Ulster Cyclo-Cross


Ulster XC Series


All Ireland CX 2017


Date: Sunday 6 November 2011
Event: Ulster Cyclo-cross Round 4
Location: Moira Demesne 
Host club: Dromara Cycling Club

Dromara Cycling Club hosted the 4th round of the Ulster Cyclo-cross series at the new venue of Moira Demesne, in the heart of the town of Moira, on Sunday 6 November 2011.  Club members were on site from 7 am setting out the 1.5 mile course around the park in time for the first races of the day.  The morning started off cold and frosty but the bright sunshine soon warmed up the park and the riders and provided a fine day for cycling.  The club is very grateful for the support of Lisburn City Council for providing access to the park which is hoped will be used again in the future.  The fine day was likely to be a factor in the great turn out of almost 170 riders across all age groups.

Racing got underway at 10:40 with the Under 8s with 22 young riders lined up for 2 laps of the mini course which was kept solely within the first expanse of grass.  With the course switch backs the parents and other spectators could view the whole race and provide lots of encouragement.  Shea O'Kane (Phoenix CC) and Fraser Harrower (Dromara CC) were neck and neck on the first lap before Fraser managed to pull clear from Shea going into the second lap to take the win.  Dean Harvey (Xmtb McConvey Cycles) finished 3rd, with Jonny Campbell (Dromara CC) 4th and Adam McCaughtry (Dromara CC) 5th.  Sixth overall and first girl was Ellie McNicholl (Spires CC) with Charley Dunlop (Banbridge CC) second and Hannah Todd third.  

Next up were the Under 10s who were very keen to get to the start line.  The 14 riders had 3 laps of the same circuit to complete and from the whistle Drew Armstrong (Xmtb McConvey Cycles) set the pace leaving the rest of the field in his wake.  Ben Wilson (Dromara CC) and Cathir Doyle (Carn Wheelers) had a close battle with Ben getting the best of Cathir to take silver and bronze respectively.  Daniel Donnelly (Newry Wheelers) was 4th finishing ahead of Lee Harvey (Xmtb McConvey Cycles) and Donal O'Kane (Carn Wheelers).  Seventh overall was Kelly Wilson (Dromara CC), with Kerry Beattie (Dromara CC) second girl and Anna Mae Samuel (Phoenix CC) third girl.

The Under 12s had an extended course which took the riders up to the path which cut the park in half.  Here they crossed the grass and joined the main course on the return back to the main start/finish area.  The 15 riders had 3 laps to complete.  Craig McCarthy (Xmtb McConvey Cycles) set the pace for the first two laps before running out of steam which allowed Max Anderson (Orchard Wheelers) to get to the front and win the race.  Dominic Bradley (Carn Wheelers) was second with Craig finishing third.  Max Melville (Dromara CC) was 4th  getting the best of Stuart Dunlop (Banbridge CC) after a close battle.  Jody Thallon (North Down CC) was 6th with Ben Hanna (Dromara CC) 7th.  First girl was Rebekah Ogilby (Xmtb McConvey Cycles) who got her first win of the series ahead of Kathryn Doyle (Carn Wheelers) with Emma Elder (Carn Wheelers) 3rd and newcomer Molly McLarnon 4th.

The first of the prize givings then took place for the winners of the early races after which the next set of riders gathered at the start line.  First up were the Under 16s who had to complete 4 laps of the main course.  Behind them were the 50 mountain bikers, 44 men and 6 women and they had 5 laps to complete.  Behind the mountain bike support race were the Under 14s who had to do 3 laps of the main course.

Craig Crawford (TSC) lead the 8 riders in the Under 16s race and pulled out a comfortable lead over Aaron Donnelly (Newry Wheelers) who in turn finished well ahead of Stuart Laverty (Ballymoney CC).  

