May I introduce you to Alan Weir, a renowned sports photographer from the Banbridge-Katesbridge area and member of the local club West Down Wheelers. His camera covers many sports such as local football, motorbike racing, car rally and his first love cycling. As you will see his photos reflect his love for the sport very clearly, Alan is a club rider, loves his spins and compete in his local league, while he has his sons Ian and Jason racing as open riders. I invited Alan to participate in my series and this was his reply which I appreciate very much: “First of all can I take this opportunity to thank you Dany for giving me this window to showcase fifteen images regarding cycle racing. I mainly cover a variety of sports events as a freelance but one of my passions is cycling. The first bicycle I owned I built it myself but it wasn’t for racing just to commute. It was single speed and at fifteen you had the energy to climb any hill with it. Wasn’t till 1989 when I bought my first racer a twelve speed Raleigh Equip and can remember doing the Co-Down Coast a few days after getting it with no training, was well chuffed with the effort, covering the first twenty miles in one hour. Due to work commitment I never really got going and it was not until 2008 (aged 47) when I bought a Wilier Triestina 20 speed racer that I started to get back into it. A great bike which I still use for winter training. Joined TVR club and after a period started to do a few races in 2017/18 which included a couple of Open Masters races. 2019 I moved to West Down Wheelers cycling club, Banbridge where I now compete in club, interclub and TT racing. I also got my two sons involved in racing, Ian who now competes in A2 and Jason as an A4 junior. This then gives me a chance at Open events to put my camera to good use and go there with the mindset of capturing that special moment in time. The photos I’ve chosen which were not an easy task were taken over a five year period covering events such as Annaclone GP, Banbridge Crit, Armagh City Crit, Groucho race, Tour of Ulster and Newry 3day events” Thanks so much Alan, hope we see each other when all this worry is over. (If you share some of this photos on social media please credit the author, thanks Dany)

Thank you to Alan’s club West Down Wheelers for supporting the Belgian Project since 2014