Review and results courtesy of Martin Grimley, photos David Mc Veigh (BP media team)
Martin Grimley (Chief comm and Off-road commission) reported: After a long break from cyclo-cross racing, (the last race was Sunday 4 October 2020), it was great to get a return to this wonderful discipline. Kinning Cycles has hosted the opening event of the season for a number of years now and the site at Orangefield, Belfast was looking magnificent in the warm autumn sunshine. This is the fifth year of the memorial race dedicated to Brian Kinning’s memory. Many thanks to Belfast City Council for letting us use the site. The event attracted riders from all across the island of Ireland.
The first race of the day was for the Under 6s. We had 8 riders take on 3 laps of the short course. I’m sure the sweets at the end were well received. The Under 8s had an extended course that went down behind the line of trees before turning 180° to charge back up towards the finish line. The boys completed 4 laps and the girls 3 laps. Benjamin Cunningham (Orwell Wheelers Cycling Club) took the win in the boys’ race with Conor McGahan (Square Wheels) second and Jackson Coakley (Powerhouse) third. In the girls’ race Sophia Campbell (Un-Attached Ulster) crossed the line first ahead of Ruby Millar (Square Wheels) with Ciara McCool (Square Wheels) third. Next up were the Under 10s. They used the same course as the Under 8s but they had 10 laps to complete. Racing was frantic, the timekeepers were busy. Daragh Quigley (Foyle CC) took the chequered flag in the boys’ race with Jack McGahan (Square Wheels) second and Ewan Ewart (Belfast City BMX Club) third. Aoife Campbell (Square Wheels) put on a terrific display of racing, winning the girls’ race, and crossing the line just behind Daragh Quigley. Lilly McDermott (Un-Attached Leinster) finished second with Abbie Kinning (Kinning Cycles Cycling Club) third. The Under 12’s course was part of the adult course with the start line inside the velodrome. They had 3 laps to complete. Josh McClune (Team Madigan C.C.) finished clear of Eunan Campbell (Square Wheels) with James Cunningham (Orwell Wheelers Cycling Club) completing the boys’ podium. Clodagh Quigley (Foyle CC) was first with Aoife Kellett (Dromara Cycling Club) and Skye Spence (Shimna Wheelers Cycling Club) completing the girls’ podium.
After a break for prize giving and practice the next races lined up. First away were the Under 16 boys, then Under 14 boys, then the Women, Under 16 girls then Under 14 girls. A tough event for the timing crew with the Under 14s and Under 16s aiming for a 30-minute race and the Women aiming for a race around 45 minutes. Curtis McKee (VC Glendale) took an impressive win in the Under 14 boys race with Caleb McGreevy (Apollo Cycling Team) second and Jack Woods (Carlow RCC) third. Winning the Under 14 girls race was Emer Heverin (Kinning Cycles Cycling Club) with Aisha Gannon (Breffni Wheelers) second and Cara Suckling (VC Glendale) third. For the Under 16 boys race the top 3 riders were Seth Dunwoody (Shelbourne/Orchard CC), Conor Murphy (Rostrevor Mountain Bike Club) and Samuel Coleman (Shelbourne/Orchard CC), finishing first, second and third respectively. In the Under 16 girls’ race Aliyah Rafferty (Island Wheelers) took the win ahead of Greta Lawless (Team WORC) with Zoe Lindsay (TC Racing) third.
In the Women’s race Ciara Macmanus (Un-Attached Ulster) put on a dominant display of racing after winning the National Cross-country Mountain Bike Championships 3 weeks ago. Unfortunately, a rule infringement meant Ciara was disqualified which handed the win to Judith Russell (Phoenix CC). Second place went to Stephanie Roche (Scott Quanta Racing) with third place going to Helen White (Stamullen RC). Maria McAllister (TC Racing) was fourth with junior rider Katie Reilly (Orwell Wheelers Cycling Club) fifth. In the Women’s mountain bike support race there was only one entry, Grace Smith (Un-Attached Leinster).
The next race was the Cyclo-cross Men’s B’ race which saw the largest field of the day with 59 riders taking to the start line. They had 6 laps to complete with gridding based on the date/time of registration. Making light work of the course was Richard Topping (The Bike House CC) with Colm O’Byrne (IVCA Cycling Club) also well out in front of the chasing pack. Third place went to Joseph Donworth (Limerick Cycling Club) with Richard Gaffikin (Killinchy Cycling Club) fourth, Jonathan Boyle (Un-Attached Leinster) fifth and Fergus Craddock (Dublin Wheelers) sixth. In the Men’s mountain bike support race there were 7 riders. Barry Russell (Carn Wheelers) took the win ahead of Jonathan Taylor (North Down CC) with Glen Curry (Ards CC) third.
The final race of the day was for the Cyclo-cross Men’s A’ race. This was held over 7 laps and used the same gridding method as the B’ race. Darragh McCarter (Spellman-Dublin Port) put on an impressive show leading from start to finish. Richard Barry (St. Finbarrs CC) was second with Alan Bingham (Newry Wheelers CC) third. Course designer and race organiser Glenn Kinning (Kinning Cycles Cycling Club) started from the back of the grid and, to lots of shouts of encouragement from the spectators, managed to make it up to the fourth place. Well done Glenn. Niall McLoughlin (Westport Covey Wheelers Cycling Club) finished 5th and picked up the prize for first unplaced Junior. Barry Convery (Newry Wheelers CC) was sixth and picked up first unplaced M40 with Jason Henry (Inspired Cycling) getting first unplaced M50.
Thanks to all the volunteers from the host club and friends who came along to put on this event. It was great to see everyone again. Look how tall those youth riders have gotten since we have last seen them!!! Report courtesy of Martin Grimley and helped by other commissaire, Jim Adams