Here are some reflections and comments we’ve received on the recent ToA.
The commissaire’s report was very favourable. In particular it commented on the number of static and mobile marshals who helped to make the race safe, and on the great spread of food after the event. So thanks again to everyone who helped to make this such a successful event.
And thanks to the commissaires as well!
Isn’t technology wonderful. Due to a combination of bike sensors and video we were able to place the first 30 riders before the prize giving. But it’s not infallible… the first version of the result showed Brian McCrystal in second place. We suspect his bike was in a following car!
On my way to help judge the finish, I got stuck behind a group of about a dozen local club riders who seemed to be having their own mini ToA on the Portaferry Road. I understand it can be hard to let cars past, and as cyclists we have an equal right to the road. But I suspect the ambulance in front of me, that was held up for 4 or 5 miles, was less understanding… The Ulster Farmers Union advises its tractor driving members to pull over periodically to allow queues of traffic to clear – does Cycling Ulster need to issue similar guidance? Perhaps the best solution is to follow Desi’s club run example, and enjoy the wealth of smaller back roads where possible.
Myles McCrory (top rider and cycling impresario) liked the way the route passed through the villages in the Ards Peninsula. This has always been a feature of the ToA, although the 30mph charge around the Bangor ring road, the sprint up Donaghadee’s New Street and the narrow descent into Portaferry Square have all sadly had to be dropped over the years as traffic volumes have grown. Some riders commented that this year’s route was easier than last year’s. The organising committee has to balance distance, severity and safety, and a number of different routes have been used over the years. Did we get it right this year – let us know via Facebook.