Ulster Cycling News

Great Fields for All Championships – Start Lists Added

Omagh will be a busy place this weekend as hordes of cyclists and cycling enthusiasts descend on the town for the Blue Ribband event of Irish Cycling, namely the National Championships.

The first event takes place on Thursday night with the Time Trial Championships for Women, Elite Men, Tandem and Paracyclists. Ulster has representation in almost all categories. Gary McKeegan and Stuart Scott of Team Madigan will be riding Tandem while Samuel Cunningham (Ballymoney CC) in  H1-H5 class and Chris Burns (Banbridge CC) and Phoenix duo Andrew Nicholson and Daniel Daly compete in the C1-C5 class.

In the women's time trial event Cycling Ulster women make up nearly half of the field with seven of them taking part. Eileen Burns of Ballymena CRC is sure to be up among the leaders in this event although she will be facing tough opposition from riders such as Eve Mc Crystal )Garda Cycling Club) and Francine Meehan (Team Aquablue)

In the Senior men Cycling Ulster riders again have lined up in big numbers. Riders such as Mark Downey of Banbridge CC, Mervyn Linton (Ballymoney CC), Sean McIntyre (Caldwell Cycles) and Marcus Christie (Bissell ABG Giant) will all be out to make their mark against such riders as Damien Shaw (Team Aqua Blue) and Eddie Dunbar (NFTO). The full start list for this event can be downloaded at the end of the article.

On Saturday the inaugural Master's Championships takes place with the UCI Women's Race also down for decision. In the morning the M50 and M60 riders will take to the roads around Omagh. There are over sixty riders signed up for the M50 events and Ulster riders such as Jonny Bogues (Phoenix CC),  Noel Boyce (North Down) and Chris McCann of Dig Deep Coaching will face tough opposition from the likes of John Brady (Smartlamp-Aviation Display).

In the M60 Class the good field of Ulster riders will come up against the oldest man in the race, Sean Lally who is also a legend in Irish Cycling. Michael Carroll (Ballymena CRC), Dominic Drumm (Un-Attached Ulster) and Sean Hargan (Phoenix CC) will be hard pressed to beat this man.

In the afternoon it is the turn of the M40's and Women. There is a huge field of 126 riders for the M40 event and no-one is going to find this an easy race. Top Ulster men must be Davy McKnight (TVR), Fergus Rooney (Phoenix CC), Paul Mulligan (Caldwell Cycles), Des Woods (Newry Wheelers) and Niall O'Hagan (Ballymoney CC)

There are almost sixty women signed up for the Women's championships testament to the growth of women's cycling in this country. Phoenix CC alone are fielding seven women and Judith Russell, Amy Brice and Claire McIlwaine will be among the top competitors. Joanne Ragan of Termoneeny has also been doing well this year as has Jane Millar (Bann Wheelers CC). However riders such as Francine Meehan (Team Aquablue), Caroline Ryan (Garda Cycling Club) and Orla Hendron (Orwell Wheelers CC) will be strong contenders to take the title.

On Sunday, all eyes will focus on the top U23 and Elite men the country has to offer. It is unfortunate that Nicolas Roches is not among the competitors but with Philip Deignan, riding for Team Sky, Matt Brammeier (MTN-Qhubeka / Samsung) Conor McConvey (Team 3N), Marcus Christie (Bissell ABG Giant) and Martyn Irvine (Madison Genesis) this is going to be an exciting and tough race. Add to that the Top U23's in the country such as Ryan Mullen and Jack Wilson (An Post Chain Reaction) and Eddie Dunbar (NFTO) this will be no 'walk in the park'.

Cycling Ulster woud like to wish all the competitors the best of luck in their various championships.

Marian Lamb

Full Start Lists can be downloaded below.

Time Trial
M60 Race
M50 Race
M40 Race
Women's Race
Elite Men and U23's Race


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