On Easter Sunday (31st March) we will run our fourth Easter Reliability Trial. There will be two runs; an A run aiming for an average speed of 20-21mph, and a B run aiming at 17-18mph average speed.
Sign-on will be at the House of Sport on the Malone Rd, Belfast (BT9 5LA). Sign-on is open from 9:00 with the A run leaving at 9.30 and the B run leaving shortly after.
The sign-on fee is £5 for those with an appropriate Cycling Ireland licence. Non Cycling Ireland members are more than welcome to ride but will have to pay an additional £2 which goes to Cycling Ireland.
The route which is mostly flat will be the same as last year – A nice route around the east coast of Lough Neagh and a bit of a climb at the end to test your legs. For a map of the route, click on the following link:
Roughly the route is; through Lisburn via the Upper Malone Rd, through Moira to Dollingstown where we head north along the Lough. We skirt around Crumlin and get almost as far as Antrim before turning back towards Belfast via Nutts Corner, a loop of the Phoenix GP circuit and Dundrod.
Most riders should be able to stick with the bunches until Dundrod as it will be quite flat until then. After Dundrod the climb starts and the bunches will probably split up so please make sure you know the route from there back to the House of Sport. That route is:
From Nutts Corner stay on the road through Dundrod village up the climb and down the other side until you reach a T junction. At the T junction turn right. Go straight through three roundabouts (two small and one large under the M1). Go straight through one set of traffic lights at the junction with the Boucher Rd and straight through a double set of traffic lights as you go under the railway and Lisburn Rd. Keep going straight on until you reach a third set of lights at the junction with the Malone Rd. Turn right onto the Malone Rd at these lights and it is about half a mile to the H of S.
The “B” run will omit the loop of the GP circuit.
In the interests of safety all riders must wear a helmet.
The club expects the cooperation of all riders in ensuring the event runs safely and the minimum of inconvenience is caused to other road users and members of the public.
I hope you enjoy the event, and happy Easter.
Another weekend of tough conditions for those able to get out on the bike.
Due to the adverse conditions, the Wallace Caldwell due to run on Sat 23rd March got cancelled. For many Phoenix racers this meant a long session on the tubro trainner or rollers in order to keep the legs turning over. One who didn’t let weather stop distrupt Tour of the North preparation was Ali McCauley. Ali travelled to the Lucan GP and put in a strong performance getting into the break away.
A1/A2 break away at Lucan GP (photo courtesy of Gary McIlroy)
On Sunday 24th, the PJ Logan cup hosted by Coalisland wheelers took place. Cold easterly winds greeted those brave enough to sign on, but at least there was no snow west of the Bann. In the A race, Fergus Rooney took 9th. Geoff Hewitt took victory in the over 50’s race, with brother Michael taking the runners up spot. Well done lads and all the other Phoenix riders.
Geoff wins over 50s race at PJ Logan cup (Photo courtesy of Marian Lamb)
Spring. La Primavera. It certainly didnt’ feel very much like spring this past weekend. But that didn’t deter Phoenix riders. Wether it was racing, club runs or off-road – it was another busy weekend on the bike.
Race round up
Sat 16th saw the Cicli sport GP, hosted by East Tyrone CC. Tough conditions for all riders.
In A3’s a 14 man group broke away early on. Alex and Paul put in a hugh effort to jump across but where unable to bridge to such a large group and got caught by the bunch. The A1 / A2 was a hard attacking race. Marcel worked hard but suffered mechanical in last lap. Cathal finished strongly to take 10th.
On St Patricks day, saw the Clann Eireann cup in Derrymacash for A3 riders. Joe Henry, Seamus walsh, Jim hegarty, Jeff Torrens-Spence, Jay Gault, John Rooney where in action. The Phoenix squad where involved in various moves but unfortunately missed the winning break. Congratulations to Mickey Carroll on a fine win.
Meanwhile up in Donegal, Cathal Symth put in a storming performance to take 3rd place in the Donegal Harvest RR, organized by Four Masters CC on Sun 17th. The race was ran in in very cold wet and windy conditions and with a 5 min deficit to make up on A3’s, the A1 / A2 had their work cut out.
