Crit in the park – 21st June

On the evening of FRIDAY 21st June, Phoenix will be running the ever popular ‘CRIT IN THE PARK’ in Ormeau Park

The programme on the night will include:-
Youth Racing for U10, U12, U14, U16 – organised and run by our very own Colin Hughes and Ryan Connor from Cycling Ulster
& Seniors races for:-

A4 / Phoenix club riders

All senior races will be 30 mins & 2-3 laps, and are limited to 35 riders/race

Under the banner of Belfast Bikeweek, Belfast City Council have been brilliant in allowing us to run the races and they will be providing us with a metal barriers at paths / roads leading onto the course and then red/white barrier tape around the rest. They will also be ‘road’ sweeping the course beforehand and a bit of ‘gardening’ which will give everything a more professional look and should make for safer racing for riders and spectators alike.

With help from Cycling Ulster, they have also managed to secure Ryan Connor’s services for a period after the youth races where he, along with Colin Hughes, will be providing some additional coaching to the youth.


Sign-on will open at 5.15 on the night and timetable should be:-

Youth racing:- 5.45 – 6.45
A4 / Phoenix club riders:- 6.50 – 7.25
A3:- 7.30 – 8.05
A1/A2:- 8.10 – 8.45

Entry fees:-
Youth racing – £2 – (entry on the night)
Senior racing – £6 – (entry is PRE-REG only, via EntryCentral)

Link to announcement details on CU site here

This style of racing is great for both competitors and spectators alike, so either way come along and help make it a fabulous night for all!!

Pre reg opens this Friday 14th on EntryCentral at 7pm, so get in there!

Fun in the Sun

What a great weekend to be out on the bike.  Racing, testing, sportives, club runs or simply some solo miles – it was great.

Ali and Marcel give it the old 1-2

Ali and Marcel give it the old 1-2 (photo courtesy of Marian Lamb)

Testers on fire

First up the Ernie Magwood Super 6 round 3 at Woodgreen in what could only be described as ideal conditions. Jay Gault, Johnny Bogues and Jim Hegarty were all rewarded with PB’S – 21.02, 21.32 and 21.31 respectively – John Rooney had a 21.57.  Stu came home in 20.27 only 17 seconds off his personal best set 8 yrs ago.   Report available here.

Ali and Marcel make it a Phoenix 1-2 at Bishopscourt

Ali continued his excellent season with victory in the Emma Mc Mullan Cup after he and Marcel crossed the line together having agreed not to contest the sprint. Ali had made the early break and once with Marcel bridged across the duo where not going to be caught.   With David Neil edging out Big B, Phoenix had 4 of the top five places.

Cycling Ulster has a great report on the racing accompanied by lots of photographs.

Congratulations to both and to all the Phoenix CC riders on the podium on what was a red letter day for the club:

A1 Ali 1st
Marcel 2nd
David Neil 4th
Brian Stewart 5th

A3 Carl Morgan 5th

Ladies Julie Rea 2nd

Masters Dermot Hughes 3rd

A fantastic result for Dermot whose legendary sprint is still alive and kicking.

Noel Teggart Results

Sunday saw the Noel Teggart races hosted by Banbridge CC.  With a large Phoenix contingent signing on, the question was who would get the results. Pick of the bunch was Alex in the A1/A2 who  got in the 6 man move of the day and came home in 5th.  In the A4 Gerry Maguire got into the break away group and came away with 8th.

Full report here and lots of pictures


Ras Donegal 2013

Phoenix riders put in a fantastic preformance at Ras Dhun na nGall over the weekend.  Rolling out in the Green and Blue were: Jeff Torrens Spence, Aaron McGready, Alex Donald, Mike Millar, James Fettiplace and Ed Boyle.  Eamonn Burns and Eamonn Burns Jnr drove team car and made sure the riders needs were looked after.   Phoenix-man Marcel Kock was also in action, riding for Belgian project/David McCall Foundation.

Phoenix at Ras Donegal 2013

Phoenix at Ras Donegal 2013

All the numbers…

OK, the numbers don’t tell the whole story – the race reports below will give better reflection of what happened.

The opening stage was on Friday night and attacks came from very start with Marcel very aggressive.  A small group of 8 riders got away and maintained gap of up to 20 seconds on peleton to finish. The Phoenix men were safely home in bunch, keeping the power dry for the days ahead.

