Ulster Cycling News

Exciting Racing at Ulster Road Race Championships 2015

aFoyle CC had a busy day today when they promoted the Ulster Road Race Championships in Eglinton. With recent changes to the category system this was no easy task as Foyle ran no less than six races to facilitate Senior men, women, Juniors and the new veteran categories of M40 , M50, and M60.

Foyle had chosen a tough 27 mile course with a lot of climbing which would test riders in all the races. Winners in each category would be worthy champions.

First into the fray were the M40's who would complete two laps of the course. They were followed by the women who also had two laps to do. The women's field was unfortunately depleted as large number of Ulster women were taking part in Ras na mBan, the women only international stage race in Ennis.


The M60's and M60's took to the roads some ten minutes later. Favourites in these categories were Chris McCann (Dig Deep Coaching inspired Cycling) and Liam Curran of Curran Racing in the M50 category while it would be hard to go past Sean Hargan (Phoenix CC) and Mickey Carroll (Ballymena CRC) in the M60 category. These two groups completed one lap of the course. There were good fields in all categories with many riders having upgraded their licence in order to compete which once again shows how popular the Master's racing has become.

The long drags played a decisive role in all four events with riders getting tailed off or leaving bunches strung out.

In the sprint for the finish it was Chris McCann who justified the punters choice as he took the gallop to become Ulster M50 Champion. Silver position was filled by Foyle CC's Robert Curry and bronze went to Geoff Garrett of Phoenix. Foyle CC took the Team prize in this category.


In the M60 class Mickey Carroll of Ballymena took the title from Sean Hargan of Phoenix CC by the narrowest of margins with Mickey's clubmate, Ronnie Grant, taking third.

The women's championship was won by Judith Russell of Phoenix CC as she soloed home well clear of the rest of the field. Team-mate Karen Hull took silver while Aoibheann Bartley of Lakeland was third.


In the M40 race there were many attacks with praise going to Fergus Rooney of Phoenix CC for his aggressive style. Paul Mulligan was also on form and had established a small lead by the end of the first lap but the hard course made inroads on the gap and eventually he was reeled in.


Two men did get away. Therse were Niall O'Gorman of Phoenix CC and Emmet Vallely of Square Wheels. Despite agressive riding by the bunch these two stayed away with Vallely having the legs for the final kick to take the win.


The remaining places came down to a bunch sprint which was well taken by Jason Henry (U/A) who now adds a bronze medal to his haul this year. Yesterday Jason won the All Ireland Track TT Event in Sundrive to take the coveted National jersey. He also managed to win a silver national medal for the sprint event. Well done Jason.


In the afternoon it was the turn of Senior men and Juniors with the men completing an arduous three laps or 64 miles. With the the large amount of climbing there were a few tired legs at the end of the event.

The Juniors went off first and it was encourging to see a good field of Juniors taking part.


In the end the win went to  Andrew Chivers of North Down CC from Nathan Weir (Harps CC) and Stewart Thompson (Spires CC) in the bronze medal position.

The senior event saw the peleton fragment into several groups by the end of the first lap with riders such as Paul McCarter (Donegal Bay),  Ryan Reilly (Amicale Cycliste Bisontine) and Kevin McKinney (Armagh City Cyclists) getting into an early break.


Amongst the chasers were David  Hamilton (North Down CC) and Ronan McLaughlin (Foyle CC) amongst others.


David Watson (North Down CC) chased down a breakaway in the dying miles ending up in a sprint for the line from locals Craig McAuley (Caldwell Cycles) and the outgoing Junior Champion Ryan Reilly (AC Bisontine).

Darren Lynas (West Down Wheelers) also rode well and was unlucky not to medal, taking fourth, but gaining enough points to see him move up up A1 status.

In the A3 B Championship race the podium was filled by Kevin McKinney (Armagh City Cyclists), Stuart Laverty (Ballymoney CC) and Christopher McKeown (Dunloy CC) in third.


Foyle CC are to be congratulated in a great promotion of this championship. At the end of last month they also promoted the Ulster 25 mile TT championships so it has been a busy year for them. The club members turned out in good numbers to help support the event and ensure the safe running of all the races. There were lots of Marshall and car drivers as well as motorbike marshals.


After the event the hard working catering team had a wonderful spread on after both the morning and afternoon races. Many thanks to all the Commissaires, Martin Lees, Paul Devenney, Maurice McAllister, Andy Wills and Kevin Hughes who were professional as always. Thanks also to the crew of the St John's ambulance.


Siobhan McGrath, hardworking secretary of Omagh CC took on a different role today as she assisted that consumate professional, Ian Barfoot, with the results. Foyle CC would like to thank Cycling Ulster for entrusting the club with the event and all the sponsors who made this event possible.

Cycling Ulster would like to thank Foyle CC for all their hard work in promoting both the 25 TT Championships and the Ulster RR Chhampionships and to congratulate them on a job well done.

Ulster Road Race Championships Medallists 2015

Senior Men
Gold David Watson (North Down CC) + George Wilkes Trophy
Silver Craig McAuley (Caldwell Cycles)
Bronze Ryan Reilly (AC Bisontine)


Senior Women
Gold Judith Russell (Phoenix CC)
Silver Karen Hull (Phoenix CC)
Bronze Aoibheann Bartley (Lakeland CC)


bM40 Masters
Gold Emmet Vallelly (Square Wheels CC) + UCF Veteran's Trophy
Silver Niall O'Gorman (Phoenix CC)
Bronze Jason Henry (U/A)

Team Prize Phoenix CC (Niall O'Gorman,  John Smyth, David Wright)

M50 Masters
Gold Chris McCann (Dig Deep Inspired)
dSilver Robert Curry (Foyle CC)
Bronze Geoff Garrett (Phoenix CC)

Team Prize Foyle CC Foyle CC (Robert Curry, Jim Doyle, Sammy McFadden)

M60 Masters
Gold Mickey Carroll (Ballymena CRC)
Silver Sean Hargan (Phoenix CC)
Bronze Ronnie Grant (Ballymena CRC)

Junior RR Championships 2015c
Gold Andrew Chivers (North Down CC)
Silver Nathan Weir (Harps CC)
Bronze Stewart Thompson (Spires CC)

B Championship
Gold Kevin McKinney (Armagh City Cyclists)
Silver Stuart Laverty (Ballymoney CC)
Bronze Christopher McKeown (Dunloy CC)















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  1. Glorious day on a glorious circuit and a fitting end to the season. Evidently a lot of preparation by the hard-working Foyle CC. Thanks to all the marshals and catering crew. Very impressive organisation and attention to safety. Very much appreciated and enjoyed by all us riders. Can’t wait for the Gransha CX! Thanks.

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