The famous Bobby Crilly Memorial race, hosted by Phoenix Cycling Club, was held last Saturday.
Famous for its mountain top finish at the top of Divis Mountain, entries weren’t long in filling up and Dromara CC filled up a large chunk of them.
In total Dromara had nine riders entered in every race bar the womens’ race, which shows the eagerness of the riders being willing to tackle such a hard race.
All races had to complete a certain amount of laps of a fifteen mile circuit which took place around the Dundrod area before turning off to tackle the main climb which took the riders up to the top of Divis mountain, giving the riders around half an hour of solid climbing to end a hard day’s racing.
The A4 race saw five hopeful Dromara men (Graham Beckett, Stephen Irvine, Graham Smyth, Barry Kane & Robert McDonald) get to the start line with 2 laps of the circuit to complete and with the A4 riders eager to get to Divis as quickly as possible, they had to be pulled over as they were catching the A3 riders who started ahead of the A4 race.
With a quick rest they were back on the road again and they hit the climb from Dundrod to Divis which saw the bunch quickly disintegrate.
By the top of the climb Stephen Irvine produced an awesome ride to take second place, with Graham Beckett not far behind in 9th.
The rest of the Dromara riders finished the race to mark a good day all round for the A4 riders, and this means Stephen has accumulated enough points to earn himself an upgrade to A3 racing.
The A3 race had Richard Cowan, Zak Hanna and David Dickson completing 3 laps of the circit, and the race got off to a slow start with riders not willing to do any work.
Several attempts were made to establish a breakaway without success. Zak however on the second lap made it into a move with 5 others and they soon established a sizeable gap that stayed away for a lap before he got brought back by the bunch.
Hitting the bottom of the main climb David had a mechanical which resulted in a broken spoke which unfortunately ended his race.
Halfway up the climb as a lead group began to develop Zak also had a mechanical where he lost contact with the group and spent the last 5km chasing back on. Richard Cowan had a sterling ride to finishing in the top 20 along with Zak, Richard also putting in a strong ride at last Thursday night’s club race.
Ronnie Smyth took part in the A1/A2 race which was also part of the Cycling Ireland Classic League, and many of Ireland’s top riders where present with Eoin Morton of UCD coming out on top with Team Asea’s Ali Macauley second.
Club League Round Eleven
This week’s round of the club league was this time a road race held on the traditional Tommy Givan race circuit at Hillsborough which was only used for an open race a few weeks back, and this was the first time the club had used this circuit for the club league.
This week numbers seemed a bit lower than usual, with the Bobby Crilly race just around the corner some racers were keeping the legs fresh with some being mad enough to race on Thursday night as well as racing on Saturday.
From the last race the scratch group had a few new members in the shape of riders from guest clubs such as West Down Wheelers. The riders had to complete 3 laps of the 9 mile circuit bringing the race to 27 miles in total.
Group 1, 2 & 3 took off without issue but in Group 4 they lost a few members early on but they soon regrouped and began working to catch the groups in front. They caught all the groups half way around the second lap before scratch came in and then the race was altogether going into the third lap. The race stayed together bar a few riders who were unable to keep up with the pace, and throughout the last lap several attempts were made to attack the group with one move looking like it was going to succeed, but a last gasp attack from members of the scratch group split the group on the final climb with 2km to go and it was soon a group of six going for the win with Gavin Magowan taking the win from Ronnie Smyth in 2nd, John Heverin from Clann Eireann in third and Zak Hanna fourth.
Many thanks to Lisa Millar who was head marshal for the night and did a sterling job to coordinate the marshals to the correct corners and make sure all the signage was up. Also thanks to the timekeepers and those who served the tea and biscuits afterwards.
Round 12 of the club league is this Thursday night, a two-up time trial on the Dundrum line in Dromara with sign on from 6:30pm and the first riders off at 7pm. See www.dromaracc.co.uk for more information.