Some days you feel it is worth to be somewhere reporting on events and glad you did it, yesterday was such day in Warrenpoint

So glad to see Mark Millar (Velo-Café Magasin) back in action after his life-changing crash nearly 2 years ago who left him paralysed…his first appearance as a para hand cyclist got him a 3rd place on the day, and he was companied all around the course by his teammates of Velo Cafe Magasin Belfast…a moving moment to remember
Declan Slevin (Rosemount CC) having a pre-race chat with the main sponsor of the 3R Mobility Irish Para-Cycling Series

Only a short journey yesterday morning from Carlingford (overnight stay after my trip the day before to the Laragh Classic in Wicklow) to Warrenpoint for the Thomas White Memorial 10 TT who included the last round of the 3R Mobility Para-Cycling series. Promoted by Banbridge CC you knew that things would be in top organised fashion, which is evident each time I visit one of there many promoting events. The course was set just before the roundabout toward the carriageway to Newry, and back to Warrenpoint with a headwind in the first part of the course and a slightly tail Northwest to West wind (fishermen term) in the way back and a quiet fierce one too! Due to the incorporated para-cyclists event, they came from all corners of Ireland and included World and Olympic Champions, World and European Irish medal holders, multiple Irish Champs from different disciplines in the sport and the usual testers, what a mix of our top athletes in one place!!

When I congratulated Lindsay Watson for his win over Marcus Christie in a surprising way, Lindsay jokingly asks me …surprised as beating Marcus is not something many can tell they did in Ireland!! Only 5 seconds between them. Lindsay just back from Wicklow where he took second place in the Laragh Classic the day before, not many would have the legs to do that in one weekend!!

The Thomas White memorial Cup was on display ( Thomas was one of the top riders in Ireland and the North and competed at a high level) His sister Barbara Wilkinson, brother in law Bertie and nephew Paul (who was competing) presented the brand new cup as the old one was replaced due to his age (photo below)

The family Wilkinson and winner Lindsay and the organiser Aaron of Banbridge CC

The event was something special as the order of starting was a mix of abled and para-cyclists each set off a minute of each other this in front of the Enterprise Center in Warrenpoint at the Northern side of the Carlingford Lough and the Newry Canal

Some clam and cockle fishing in the background
Not every day you get to see World and Olympian Gold medal holders in action, good luck in Emmen next week Katie and Eve

Unfortunately, I have little knowledge of the Para-cycling sport and yesterday’s event helped me to understand the sport a small bit better but felt very humble amongst such athletes, some overcome the biggest hurdles in life and find the strength continue to compete no matter how there disability and mobility has affected them…my sincere respect to you all

Denis Toomey from Ireland’s para-cycling receiving the Belgian Project gold medal for his enormous work behind the scenes to promote this part of our beloved sport. Denis has been a Cycling Ireland president in the past and have dedicated his life to the para-cycling sport in Ireland. His successes achieved to many to report now but world level neverthelessmy respect Denis
Chris Burns from Banbridge CC ready for the World Champs in Emmen (NL) next week
Results Thomas White Cup
Winner: Lindsay Watson (Powerhouse Sport)
2nd Fastest: Marcus Christie (Performance SBR)
3rd Fastest: Neill Delahaye (Les Rouleurs)
Fastest Woman – Lara Gillespie (Scott Orwell Wheelers)
Fastest Junior – David O’Sullivan (Ciclotel Travel)
Fastest Tandem – Damien Vereker / Paul Forestill (Comeragh CC / Scott Orwell Wheelers) Photo below
Fastest M40 – Neil Delahaye (Les Rouleurs)
Fastest M50 – Feargal Magee (Apollo Cycling Team)
Fastest M60 – Brian Hannon (Banbridge CC and photo above)
Fastest Tandem – Damien Vereker / Paul Forestill (Comeragh CC / Scott Orwell Wheelers also series winners tandem
Full results all competitors
Well done to Banbridge CC for an immaculate event, and thank you to all marshals, tea ladies and volunteers and of course the cyclists… a great Sunday morning and glad I was there