Photos Sharon Mc Farland and report & results courtesy of the CU Women’s Commission
Foreword Dany “Very proud to be part of the event last Saturday as MC for the day….great to see some new faces coming to the fore and my admiration to the promoters for making this possible. The efforts the Ulster Women’s Cycling Commission has done over the past few years with grass route development will have a big harvest in the future…may it long continue. Also thank you for the donation towards the Belgian Project…it keeps us on the road in these strange times. A big chapeau to Julie Rea (CU & Phoenix CC) and her loyal volunteers and of course the racing ladies“
A Glorious Sunny morning close to the County Down coast greeted riders on Saturday morning creating perfect racing conditions. Our first event on the day was a 1 lap TT
Velo Performance Rider Ciara Kelly on her first outing of 2021 was to set the fastest time blasting round the circuit in 5mins 12 Seconds she was to have 12 seconds from newbie Karen Baines from TVR with Kilinchy’s Claire Richardson just one second behind in third. Emily Roberts the second TVR was our best-unplaced Master
1st – Ciara Kelly Velo Performance – 5.12
2nd – Karen Baines – TVR – 5.22
3rd – Claire Richardson – Killinchy CC – 5.23
4th – Helen Mc Parland – Phoenix CC – 5.24
5th – Keela Mac hale – Arcane – 5.36
6th – Clodagh Allen – Clonard CC – 5.39
7th Emily Roberts -TVR- 5.42 – Best Unplaced Master
8th Pamela Ayre – Titanic Quarter – 5.46
9th Therese Zwahlen – Phoenix CC – 5.49
10th Linda Poots – Dromore CC – 5.53
Following our TT Julie Rea hosted another training session with a focus on cornering and an introduction to Team Time Trial in preparation for next Saturday
After some fantastic youth racing, the women were back on the track again this time for a 50 minute plus two laps race. This week we had two groups on the track. The first group away was as follows
Rachel Mc Bride (Arcane), Linda Poots (Dromore) Ruth Fields, Ruth Johnston and Miranda Mitchell (Bann Valley) Monica Savage, Emily Roberts (TVR) Pamela Ayre (Titanic), and Edie Carroll (Unattached) – This group was to have a 5minute lead -(Just short of 1 lap)
The scratch group included previous winner Erin Mc Connell (Ards), TT Winner Ciara Kelly, Claire Richardson(Killinchy), and Helen Mc Parland (Phoenix) – both upgraded after race 1. Emma Smith (Bann Valley) Clodagh Allen (Clonard) Keela Mac Hale (Arcane), Ellie Mc Ardle (Square Wheelers), and TT Runner Up Karen Baines (TVR) completing a strong group.
In the early laps, a lack of cohesion in the lead group saw gaps reduced by around 30 seconds per lap with Mc Connell, Mc Ardle, and Kelly, particularly to the fore.
Mid-race the picture was to change with four riders in the lead group, the two Ruth’s from Bann Valley, Emily Roberts from TVR, and young Carroll (Unattached) starting to work very well together and through laps 6 and 7 they actually increased the lead by 15 seconds.
As dropped riders were caught by the second group the pace was increased again and the gap began to close. As the group crossed the line with two laps to go our “fab four” still held a 40-second advantage and it looked like a surprise was on the cards. At the bell, this gap has reduced to a perilous 20 seconds. On the back straight the “Fab Four” were eventually caught setting us up for another bunch finish. As in our last race Erin Mc Connell set sail for home at the top of the hill and just like last race wasn’t to be caught – Ciara Kelly was to hang on for second from a fast-finishing Ellie Mc Ardle with Emily Roberts one of the “fab four” finishing strong for fourth place and best Unplaced Master.
For the second week in a row, we had a brilliant race. In particular, Mc Parland and Richardson having been upgraded were excellent in the chase group with Smith from Bann Valley, Allen from Clonard RC, and Baines from TVR all contributing to an excellent chase.
The stars today were our “Fab Four” who so nearly kept the chasers at bay.
1st Erin Mc Connell – Ards CC
2nd Ciara Kelly – Velo Performance (Portugal)
3rd Ellie Mc Ardle – Square Wheelers
4th Emily Roberts – TVR
5th Claire Richardson – Killinchy
6th Emma Smith – Bann Wheelers
7th Karen Baines – TVR
8th Helen Mc Parland – Phoenix CC
9th Edie Carroll – Unattached Ulster
10th Clodagh Allen – Clonard RC
Well done to all of the women who raced.
The Women’s Commission wants to thank Martin Molloy from Dunloy CC for all his help as a timekeeper and finish line. We also want to thank Peter Brown and Gerry Heverin from our Youth Commission for facilitating our participation in these events and finally the one and only Dany Bondeel for his music and commentary and in general for all he does for Women’s Racing
We are back at Bishopscourt this Saturday 5th June – more details to follow
Thank you to Sharon Mc Farland for the fabulous photographs
Entries to the Ards CC Crit for U8 to A1 and women-only categories are now live at https://eventmaster.ie/event/qzePcP7SQq
This year we are holding the event at Kirkistown racing circuit instead of the usual venue of Ards Town Centre.
Our youth races form Round 6 of the Cycling Ulster Youth Racing Series. Prizes for boys’ and girls’ U16, U14, and U12 categories have been kindly provided by Chain Reaction Cycles’ Belfast store.
Prizes for the women’s race have been kindly provided by Lauren May Jewellery