Second stage was time trial.  It may have been a ‘short’ on distance, but it was up the side of Glengesh. Ouch.  James and Mike placed in 10 ten, with Aaron and Alex a little further back inside top 20 riders.

Stage 3 was the break-that-stayed-away.  The good news was that Alex got away and took 3rd place.

It was all the 4’s for Mike Millar on final stage.  Stage 4 finished up ledgendary Glengesh climb and 4th over the line mean that Mike came away with 4th place in GC.  Mike now moves up to A1.

Alex finished 13th, James 18th, Aaron 19th, Jeff 62nd, Ed 99th.  As a result of all hard work by entire team, Phoenix came 2nd in team classification, a mere 19 seconds down on the Cycling Ulster youth squad.  Marcel looked after his team mates in Belgian Project squad very well, when he wasn’t attacking hard, he was dropping back to look after more junior riders.  Marcel came home in 46th on GC and an excellent 3rd in the mountains classification.

Well done guys – you represented the club with distinction.

All the details…

Full stage reports and pictures available on Cycling Ulster.
Stage 1 report
Stage 2 report
Stage 3 report
Stage 4 report

And finally…

Many thanks must go to Four Masters CC, all the race organizers and helpers, and people or Ardara who put on such a successful weekend and made all riders feel so welcome. Roll on 2014!

Jimmy Devlin 10 time trial 2013

On Tuesday 4th June Phoenix CC will host The Jimmy Devlin “10” time trial on the Woodgreen (A26) course. Sign-on will take place at the usual lay-bay on the Antrim bound side of the carriageway, before the Woodgreen junction. Sign-on will be open from 6.00pm – 6.45pm. The first rider will be off at 7.00pm.
Riders are reminded that a good working rear red light is mandatory for all Open Time Trial Events. Riders taking part must hold a restricted licence as a minimum or a full competition licence. No riders under 15 years of age. Entry fee will be £5. Phoenix CC members holding a club competition licence may also take part. The Jimmy Devlin Cup will be awarded to the fastest Phoenix club member.

This is also a Phoenix/ Maryland club race and those with club race licences can compete. The fee for entry to the club race is the usual £4. Points will be awarded for the club league with only Phoenix and Maryland taking points ie if the first Phoenix rider is in 3rd place, beaten by 2 non Phoenix/Maryland riders, they will get 1st place points etc etc. Over 20 Phoenix & Maryland riders competing will mean the points are 50, 45, 40, 39 etc. Less than 20 and it’s 40, 38, 36 etc.

Bobby Crilly Classic sponsored by Hewitt & Gilpin Solicitors

On Saturday 15th June 2013, Phoenix Cycling Club will be hosting The Bobby Crilly Classic sponsored by Hewitt & Gilpin Solicitors.

Pictured here are Naomi Gowan and Graeme Hamilton of Hewitt & Gilpin Solicitors presenting a sponsorship cheque to Geoff Hewitt (Race Secretary), Duncan Cameron (President) and Eamon Burns (Finance Committee) of Phoenix.  For Race details and entry instructions etc look below.


This course, famous for it’s spectacular finish at the top of Divis mountain will feature 3 separate races.
The generous sponsorship from Hewitt & Gilpin has ensured an equally spectacular £1000 prize fund.
There will be three races:

The A1 & A2 race will be three laps of the circuit then up the climb, approximately55 miles.

The A3 race will also be three laps of the circuit then up the climb, approximately 55 miles.

The A4 race will be two laps of the circuit then up the climb, approximately 39 miles.

There will be woman’s prizes in each race.

Each race has a 70 rider limit.

The key details are:
Pre entry via Entrycentral will be open from 8pm on Monday 27th May and will close at midnight on Wednesday 12th June.

Entry fee £12 senior riders £6 juniors.

Sign on in the Lamh Dhearg centre on the Hannastown Rd, Belfast.
Paste 54.5877,-6.036258 into google maps for a location.

Sign-on opens at 9:30. The neutralized roll out to Nutts Corner will begin at 10:35, with the racing starting at Nutts Corner at 11 o’clock.