The mountain bike support race was a close battle with a large group of riders still in one bunch after the first lap.  It took until the 3rd lap for the riders to get well stretched out and by lap 4 Mark Farrell had pulled into the lead ahead of Connor Young (Ballymena Road Club).  Kevin Lynch (Newry Wheelers) made the switch from cyclo-cross to the mountain bike race for this round and finished strongly in third position ahead of Brian Wilson (Dromara CC) who was chasing hard to get into a podium position.  Patrick Kelly (Carn Wheelers), the current leader of the MTB support series finished 5th ahead of Conor Grimes (Clann Eireann) with fellow club rider John Heverin 7th and Ryan Walsh (Carn Wheelers) 8th.

In the women's mountain bike race it was newcomer Trudy Brown, more used to triathlons, who took the win ahead of Claire Oakley (WXC MTB Team) with series leader Andrew Harrower (Dromara CC) finishing third.  Kathryn Bell (Northern CC) finished 4th with Diane Wilson (Dromara CC) 5th.

Aaron Swan (TSC/BCC) continued his dominance of the Under 14s race taking another fine win ahead of Cathal Clarke (Newry Wheelers) with Declan Mulholland (Clann Eireann) third and David Boyce (Apollo CT) fourth.  George Graham (Phoenix CC) was 5th, Chris Surgeoner (Ballymena Road Club) 6th and Greg Bell (Xmtb McConvey Cycles) 7th.

Racing took a break around 12:30 when another round of prize giving took place and everyone had the chance of a cuppa and a snack.  Racing began again just after 1 pm with the main event of the day, the cyclo-cross race.  A strong field of 50 riders lined up for 9 laps of the main course.  At the whistle the mass of riders took off at speed along the grass to complete a circuit which took in the full length of the park before crossing between the football pitches and then hugging the permeter of the grass area on their return to the start/finish area.  Along the side of the stone wall the riders were greeted with the plank obstacle which most riders would dismount and lift their bikes over before remounting at speed for the sprint along the switch backs.  The course ended with a final sharp right hand turn into the finishing straight which caught out a few riders as the mud on the corner was quite slippery.

As predicted the series leader Roger Aiken (Banbridge CC) took to the front early on the first lap and set about putting in some very fast laps, (around 6 minutes) and it was not long before he started catching up, and passing the back markers.  Roger had raced the day before down in Dublin where he had won the cyclo-cross race at Corkagh beating the national champion Robin Seymour.  Roger continued this run in form making his way up through the other riders every lap.   Ryan Sherlock (Sportactive CC) was lying in second place until the mud clogged up his bike and snapped the rear hanger.  Behind Ryan was junior rider Jack Wilson, currently with Belgium based team Crabbé Performance who put in a fine performance.  Behind Jack was a group of 3 riders, John Bogues (Phoenix CC), Jason Henry and Tim O'Regan (Dectek), who stuck together for the whole race until the final run in to the finish when Tim pulled away from John and Jason and then Jason got ahead of John to finish Tim (3rd), Jason (4th) and John (5th).  John was first veteran with Robbie Lamont (Xmtb McConvey Cycles) 6th overall, second veteran.  Nevin Smyth (East Tyrone CC) was 7th with Graham Boyd (Xmtb McConvey Cycles) 8th and Johnny McCabe (Cuchulainn CC) 9th and first Super vet.  There were just two female entries with Melanie Späth (Cycleways) finishing in the top 20 and Lisa Millar (Dromara CC) loving the course that she had helped to set up that morning.

After the racing the riders and spectators were able to enjoy the great spead of food laid on which included soup and hot dogs.  Many thanks to all the hard working members of Dromara Cycling Club who worked so hard to put on an excellent event.  The next round will be at Ormeau Park in Belfast on Sunday 20 November and will be hosted by Xmtb McConvey Cycles.  This will be the 5th round of the series but will also double up as the Ulster Cyclo-cross championships.

Commissaire: Aaron Wallace

Full results here
Report & photos: Martin Grimley
More photographs here
Race video: here

Report on Sticky Bottle here