On Saturday 29th March Phoenix had two wins at the Ciclisport GP promoted by East Tyrone CC. In the A1/A2 race Mike Millar won his first race, Brian Stewart finished 6th and Nephew Daniel Stewart 7th. Daniel rides for East Antrim but is guesting for Phoenix in this years RAS. In the A4 race Paul Crowe won to give us two wins on the day. Val O’Neill continued her excellent season coming second in the Women’s race. Here is Mike winning the A1/A2 race. The picture is courtesy of Marian Lamb of Cycling Ulster you can read a full report here.
On Sunday a group of riders from the club went to Balbriggan to contest the Ben McKenna cup races. In the A1/A2 race, in a very strong field Ali Macauley finished an excellent 7th place. In the A3 race our junior Irish cx champion Rory Maguire finished in 2nd place. Rory was away all of the race in the front group and was outnumbered 5:1 by the Nicholas Roche Development team, he didn’t let this phase him and attacked them, taking one of them with him. Unfortunately he was beaten in the uphill sprint, he reckons he was in the wrong gear, but what a ride! Here is Rory getting his prize.
On Saturday the 22nd of March the club were well represented in this classic race. Brian Stewart (Big B) pictured below had an excellent ride finishing in the prize money in 8th place. Ali McCauley was very unlucky to puncture while riding strongly in the leading breakaway group. Our guest rider in the RAS team, Daniel Stewart of East Antrim, finished runner up after just being caught before the line by Fraser Duncan of Dave Kane Cycles. There is a full report here on the Cycling Ulster site and the picture is also courtesy of Marian Lamb of Cycling Ulster.
The St Patricks weekend saw a very busy schedule of racing over 3 days.
Red Hand Trophy
First up was the Red Hand Trophy promoted by Ballymena road club. This is one of the oldest and most prestigious races on local calendar and attracts a high quality field. The 2014 edition was won by in-form Northern-Dave Kane rider Fraser Duncan from Ronan McLaughlin (Dig Deep inspired Cycling). Phoenix man Ali McCauley was in the break all day and sitting in top 4 until Adam Armstrong and Ryan Sherlock bridged across in final km to take 3rd and 4th, with Anthony Walsh (UCD) 5th and Ali coming home in 6th. A great result – well done Ali.
Of the other Phoenix riders, Karl Morgan had another strong ride and was active in leading groups. Alex Donald and Mike finished behind a chase group, with Big B, Cathal, Ciaran and Jay coming home in the bunch. Feargus had mechanical losing a pedal.
Report and photos here.
Danny Boy Races
On Sunday 16th, Roe Valley hosted Danny Boy races. In the A4 Olan Byrne was top Phoenix rider placing 7th and taking his first points of season.
The womens race was also round 4 of the ulster womens series sponsored by Bling Bike kit. With series leader Amy Brice racing at Boyne GP, current Phoenix ladies champion Jude Russell took a very convincing victory to continue the domination of the series by Phoenix women. Well done Jude.
Report and photos here.
Potato Harvest race Boy Races
On St Patricks day, North Pole CC and Four Masters CC jointly promoted the Potato Harvest races.
In the A race for A1/2/3 riders, ex-Phoenix rider John Neil took a fine win on St Patricks and move up to A1. Congratulations John.
In the masters, Sean Harrigan from Phoenix took 2nd. Well done Sean.
Report and photos here
The 3rd week of road racing calendar saw Phoenix turn out in force for both the John Moore Memorial on Sat 8th, and McCann cup on Sun 9th March.
John Moore Memorial
The John Moore is always a favorite of Phoenix riders, with the circuit often used for club races.
The 2014 edition of the race promoted by neighbouring club Castlereagh CC was no exception. COnditions where cool but blustery which meant good bike handling was essential. In the A4 race Jody Wright continued his excellent run of form by getting into the winning move and taking a convincing win. Gerry Maguire also an escapee from the bunch got a great 5th place which gives him enough points to move up to A3.
Jody wins A4 race at John Moore
Well done all the other Phoenix riders in the A4 who rode strongly in support of their team mates.
The A race for A1/2/3 riders was one to forget for Rory Maguire who came down in a crash at speed. Luckily no one was seriously injuired. We wish all riders a speedy recovery.
Congratulations to the winner Fraser Duncan (Northern/DaveKane) and all the riders in A race.
On Sunday a good number of Phoenix men and women made the journey to McCann Cup, promoted by Omagh Wheelers.
In the womens race, Val O’Neill took the win by half a wheel from former Phoenix rider Amy Brice, with Jude Russell completing the podium. Julie Rea came in 7th.
Photo finish in womens race at McCann cup
In the C race for A4 riders Crowe put in a really strong performance in his first ever race. Very active at the front throughout, he placed 10th in the final sprint.
In the B race for A3, Niall O’Gorman got into the decisive break with half a lap to go. The group of 6 rode with great commitment to stay away with Niall taking 4th.
The A race for A1/2 saw repeated attacks and Phoenix men Feargus Rooney and Cathal Smyth very active. In the end, race winner Connor Murphy (Caldwell) got clear with Phoenix’s Karl Morgan coming in 5th.
Thanks to Omagh Wheelers for a great racing, well organized and a super spread of food afterwards.
John Moore results available here
McCann Cup results available here
The second week of road racing season saw Phoenix riders competing at Spires GP, Haldane Memorial.
Spires GP saw mixed fortunes for Phoenix men. Firstly, congratulations to Rory Maguire who placed 4th in A race for A1/2/3 riders against some very seasoned road racers.
In the A4 race, Jody Wright was first across the line but unfortunately was disqualified by commissionaires. There is an appeal in on this one. Stevie Geary came in 5th (4th in results) which gives him points to upgrade to A3. Gerry Maguire took 8th and is a point closer to his upgrade.
Julie, Val and Jude in action at Haldane Memorial 2014
The Haldane memorial, run by Newry Wheelers was run in wet and windy conditions but saw more success for Phoenix. Ciaran McVeigh won the A4 race last year and followed it up with a very fine 4th place in A3 race this year. In the women’s race, Val O’Neill marked her return with a 3rd place finish holding off Jude Russell in 4th and Julie Rea in 8th. Tommy Lamb came in 4th in masters race. Speedy recovery to Karen Hull who had misfortune of crashing in this race.
Spires GP report and photos here
Haldane Memorial report and photos here