Ulster Cycling News
28Aug/151

Ulster Youth Road Race and Time Trial Championships

The 2015 Ulster Youth Road Race and Time Trial Championships were hosted by Omagh Wheelers at the weekend. A last minute change in venue due to roadworks did not prevent the club laying on a superb day of racing for the riders as they experienced the spectacular scenery and rolling rural roads of Baronscourt, just outside the village of Newtownstewart.

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First off was the time trial event, conveniently starting within metres of the new venue, the Hunting Lodge Hotel. Over 70 young hopefuls pushed themselves to the limit over the short but challenging 3.2 mile hilly loop. Darren Rafferty of Island Wheelers set the early pace in the U12 category with an exceptional time of 9 minutes 38 seconds. Shay Donley of Ballymoney CC led the U14 effort on a time of 9.04, just one second ahead of team mate Kevin McCambridge. The best time of the day was set by U16 rider Xeno Young on 8.21 followed by local Omagh Wheelers rider Adam Ward, just 6 seconds adrift.

The racing began in the early afternoon. This would take the riders on a tough 5 mile loop, with the finish line on a steep climb just outside the hotel entrance.

The U12 race set off first, taking in 2 laps of the circuit. The challenging course took its toll on many of the youngsters and gaps would soon appear throughout the field. On the line it was Odhran Doogan of Errigal who took the victory over time trial victor Darren Rafferty with Adam McGeever of AAA Cycling clinching the bronze medal. Errigal’s Cora Harkin took first girl and an impressive 8th overall. The U14 race took place over 3 laps of the circuit and again the field was well spread out. In this event time trial victor Shay Donley took the win over Ciaran Cahoon of Clann Eireann with Cahir Doyle in third. Errigal’s Shauna McFadden was first girl and 11th overall.
Finally, the U16 event took to the road, this time the young hopefuls taking on 6 laps of the circuit. This was a hotly contested battle with local rider Adam Ward and Powerhouse Sport’s Xeno Young opening a substantial gap in the second lap before being reeled in again on the third. Next away was Dromara’s Matthew Gibson who also opened a significant gap of over 50 seconds at one point. However, he was also eventually reeled back in before Adam Ward and Errigal’s Conor Halvey made the decisive break on the fifth lap. These two riders were to sprint it out on the final climb to the finish line where Halvey took the victory while Ward had his effort thwarted by a mechanical problem just yards from the line. Harvey Barnes of East Tyrone led out the ensuing sprint to take third place.

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This was a superb event laid on by Omagh Wheelers on safe and almost traffic free roads. Thanks are due to all involved, especially Race Director Enda Harpur for all his efforts. Enda has spearheaded the youth development section of Omagh Wheelers now for several years and has seen many of these youngsters develop into fine cyclists over this period.

Report by Siobhan McGrath
Photos by Ger Whelan and Siobhan McGrath

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Posted by Martin Grimley (martin@ulsterxc.com)

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