Ulster Cycling News

Great early season racing at Xmtb’s Spring Series

The Xmtb McConvey Cycles Spring Series is a well-established set of three off-road cycling races which take place just before the start of the main off-road race season. The three races were held at Ormeau Park in Belfast and the club wish to thank Belfast City Council for their continued support. The races have always been aimed at the youth riders with a senior race tagged on at the end to keep the parents and early season racers happy.

The senior race has grown into two races (Senior A – for those who have raced before and have a bit of form already and Senior B for the newcomers and those who have not gotten enough miles in their legs over the winter) . There were races for Under 6s, 8s, 10s, 12s, 14s, 16s with junior riders included in among the two senior races.

Round 1 took place on Sunday 15 February 2015 which was a beautiful spring day with sunlight streaming through the leafless trees. This round attracted the biggest attendance with 99 youth and 56 seniors taking part. The course was in a great condition with only light showers on the Friday before to keep the track from being bone dry.

The Under 6s had their own separate course and their race was first off. Josh Park (Killinchy CC) won the first round. The Under 8s race was over two laps with Harry Hobbs (VC Glendale) winning the boys race and Aliyah Rafferty (Island Wheelers) winning the girls race. The Under 10s had a longer course and 3 laps to complete. The boys race was won by Oisin Ferrity (Island Wheelers) with Aine Doherty (VC Glendale) taking the win in the girls race. Dean Harvey from the host club won the boys Under 12s with Katie Neill (Carn Wheelers) taking the win in the girls race. Drew Armstrong, also from the host club, took the win in the Under 14s race which started behind the Senior B men’s race. Darcey Harkness (Carn Wheelers) won the U14 girls race. Thomas Creighton from the host club won the Under 16s race with Niamh Skelly (Carn Wheelers) the only U16 girl taking part. In the 5 lap Senior B race newcomer to the sport David Broome (Dromara CC) took the win comfortably and vowed to move up to the Senior A race for Round 2. The juniors raced alongside the Senior A men with James Curry (Banbridge CC) finishing well clear of the other juniors and third overall in the 7 lap race. Lisa Millar (Dromara CC) won the women’s race with Gareth McKee (Banbridge CC) winning the Senior A race.

Round 1 results here

Bronagh Kirk - here
Paul Anderson (Facebook) - here
Steven Lindsay (Google) - here

Round 2 took place on Sunday 22 February and was not as pleasant as Round 1 as it had felt like winter had returned with a vengeance. It was cold with steady rain all day. Attendance figures were down but still 82 youth turned up to race in their various categories. The course design wasn’t changed much but the wet weather made the conditions much harder. The Senior A race was the same 7 laps but took almost 15 minutes more to complete. First race of the day was again for the Under 6s with Josh Park (Killinchy) taking the win again. Harry Hobbs (VC Glendale) and Aliyah Rafferty (Island Wheelers) repeated their wins in the Under 8s race. In the Under 10s race Lewis Kennedy from the host club won the boys U10 race with Aine Doherty (VC Glendale) finishing well clear again in the girls race. Dean Harvey from the host club and Katie Neill (Carn Wheelers) repeated their wins in the Under 12s race. Lee Harvey from the host club took the win in the Under 14s race with Darcey Harkness (Carn Wheelers) the only girl taking part. Thomas Creighton made it two wins out of two with Niamh Skelly still left on her own in the Under 16s category. In the Senior B race Damien McGrane (Team Madigan) showed off the form he has had in the cyclo-cross season by taking the win, on his cyclo-cross bike. In the junior race Sean Bradley (Carn Wheelers) finished ahead of James Curry with Shannon Buller (Banbridge CC) the only female junior taking part. In the women’s race Claire Oakley from the host club had returned from warm weather training abroad to wet and miserable racing at home to take the win. Matthew Adair from the host club won the Senior A race.

Round 2 results here

Bronagh Kirk - here

March 1st was the date for Round 3 of the series which turned out dry on race day but there had been heavy rain and wind the night before which would have put off some riders. The course had been changed to avoid some of the very muddy grass sections which were still cut up from last week. The same number of youth riders turned up (82) with 52 in the senior races. The Under 6s race got underway first with Josh Parker (Killinchy) making it three wins out of three. Curtis McKee (Maryland Wheelers) took the win in the Under 8s race with Aliyah Rafferty (Island Wheelers) making it three wins out of three. Lewis Kennedy and Aine Doherty repeated their wins in the Under 10s race. Dean Harvey made it three wins out of three in the Under 12s race with Sara Doyle (Carn Wheelers) first girl across the line. Lee Harvey and Darcey Harkness won in the Under 14s race. In the Under 16s race Craig McCarthy from the host club finished first with Niamh Skelly still the only girl in this age group. Michael Nelson (Apollo CT) finally made the top spot in the Senior B race crossing the line to a loud cheer from his fellow Apollo members. James Curry was back to winning ways in the Junior race with Shannon Buller the only junior female. Claire Oakley repeated her win from Round 2 in the women’s race with Gareth McKee taking the win in the Senior A race ahead of Matthew Adair who came home second.

After the races the riders were able to head into the Ozone Centre where the host club had laid on a great spread of food. There was a prize giving for the series as well as some raffle prizes. The big prize was a brand new mountain bike sponsored by McConvey Cycles and it was Robbie Smyth (Apollo CT) who had the winning ticket.

Round 3 results here

Bronagh Kirk - here
Paul Anderson (Facebook) - here
Toby Watson (Facebook) - here
Michael Armstrong (Facebook) - here

Overall series leaderboard

Many thanks to the hard working volunteers from Xmtb McConvey Cycles for putting on this great series of off-road races.

Report by Martin Grimley

Comments (0) Trackbacks (0)

No comments yet.

Leave a comment

Trackbacks are disabled.