Maps of the roll out and race route are as follows:
First map shows the neutralized section from Lamb Dhearg to Nutts Corner:

The second shows a map of the circuit
The final map shows the climb from Nutts Corner to the top of Divis mountain

For any queries please do not hesitate to contact Geoff Hewitt.
mobile: 07710 784389

Loughgiel – the good the bad and the savage

What a weekend Phoenix had up at Loughgiel over 17th-18th May.  The good – success for both A3 and A4 riders, the bad – nasty crash during finish of Friday night stage, and the savage – horrendous weather conditions for Saturday races.  First up, a report on A4 2 day race (thanks to Geoff Garrett) followed by report on Aaron McGrady’s win in the A3.

A4 2 day race report

Of eight Phoenix entries only one would finish the full three stage race. We had good weather we had appalling weather. There were mechanicals, crashes, blood sweat and no doubt a few tears along the way.

Geoff G leading the line on stage 1

Geoff G leading the line on stage 1

Seven riders turned up in beautiful evening sunshine for the road race, first stage on Friday, Myself, GeoffH, Niall, GerryM, SteveG, DavidM and Olan. Mechanical problems on the start line, Niall with a puncture I think it was but managed to get sorted with a wheel. GeoffH with the more serious issue of dead battery on his electronic gears meant that he was stuck in 53 x 13. Despite the offer of using my winter bike for the race complete with rack and full mudguards he opted to ride the flat course on the fixed gear. I think it would be fair to say his was the ride of the night as he sprinted into 5th place with Niall just getting in ahead of him for 4th. Great rides from both of them. The race itself was a fairly typical A4 with all efforts concentrated on staying upright. A few attacks but nothing was likely to stick and we headed inevitably toward the usual manic gallop for the line. Unfortunately about 200m out a number of riders hit the deck including Steve, Gerry and Olan. I was behind and just about managed to get stopped but the carnage was spread across the full width of the road. A group of 20 or so made the dash for the line as the rest of us picked our way through the bodies. An ambulance appeared and our guys were treated for cuts and bruises. Thankfully no serious damage done to bodies but clothing and bikes not so lucky. Myself, Steve, Olan, and David were staying locally so we headed off for post race nutrition at the local chipper in Armoy for a nice greasy fish supper to restore the glycogen levels for Saturday’s time trial and road race.

Niall and Geoff Hewitt coming home 4th and 5th

Niall and Geoff Hewitt coming home 4th and 5th

Weather on Saturday morning was grey, wet and miserable. The Phoenix contingent was down to five. Steve and Olan feeling a bit stiff after the crash and Steve’s cuts needing redressed after bleeding all over the bed linen. The resident four headed off gamely in the rain and met up with Niall for the short 3 mile trial. Niall put in an excellent effort to get fifth place putting him in the same position in GC and only 12sec behind the race leader.

5 – Niall O Gorman Phoenix CC 00:07:56
25 – Steven Geary Phoenix CC 00:08:43
26 – David Maitland Phoenix CC 00:08:47
29 – Geoff Garrett Phoenix CC 00:08:52
30 – Olan Byrne Phoenix CC 00:08:53

Back to the house for a bit of food and respite before the road race. Weather conditions were getting worse and on the start line, it was absolutely pelting it down. The format was two and a half relatively flat laps around Loughguile before a steep one mile climb up Reservoir Road and then on to a lap of Orra. Tour of the Glens riders will be familiar with the Altnahinch and Glasmullan Road climbs which had to be negotiated before a long winding descent and lumpy road back to Loughguile. Olan must have taken tactical advice from PNP as he attacked from the gun – probably to get warmed up in fairness but he got a few hundred metres up the road. The bunch was thankfully taking it fairly handy on the circuit but there was much suffering due to the cold wet conditions. Guys were bailing at various points and Niall looked as if he had hypothermia.

