Exciting racing in Ards Town Centre

admin   June 21, 2023   Comments Off on Exciting racing in Ards Town Centre

Barry Mitchell (Ards CC) on the top step of the podium

Tonight’s town centre racing had it all – sun, torrential rain, spectacular performances including a local win, and a healthy dose of inspirational kids.

First up was the kids fun ride over two laps.

Colour coordinated bikes and helmets were the order of the day


Unfortunately the heavens emptied on the second lap, with rain drops bouncing!

There was a pause in proceedings while we waited for the rain to ease. Unfortunately the down pour also led to the Sustrans Active Travel training session being cancelled. Hopefully we’ll get a chance to reschedule it.

Ruby looks delighted with her ice cream voucher after the U8 race.

Next up were the under 8s, racing over two laps. First boy was Thomas Crimble, from Rory McCullough and Noah Finnegan. First girl was Sophia Campbell, followed by Emily Smith.

U10 siblings Edward and Lucy with their medals

The Under 10s raced over 4 laps, with Edward Reynolds first ahead of Leo Gallagher and Jake Rockett. Amelia Finnegan was first girl ahead of Lucy Reynolds.

U12 podium

The under 12’s also covered 4 laps, with Sean Heverin coming out on top ahead of Cody Smith and Dillon Finnegan. Ava Baker was first girl, followed by Skye Spence.

Top girls in the U16 and U14 races

The Under 14s and Under 16s rode together over 8 laps. Emar Heverin (U14) was first girl with Cara Suckling (U16) second.

Caleb McGreevy was first boy in the U14 class, followed A McCuing and Issac Kyle. Curtis McKee was first boy in the U16s, followed by James Armstrong and Riley Smith.

U14 podium

U16 podium

There was a short break before the senior races. First up was the A4 race over 20 minutes plus 1 lap. After a fast start, a group of 6 edged clear of the disintegrating field. On the sixth lap Barry Mitchell (Ards CC) attacked strongly. Joe Giles (AHC Racing) gave chase, with the other 4 getting tailed off. As the laps progressed, Barry powered into the distance and it became clear he wouldn’t be caught. He ran out a clear and popular winner, with Joe hanging on for second at 1 minute, and the other 4 sprinting it out for third a further 30 seconds later.

Barry celebrates his win

Keith Hooks (North Down CC) won the sprint for third in the A4 race, from Kieran McNamara (Ards CC), Michael Dawson (Phoenix) and Gareth Boyle (North Down CC)

The final race of the night was the A1/A2/A3 race over 30 minutes plus 1 map. Lindsay Watson (Powerhouse) and Nathan Keown (Dan Morrisey) attacked from the start. After a couple of laps Nathan fell back to the bunch, while Lindsay powered on alone. Behind the lone leader a chasing group of 8 formed, but despite numerous attacks they were unable to close the gap.

Lindsay started lapping riders, and he eventually caught and passed the entire field – a phenomenal performance. Behind, Glen Kinning eventually managed to escape the clutches of the other 7 to take a clear second. A crash with 3 laps to go took out Ian Inglis (Kinning Cycles) and Nathan, although fortunately both only suffered cuts and bruises. That left Daniel Todd (Dromore) to take third ahead of ever green Kirk Sloan (North Down CC), Stuart Millar (Ards CC) and Johnny Adams (Killinchy). Stephen Hanna (VC Iveagh) took first unplaced A2, and Ben Healey (Ards CC) delighted the home crowd by taking first unplaced A3.

Lindsay Watson lapped the field to score an impressive win

Glen Kinning (Kinning Cycles) took a well earned second, to add to his previous wins in this event

The A1/A2/A3 podium

Ben Healey looks well pleased with his ice cream voucher (?)

Thanks to all those who put in so much work to make this event a success –

  • Our sponsor – Ards and North Down Borough Council. Hopefully we can continue to work together to push the Active Travel agenda.
  • St John Ambulance, particularly for their speedy response to the crash.
  • All our marshals, judges, lead motorbike, sign-on crew, prize giving team. It was great to see so many folk helping out. You were brilliant!
  • The commissaires and photo finish.
  • Dany and the Belgian Project for commentary.
  • The road closure team
  • Sustrans for helping to promote cycle training and safety.
  • All the riders and spectators who supported the event. We’re surely due a dry night next year!

Check out our Facebook pages (link under Forum above) for more photos and comments.

Club Chairman Darren Colville thanked the Mayor Jennifer Gilmore for the Council’s support and presented her with a book on the club’s history.

Darren and club secretary Stephen ponder the weather. Hopefully they’re smiling and relaxing now after another great Ards CC promotion!