There was another great evening of criterium racing on a closed road circuit in Ards Town Centre last night. First up, as always, were the novices. The 40 riders were split into 4 groups – balance bikes, 4-6 years, 7-9 years and 10-12 years – and competed over two laps.
All riders received a goody-bag. There was also a prize for the proudest father….
Next up were the under 12s, with 24 riders racing over 4 laps. Seth Dunwoody (Shelbourne) and Aine Doherty (VC Glendale) quickly built up a lead over the others with Seth taking the win. Reuben Maitland (Kilinchy) was third and Lucy Brown was best unplaced girl.
The 20 under 14 and under 16 riders raced together over 8 laps, with the U-14s getting a short handicap. The increased speed and group riding skills, compared to the earlier races, were clearly visible, and there was still a big group fighting it out for the finish. Unfortunately there was a bit of confusion due to duplicate numbers between U14 and U16 riders but it was eventually sorted out. The final results were as follows (thanks to all for their patience).
|2nd||Neil Kelso||East Tyrone|
|Unplaced Girl||Rachel White||NDCC|
|Unplaced Girl||Maria McAllister||Island Wheelers|
The A4s were next, with 24 riders racing over 20 minutes plus 1 lap. The Ards riders looked strong throughout, often riding at the front, and did the club proud.
|1st||Jonathan Coen||Dromore CC|
|2nd||Stephen Hanna||Dromara CC|
|3rd||Barry Greer||Kinning Cycles|
|5th||Neil McCartan||Dromore CC|
|6th||Barry Mitchell||Ards CC|
|1st Lady||Jacinta Guirguis|
|First Ards||Barry Mitchell|
Final race of the night was the Senior 1, 2, 3 and Junior race over 40 minutes plus 3 laps. 29 riders lined up, with a healthy sprinkling of local stars and past winners.
The speed was visibly faster, with numerous attacks. First rider to really establish a gap was John Buller (Banbridge). After about 10 laps by himself, he was joined in the closing stages by Lindsay Watson (Powerhouse) and James Curry (VC La Pomme), but John still had enough strength left to take the win.
The bunch sprint was won by former Ards CC man Dale Walker – now making a comeback with Phoenix :-). Ricky Topping (Ards CC) rode strongly in the exalted company, taking first unlaced A3, and top Ards rider.
|3rd||James Curry||VC la Pomme|
|4th||Dale Walker||Phoenix CC|
|5th||Christopher McGlinchey||Chain Reaction Cycles|
|6th||Christian Nachtigall||Phoenix CC|
|Unplaced Junior||Lee Harvey||Kinning Cycles|
|Unplaced A2||Luke Joyce||Kinning Cycles|
|Unplaced A3||Richard Topping||Ards CC|
|First Ards||Richard Topping||Ards CC|
As always, the event would have been impossible without the generous help and support of many people. Here’s a list – apologies if I’ve missed anyone.
- The club committee, for organising a great night’s racing.
- The Police, for once again closing the roads.
- All the marshals, judges, time keepers, sign-on, etc. It was great to see so many folk helping out. You were brilliant.
- St John Ambulance.
- The Commissaire Laura Wilson, who stayed calm while keeping us straight.
- The Council for the barriers and use of the Town Hall.
- Our photographers – check out the Ards CC Facebook page and www.belgianproject.cc.
- The sponsors – Home Grown Fruit and Veg, Wirefox, Chain Reaction Cycles and the Belgian Project.
- Dany for his knowledgeable commentary. And Cycling Ireland for photo finish.
- Gwen for the novices goody bags.
- The enthusiastic spectators