Horrendous conditions for stage 3

Stevie Geary battling horrendous conditions during stage 3

As we turned on to the climb, the group was down to about 25 and only myself and David in the Phoenix colours. Group took off up the climb like scalded cats, bodies everywhere and I was hanging on for dear life in my determination to finish the race. I got dropped annoyingly close to the top, David was ahead of me and looked like he was hanging in ok but I can only tell my own story from this point onward. As I got on to the next climb there were two or three other riders close by but I was feeling isolated and pretty dreadful. Then what did I see alongside me? Could this be a hypothermia induced mirage? No, it was Eamonn Jr in the Phoenix team car. It is a support vehicle and with the commissaire in front by now, I feel no shame in saying that the Phoenix car was of great “support” at various points in the climb and also offered some welcome shelter from the wind and rain as I drafted in its slipstream. The road around Orra was horrendous and rain was flowing onto the road like rivers at various points, I was riding through deep water half expecting to hit potholes and giving all my concentration just to stay on the bike. I was actually glad not to be descending with the bunch. I now knew that the hardest parts were behind me and I was going to finish the race. That was until I felt that familiar grinding under the back wheel. Puncture – **ck. Tubular Tyre – double **ck. No spare wheels – treble **ck. I climbed dejected and shivering into the team car and Saint Eamonn drove me to the finish. God knows what I would have done without him and the team car as there was no broom wagon! Back at the finish, I saw some sorry sights, including a shivering David – Well done sir! – the only A4 Phoenix finisher. I also saw a shivering Smoff after finishing the A3 race and reportedly Jay had to be deposited somewhere to defrost.

Got quickly changed stuffed a few sarnies and coffee down and drove home to the best bath ever. A bit disappointing not to have finished the race, but has given me a new goal of completing a stage race. Looking towards the Omagh three day and would give the Loughguile a lash again next year if it’s on.

Well done to all who rode this weekend. Worst conditions I have ever raced in. Thanks to Duffin for putting on the event and particular credit due to the Marshalls who probably suffered as much as the riders!

(Race Report – Geoff Garret, Photos courtesy of Marian Lamb and Bronagh Kirk)

Aaron wins the A3

Aaron Mcgrady continued his fine run of form by winning the A3 race.  Aaron was joined by Jay Gault, Ed Boyle and Stephen Moffat tackling the same circuit as A4’s with additional loop of flatter circuit.  Jay made some attacks on the circuit, but got reeled in. As expected the race came alive on reservoir road.  Aaron got a way in group of three and this lead group battled attrocious conditions to keep their advantage. Tactics came to the fore, but Aaron came good in the end.   For the remaining riders coming off the mountain there where more dangers – axle-deep flood waters with submerged rocks for good measure.

Congratulations to Aaron on his win,  and to Jay, Ed, Stephen for getting round safely.

Tommy Givan 2013 report

2 seasons in one day.  Winter and a rubbish version of spring.   Thats what conditions where like on Sat 12th May at the Tommy Givan races promoted by Maryland Wheelers.   Now the Hillsborough course is tough in the best of conditions, but add some torrential rain and hail into the mix and it was a day for 2-wheel suffering.

In the A race, many of the usual Phoenix suspects rolled out.  New A2 and fresh from success in Cork,  Mike Millar got into early break alongside Brian Stewart.  Brian took 5th, Mike 6th.  The ever-agressive Marcel took bunch sprint to place in 7th.  Well done guys.

Brian (5th), Mike (6th) and Stephen Harkens (4th) - Photo courtesy of Marian Lamb

Brian (5th), Mike (6th) and Stephen Harkens (4th) – Photo courtesy of Marian Lamb

Full race report here


May bank holiday round-up

The month of May is here. Warmth and sunshine awaits.  It was a busy weekend for Phoenix racers and non-racers alike.

Stu takes first round of Spires TT Trilogy

The weekend started on Thurs 2nd May.  Challenging conditions for all the testers who lined up at Toome course – cross/head winds and damp.  Stu Bennent took first place for  Phoenix.  Strong rides from Jim H. and Ed  Boyle.  Well done Stu.

Success at the Hugo Loughran

The following evening, 3rd May saw the Hugo Loughran GP run by Island Wheelers.  Geoff Hewitt took second in A4 race, narrowly missing out on victory in gallop to the line.  In the A3, John Smyth placed fourth with Joe Henry coming in 6th.

Mike the pick of the stage racers

The Tour of Ulster was run over weekend with Ali, Fergus and Marcel representing Phoenix.  A hard race with many strong teams using it as preparation for the RAS.  The team were active throughout, getting into breakaways and representing club with distinction.  Well done guys.