With 10km to go the groups came together. Mark Buchanan and Conor McElwainne jumped clear to take 1st and 2nd.
Cathal and Devon McIlwainne broke from bunch for a 3 mile hammering before Cathal took 3rd place honours.
Super result on back of strong ride day before. With Tour Of North only 10 days away its great to see Cathal showing such good form.
St Patricks day is celebrated by a traditional ‘long club run’ down to Spelga. To accomodate most riders this year it was split across Sunday and Monday rides.
Zulle led a dozen on the Sunday, six turned up on Monday. Never an easy ride, this year’s vist to Spelga was certainly challenging
Finally, younger riders enjoyed Cycling Ulster off-road training day in Lady Dixon’s park on St Patricks day morning.
A great event which was well attended on a cold morning and enjoyed by all. There will be more training days in April and May.
There were 5 races with almost 300 riders taking part on the 10th March at the McCann cup event at Seskinore run by Omagh Wheelers. Michael Tolan showed great sprinting skills to finish runner up in the over 50s race, just ahead of Geoff Hewitt, Turlough Montague was 7th. In the womens race Julie Rea did very well to finish 3rd, as did Karen Hull to finish 4th. In the A3 race Alex Donald escaped the sprinters to finish 6th. Here is a report on the Masters and Womens race from Turlough followed by a report on the A3 race by John Smyth.
Brilliant result today for Michael and Geoff in the Masters in what was a hard race to match the cold east wind. Congrats. The winner, Jim Doyle of the Foyle, rode a great race as did Seamus Keenan of the host club who attacked throughout. Strong riding from Julie and Karen who are keeping the Phoenix flag flying in the face of stiff competition esp from North Down. Thanks to Omagh Wheelers for a superbly organised and marshalled race and a warm marquee with a great spread. (Turlough Montague)
First time doing this race for me. Very well organized on a good circuit. Very tough A3 race with lots of cross head winds. I felt the 60 miles at the end. Excellent ride by Alex to get some points on the board. Strong showing from Jay, Jim, Karl and Ed. Amy battled hard despite losing a contact lens. Good work from the team today with lots of breaks shut down and Karl almost sneaking away on the last lap before Alex evaded the bunch sprint. Impressive rides by 3 guys in the initial break for the first 4 laps. very strong performance from Daniel Stewart who is too good for A3 racing and has started this year very impressively. Very cold prior to the race but ok once the action started. Bizarre weather with snowflakes on one bit of the circuit for 4 laps and sunshine on another bit. Up and down the carriage way in Newry was a lot easier last week! (John Smyth)
Pictured here is Michael Tolan finishing 2nd in the Masters Race
(Thanks to Marian Lamb of Cycling Ulster for the Photo)
You can read great reports on the races and see lots of pictures at Cycling Ulster.
Ciaran McVeigh won the B race for A4 riders at the Newry Wheelers promoted John Haldane Memorial race on the Newry to Warrenpoint carriageway on Sunday 3rd of March. Ciaran was in a breakaway group which stayed clear of the bunch and at the end Ciaran rode strongly to sprint clear of his breakaway companions. In the A race for A1,A2 and A3 riders Karl Morgan took a very good 4th place in a very fast race. In the Masters race for over 50s riders Tommy Lamb finished 5th. On the same day in the Cycleways Cup races at Navan Amy Brice won the womens race, Ali McAuley was 9th in the A race where he was also the first A2 rider.
Ciaran McVeigh winning the A4 race at the John Haldane Memorial
Unfortunately on Saturday at the Spires CC promoted races at the Loup there was a crash in the Masters race that resulted in the A and B race being cancelled and some riders getting injured. Ted McKibben of Dromara was taken to hospital after the race and on behalf of Phoenix CC we wish him the very best.
You can read race reports at the Cycling Ulster web site and view some great photos. Thanks to Marian Lamb for the photo shown here.