Ulster Cycling News

Boyce and O’Neill Take Wins in Phoenix GP

Almost fifty riders lined up this morning for the first of the 2012 Time Square Jewellers Gold Cup Masters events. Word had got out and many teams had been out doing specific training over the winter just for this event.

Open to Vets over 50 with a club competition or A4 licence, interest in competing has grown but North Down were determined from the outset to make their mark. And dominate they did. While the other riders fully expected to see strongman John Hunter make the first break it was in fact Noel Boyce and Noel Munnis of North Down who jumped in the early stages to open up a clear gap on the main field.

Mickey Gallen of Omagh Wheelers who has come out of retirement to compete in these events proved he had lost none of his old class and rode hard at the front to try and pull the bunch closer to the break. However with a number of North Down members in the peloton, they were never going to help chase their club-mates while in the final lap Carl McLaughlin of North Pole helped to up the pace at the front.

Ann McFarland of East Tyrone, the only women master in the event, also showed her aggressive style by encouraging the pack to dig deeper. She finished safely in the bunch and the riders identified her as the most aggressive rider of the day. Ann undergoes major surgery on Tuesday and all her friends in cycling wish her the very best and will be thinking of her this week. Good luck Ann.

Banbridge riders Phil Beattie and Paul McGuckin were also in the mix along with Phoenix CC.s  Turlough Montague and Cormac McCann CC while sponsor of the event Dermot Hughes kept near the front hoping for a chance to take the sprint finish.

Unfortunately a minor spill in the closing mile left some of the contenders out of the race and it was Noel Boyce who took the win followed by Noel Munnis.  Robert Downes of Bann Wheelers showed his power by taking the sprint for third.

Finish Pic courtesy of Bronagh Kirk Ards CC

A delighted Boyce said after the race, “ I would like to dedicate the win to the memory of a club mate, Russell Moreland who lost his battle with cancer and sadly passed away earlier this month. Russell was an over 50’s Club member who would have greatly enjoyed today’s event.”

SportActive Road Race League

The women competing in the SportActive RR League were set off ten minutes after the master’s events and again there was a good field of riders. Freda Brown of Banbridge who has been out of competition  for many made her comeback today at this event.

Roe Valley showed their commitment to women’s cycling and had a team of three riders competing while Phoenix CC and Ballymena also fielded well.

In the early stage it was Val O’Neill of Phoenix who decided to make a break and she jumped off the front. Whether or not the pack thought it was too early but no-one went with her.

Freda Brown showed she still has it and did a lot of work at the front to close the gap. However O’Neill managed to hold on to her lead and won comfortably followed by Freda Brown (Banbridge CC) and North Down’s Louise Togneri




Time Square Jewellers Gold Cup Master's League (Phoenix GP)

  1. Noel Boyce (North Down)
  2. Noel Munnis (North Down)
  3. Robert Downes (Bann Wheelers)
  4. Turlough Montague (Phoenix CC)
  5. Ian Blayney (North Down)
  6. Gaetano D'Urso (North Pole CC)
  7. Michael Crowe (North Down)
  8. Philip Beattie (Banbridge CC)
  9. Pat Dunnion (North Pole CC)
  10. Liam O'Connor (Bann Valley CC)
  11. Ann McFarland (East Tyrone)
  12. Stephen Wallace (Dromara CC)
  13. Mickey Gallon (Omagh Wheelers)
  14. Paul McGuckin (Banbridge CC)

SportActive Women's RR League (Phoenix GP)


  1. Val O'Neill (Phoenix CC)
  2. Freda Brown (Banbridge CC)
  3. Louise Togneri (North Down CC)
  4. Maeve Savage (Ballymena RC)
  5. Sinead Rivers (Roe Valley CC)
  6. Therese Zwalhen (Phoenix CC)

Report and Pics Marian Lamb

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