While attention up north was on Tour of Ulster,  the Kanturk 3-day for A2/A3 riders was on in Co. Cork.  Phoenix-man Mike Millar was rewarded for making the trip with 2nd place on stage 1 and 10th in GC.  Drew Millar provided following race summary:

Stage 1: Mike got into a break at 30k which stayed away to the finish at 90k. He broke away with 1k to go but was caught on the line and got 2nd. Stage 2: 8k TT. Mike was 18th, leaving him 12th on GC.  Stage 3: 70k. Mike in 16 man break which stayed away for 60k to the finish. maximum advantage was 45 seconds but brought down to 10 seconds on the line.  Stage 4: Mike rode well although was heavily marked after Sunday result. He finished in the bunch on the uphill finish and we thought that he had retained 6th in GC. Unfortunately it was decided that there had been a 1 second split in the bunch which left Mike at 21 seconds. This dropped him to 10th on GC.

Fantastic Mike.  Well done and congratulation on getting points for upgrade to A2.

Tour of the glens 2013

Phoenix had large representation at Tour of the glens.  This year the weather was kind, the grub was good, and the 200km as tough as ever.  Thanks to Castlereagh CC for a really well run and professional event.



Success at Beggs/McGreevy and Mid-Ulster GP

The final weekend in April saw more success for Phoenix. Some riders said it even felt like spring, well for a short while.

First up on Sat 27th April where the Beggs/McGreevy races hosted by Banbridge CC. This year due to roadworksthe organizers where challenged to find an alternative circuit. Any riders expecting or hoping for an easier ride where to be disappointed.  Reports from the road say that it was possibly tougher, with more hills, less selective than the old course resulting in larger groups and more attacking.

As usual there was strong Phoenix presence in A1/A2, A3 and A4 races. In the A1/A2 race, Ali, Brian, Desi and Fergus where very active in many of the early breaks but unfortunately missed the winning moves.

In the A3 race, Phoenix had big squad of guys riding. Jay was in the some of the early moves but got reeled back.
Building on the form of recent weeks, Alex got away in final lap only to be caught by small group of chasers. He had enough in tank to take a fine 2nd place, a result which sees Alex upgraded to A2. Well done Alex, good reward for a hard winters training.
After a few other riders Aaron McGrady took bunch sprint and 6th place. Another man on form, it surely wont’ be long until Aaron gets upgraded also. Mike Millar took 9th – good job Mike.  A tough day on bike , well done to all riders.

Johnny wonders how hard new course could be (photo courtesy of Marian Lamb)

Johnny wonders how hard new course could be (photo courtesy of Marian Lamb)


On Sunday 28th, Harps CC hosted the mid-ulster GP. Wet, cold and windy conditions greeted riders.
Building on their success at North Down a few weeks back, Jude Moffat and Michael Tolan won the ladies and masters races respectively.
Jude took a convincing win the ladies race, getting into break and working hard at front throughout. Likewise Michael was instrumental in the break, doing large share of work at front and still having strength to take the win. Well done to both.

Jude wins at Mid Ulster

Jude wins at Mid Ulster (photo courtey of Marion Lamb)

Michael really wanted this win (photo courtesy of Marian Lamb)

Michael really wanted this win (photo courtesy of Marian Lamb)

This weekend sees the Tour of Ulster with Ali, Marcel and Fergus in action. Good luck lads.


Amy’s winning start / Bann valley classic

Amy takes first win with new club

Amy Brice won the womans race at Drogheda on Sun 21st April, taking the sprint in fine style from a large field.  Amy, now riding for D.I.D Ladies Racing Team took the win by a few lengths. Amy started her cycling career with Phoenix and will always have her roots deep with the club. We wish her well and every success racing both at home and abroad in what will be an exciting new adventure with the new team.
Race report on StickyBottle here

Aaron and Marcel score at Bann valley

Living up to his growing reputation as an agressive rider, Marcel Kock put the hammer down right from the start of the A3 race at Bann valley classic on Sun 21st .  He was joined in an 8 man breakaway by Phoenix new rider Aaron McGrady. Despite really big effort from chasing groups, the breakaway stayed away.  In the final sprint Aaron took 3rd place and Marcel got a reward for his efforts as he took 6th place. Well done guys.

Aaron and Marcel at Bann Valley

Aaron and Marcel in A3 break at Bann Valley

Race report on Cycling Ulster here