Well its been a little over a week since the National Cyclocross championships hosted by Phoenix at Lady Dixon’s park, Belfast. Enough time to reflect on a remarkably successful event for the club, coming off the back of an Ulster CX series which broke participation records.
The championship races saw great racing and some really worth winners. In the Elite Men’s race, Roger Aiken (Banbridge CC) dominated from the off retained his national title holding off the challenge of 17-times holder Robin Seymour (WORC), and a group of up and coming riders led by Glenn Kinning (East Antim CC). In the Elite Women’s race, Fran Meehan retained her title from Mel Spath and Maeve O’Grady.
But all Phoenix eyes where on our two stars, John Bogues aiming to recapture his Veterans title, and Rory Maguire going for Junior title in his first season of cross racing. Neither disappointed.
The start of the Veterans race saw a crash and then a fall by last years winner Peter McConville (Newry Wheelers). The racing was hard with lead changing hands many times right up until last lap when a coming together between Jason Henry (unattached Ulster) and Aiden McDonald (Cuchulainn CC) led to an opportunity for John Bogues to break clear to claim his second veterans title.
The junior riders started behind the veterans, but that was no deterrent as the top three flew past every one of the veteran men to finish a full minute ahead. Rory Maguire won from James Curry (Banbridge) and Darnell Moure (Caldwell Cycles). Rory’s emphatic win was all the more impressive as he had been victim of mechanical trouble in morning before the race which resulted in a last minute bike change.
Phoenix CC would like to thank all those who made this possible. In particular, Belfast City Council and park manager Stephen Quinn for use of excellent facilities at Lady Dixon’s Park, principa sponsor McConvey cycles, plus club sponsor Lease Options. In addition all the club members who helped with preparation and on the day, plus all the individuals from the local cycling community who lended their support.
Full report and pictures available here