Superb cycle from Neill sees him get upgraded to A3

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The Tommy Givan Memorial race was held on Saturday past by Maryland Wheelers on the tough Hillsborough-Anahilt-Legacurry-Hillsborough course.

The weather on the day was favourable with warm sunshine welcoming the riders on the start line on the Comber Road, although crosswinds and headwinds were going to be a problem during the race.

First race off was the A3’s who had a two minute handicap over the A1s and A2s, and they has to complete 7 laps of the 9 mile circuit, totalling 63 miles. Dromara CC had Stephen Wallace and Zak Hanna in the A3 race, with Zak riding for the Cycling Ulster team. Ronnie Smyth and Gavin Magowan were in the A1 and A2 race.

The first two laps were fast with aggressive riding from a select group of riders making a breakaway group develop, and the break soon had a gap on the chasing peloton. By the third lap the gap had stretched to over a minute, leaving the main bunch to put in massive efforts to bring the group back. On the last two laps the gap was still at over a minute and the finish was to be contested by the break. The winner was Mark McKinley of Newry Wheelers.

The A1s and A2s caught the remaining peloton inside the last 1km and whilst there were no points or prizes on offer for those outside the top 10 a sprint was contested with Gavin Magowan winning the gallop. Ronnie, Zak and Stephen finished comfortably in the bunch after a tough day’s racing in the legs.

The A4 race was once again dominated by Dromara CC jerseys. They had to complete 4 laps of the circuit and as well they had a very fast start with Dromara trying to establish a breakaway, such was the high speeds of the race this proving a difficult task.

The final few miles of the race saw a few more attacks go but it was going to be contested as a bunch gallop. Neill Currie rode a superb race sprinting to second with Graeme Craft not far behind in 4th. Graham Beckett had a superb result finishing inside the top 10. The remainder of the team finished safely in the bunch, and with Dromara’s presence getting bigger in these races a win is not far away.

Neill’s second place now see’s him upgraded to A3 as he has accumulated enough points to make the move. He now joins Chris Magowan, Zak Hanna and Stephen Wallace in the A3 category.

Matthew Armstrong competed in his first open race in the under 16 category, and rode well to finish in the bunch.

The next open race is the West Down GP, this Saturday 25th May at Katesbridge.

*Club League-Lurgan Road 10 Mile TT-Over 30 cyclists gathered at the terraced houses beside Mulgrews on the Lurgan road outside Dromore to take part in the seventh round of the summer club league, competing for the Saville Cup.

Riders were greeted to warm sunshine and dry roads, something we haven’t seen in a while.

There were some brilliant times posted on the night, with many PB’s as well. This was surprising as this road is renowned for its difficulty with short punchy climbs and a leg stinger up Clogher Hill.

Fastest time on the night went to Mark Downey of the Nicolas Roche Performance Team with 23:01, with Gavin Magowan second with 23:25.Chris Magowan was third fastest with 23:57.

Once the handicaps were applied it was Linda Forde who came out on top, taking the maximum 40 points towards the league standings. Roisin McIlhone was second with Eddie Doyle in third.

Well done to all who took part. This week sees the next round of the club league take place on the Downpatrick road circuit, starting at 7pm with sign on from 6:30pm. For more see the message board at