Ulster Cycling News

Fast Racing at John Haldane Memorial

aNewry Wheelers catered for all Senior categories today when they promoted the John Haldane Memorial on the Newry to Warrentpoint Dual Carriageway. First into the fray were the A1's and A2's with the A2's getting a short handicap over scratch. This race went from the gun and even the strong headwind did little to slow down the determined riders. With six laps of the nine mile circuit to complete a number of riders were determined to be make their mark early on.

Gary Cranston of East Antrim Audi showed no sign of tiredness following his terrific ride yesterday in the Spires GP as he was one of the first riders to bridge the gap to the A2's. Joining him were , Matty Blayney (North Down) Des Woods (Newry Wheelers) and Fergus Rooney of Phoenix CC among others . A number of A2's such as Johnny Taylor of Carn Wheelers, Stephen Hutchinson of Cookstown CT and Tony Boyle of Slane Cycles stayed with the lead group.


The leaders were hard pressed by riders such Marc Buchanan and Rory Devlin (North Pole CC), Darren Lynas (West Down Wheelers) and Gareth McCullough of the promoting club.


In the end it was Cranston who seized his chance in the closing stages along with Woods and Taylor . They opened a small gap on the chasers but it was Cranston who powered on to victory. He was followed in by Des Woods(Newry Wheelers) and Johnny Taylor of Carn Wheelers. This was  good ride by Taylor and the points gained put him well on the way to A1 status. North Pole duo Rory Devlin and Marc Buchanan were next over the line followed by Alan Gray (Cuchulainn CC), Stephen Hutchinson of Cookstown CT and Gareth McCullough of Newry Wheelers.

3The was a big entry for the A3 race which also went off like a rocket before settling down to a more steady pace. With five laps of the course to complete there were attempts to break away and gain an advantage on the chasers.

However noone was allowed to get too far and in the end it came down to a bunch sprint. This was taken by Karlo Taylor of Ballymena CRC ahead of Foyle's Lawrence Watson.

Angus Fyffe of Omagh Wheelers pipped Ciaran McVeigh (Phoneix CC) to take third while James Wilson of Apollo CT and Donal Byrnes of Strabane Lifford completed the prize list. We are awaiting confirmation of 7th & 8th positions for points.


The A4 riders completed four laps of the course a distance of 57 kilometres. Small groups and individuals made attempts to break away but all in vain.


Again this event came down to a bunch sprint with Caldwell Cycles' David Donaghy taking the sprint from Gary Donaldson of Omagh Wheelers and Dermot Donaghy of Island Wheelers. Chris Coyle (Strabane Lifford), Sean Carey (North Down) and Peter Morrison of Northern Dave Kane completed the top six. There are points for the top eight in this race if we can find out who was in those positions.


The final race of the day saw the women and masters take to the roads. This was the biggest field so far this year for this category with an excellent turnout of women which included riders from the South.


Noel Boyce of North Down made a run for it early on with club mate Rachel Mitchell hot on his heels but the strong headwind meant it was no day for heroics and they soon rejoined the main pack.


A few riders were droppped as the pace hotted up but in the main the bunch worked well together and stayed together. In the closing stages of the final lap a crash occurred as the heavy rain came which made the roads very slippy. A number of riders were involved in the crash. Two were eventually taken to hospital for a check up. We wish them a speedy recovery.

The race continued on the and with the line in sight Boyce seized the opportunity and showed his sprinting capabilities taking the win a few seconds ahead of his club mate, another renowned sprinter, Ian Blaney. Third place went to Alan McCullough of Maryland. Tommy Lamb of Phoenix took fourth ahead of Ivan Bradford of Dromara CC. Tony Blayney of Ballymoney CC, Paul McGuckin of Banbridge and Jimmy Flynn of Cuchulainn, made up the top eight.


