Ulster Cycling News

Newcastle Track Trip

Last weekend an Ireland Track Development squad travelled to the Mid-Summer Meeting at Newcastle under Lyme in England. This was the second in the National Track Commission programme for 2009, which again saw Ulster Track Coach Brian Cardy in charge, with Jonny Beers (East Antrim-Audi), David Neill (Team Madigan) and Aaron Baines (East Antrim-Audi) on the 5-man squad along with National Sprint Champion Michael Mulcahy and John Duggan.

The first event on the programme was flying 200m qualification for pre-seeded ‘A’ Sprinters. Michael Mulcahy, the National Sprint Champion not only qualified in 11th position, but in doing so set a New Outdoor National Flying 200m Record of 11.93 secs. This was an exceptional performance from Michael and followed on from his excellent performances in the Edinburgh Grand Prix the previous week.

The rest of the Team competed in ‘B’ Sprints, which consisted of 4-up Heats and Repechages, ‘Devils’ , ‘Scratch Races, ‘Course de Primes’, and ‘Win & Out’ Events.

Jonny Beers, although being beaten in his 1st Round Sprint, re-entered the main competition via a late burst of speed which saw him win his repechage to unfortunately be drawn against quality opposition in Round 2 and again have to race in the Round 2 repechage, being finally put out of the competition by half a wheel.

Mulcahy in his 1st Round Sprint was drawn against the strongest of opposition (Jody Cundy – Paralympic Gold Medallist from Beijing and Steven Hill the current British Sprint Champion) and despite a valiant effort, was beaten into third by a bike's length.

The rest of the team performed to a very high level and were not ‘out of place’ in what was a very strong field of experienced track riders. Tactically, the most improvement came in the ‘Devil’, as having experienced a top-level Devil at Edinburgh the previous week, our team showed that they had taken on board the lessons and in a field of 30 plus positioned themselves well on every lap to avoid early elimination, with Aaron Baines recording a top 6 finish.

This was the second UK Track Meeting these riders had competed in within a week, and their improvement in performance, application and confidence reflects what our riders can achieve, given the opportunity.
This was the last outing for this U23 & Junior Team under the direction of the Track Commission, and over the two meetings they have attended, they have improved our Outdoor Senior and Junior National Flying 200m Records, and gained invaluable experience and confidence in their abilities.

Anthony Mitchell Cycling Ulster Track Commission.

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