary Hunter and Bernie Monaghan who competed in the West Down Wheelers’ Eric Maxwell memorial 10 mile time trial on the Warrenpoint road on Thursday night. John recorded a time of 22:37 while Mary posted a 23:43 and Bernie posted a 25:54.
*Well done to the riders who competed in the Billy Stewart Cup in Lurgan hosted by Apollo CT on Sunday.
*Also well done to the riders who competed in the fifth round of the Ulster XC MTB League up in Garvagh forest on Sunday. Special mention to Barry Van Kellett who won his category, and he is one of the favourites to take the win at the Ulster Championships in Castlewellan Park next Sunday! Also well done to Ben Wilson who took second in the under 10s category and to his sister Kelly who came 3rd in the female under 12s category.
Hopefully the club will experience more success like this at the Ulster Championships in Castlewellan Park next week!