The race was also the second of the Bling Bike Kit Women's Road Race Series. Amy Brice of DID tok her second win in the series ahead of North Down's Rachel Mitchell. Val O'Neill of Phoenix CC, who has been out of competition for the past two years, proved she still knows how to race as she took third just ahead of clubmate Judith Russell. It looks as if one of the Cuchulainn women took fifth from Joanne Kerr of TVR. Emyvale had two women competing and one of these took seventh place ahead of Alwynne Shannon (Newry Wheelers), Julie Rea (Phoenix CC) and Sandra Devine of Four Masters.


As usual Newry Wheelers had left no stone unturned in promoting as safe a race as possible. There were plenty of marshalls, lead cars, paramedics and a doctor on call. After the event the usual terrific array of sandwiches and tray bakes were on offer for the freezing riders and their entourage. The day which had started dry ended in torrential rain and left everyone feeling very cold.


Many thanks to the Comms for the day Gary McIlroy and Brendan Kirk. Thanks also to the two PSNI Outriders who helped throughout the event.


Report and Pics Marian Lamb

It is interesting to look back ten years and see who was riding then some of whom also lined up today. Particular mention of Declan McKenna who last rode in 2004 and and made a comeback today.


The race in 2004 was held on the Hilltown course see John Haldane 7th March 2004 for the original report. It was also ridden by the late Davy McCall who loved tackling the hilly course.


end2John Haldane Memorial A Race Results

  1. Gary Cranston (East Antrim Audi)
  2. Des Woods (Newry Wheelers)
  3. Johnny Taylor (Carn Wheelers)
  4. Rory Devlin (Noth Pole)
  5. Marc Buchanan (North Pole
  6. Alan Gray (Cuchullain CC)
  7. Stephen Hutchinson (Cookstown CT)
  8. Gareth McCullough (Newry Wheelers)




In 2004 the Memorial Shield was won by Richard Allideff of Orchard Wheelers. In 2004 there was one race on offer of 125 riders taking part. Today there were four races with twice that number.

B Race Results - A3 's

  1. hill2Karlo Taylor (Ballymena CRC)
  2. Lawrence Watson (Foyle CC)
  3. Angus Fyffe (Omagh Wheelers)
  4. Ciaran McVeigh (Phoenix CC)
  5. James Wilson (Apollo CT)
  6. Donal Burns (Strabane Lifford)
  7. Kenny Wilson (East Antrim Audi)

A4 Results

  1. David Donaghy (Caldwell Cycles)
  2. Gary Donaldson (Omagh Wheelers)
  3. Dermot Donaghy (Island Wheelers)
  4. Chris Coyle (Strabane Lifford)
  5. Sean Carey (North Down)
  6. Ollie Donnelly (Harps CC)
  7. dundalkPeter Morrison (Northern Dave Kane)
  8. Emyvale


  1. Noel Boyce (North Down)
  2. Ian Blayney (North Down)
  3. Alan McCullough (Maryland Wheeelers)
  4. Tommy Lamb (Phoenix CC)
  5. Ivan Bradford (Dromara CC)
  6. Tony Blayney (Ballymoney CC)
  7. Paul McGuckin (Banbridge CC)
  8. Jimmy Flynn (Cuchulainn CC)

Bling Bike Women's RR Series Round 2 Results (Provisional)

  1. slaneAmy Brice (DID)
  2. Rachel Mitchell (North Down )
  3. Val O'Neill (Phoenix CC)
  4. Judith Russell (Phoenix CC)
  5. Joanne Kerr (TVR)
  6. Emyvale (Pink on helmet)
  7. Alwynne Shannon (Newry Wheelers),
  8. Julie Rea (Phoenix CC)
  9. Sandra Devine (Four Masters)
  10. Lorraine Jeffers (East Tyrone)

And of course we could not forget chief organiser Drew McKinley who was so busy today he had no chance of riding. However we thought this was a nice one taken two years ago. You haven't aged a bit Drew!!



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