Wilson takes the victory in NewryMorrison sprints for second at JMM 2012

Wilson Wins in Newry, Morrison takes second in Carryduff

 

Saturday 3rd March 2012 - John Moore Memorial A4

After a tense Friday afternoon a late fitness test declared Colin McElderry fit after last Sundays crash and he was set to join me for the John Moore Memorial A4 race in Carryduff on Saturday morning.  Come Saturday morning i started to question the Golfers fitness test as clearly operating in pain this was going to be a major battle of mind over matter for him!  But to be fair the mind won as Colin comfortably (maybe not so comfortable with the ribs) finished in the bunch on what was a tough day on a rolling course.

I went into this one thinking the course might suit me with a few hills to separate things and if the wind was right the chance at a long run into the finish...best laid plans.

This race didn't follow the usual A4 pattern and from the off the Phoenix riders were on the attack.  Peter Stewart and Paul Maguire left the relative comfort of the bunch from the word go and stayed away for the first 3 laps of 6, with a strong headwind on the Saintfield Road it was always going to be hard to stay away.  But once Stewart and Maguire were reeled in Phoenix were at it again Ali MacAuley combining with Tommy Rafferty (Slane Cycles) to open up a gap on the group. 

With 4 laps gone the gap was out to 40seconds and with no sign of the bunch wanting to chase I decided to push things a little on the rise approaching Temple on the Saintfield Road.  Riding steady up the hill I opened up a small gap and with no response from the bunch I saw no reason to stop.  Tony Quinn(Dromara CC) rode across shortly after and once we started working together our gap on the bunch grew and the gap to the leaders began to shrink. 

We knew we'd have to work hard into the headwind on the Saintfield road to stay away and when traffic started to become a problem you can imagine Tony and I weren't too happy to be slowing up.  After a less than happy driver delivered some choice words from his car window we were back on our way and picked up Rafferty with around 4 miles to go.  MacAuley had pulled away from Rafferty as his legs began to tire and under the cyclists word of 'I won't sprint' he held on as Quinn and I continued to chase.

As we rounded to corners of the Carr Road with the wind on our backs MacAuley was out of reach and soloed across the line looking back to see the lead cars headlights with us 3 not far behind.  All that was left was the sprint for second between Quinn and I,and with me leading it out over the last 200m I was happy to claim second place.  The final placings in this A4 race mean MacAuley, Quinn and myself have all now been upgraded to A3 after the first two weekends of racing, another good day on the bike and looking forward to more!

Andy Morrison

 

John Haldane Memorial A4 Race - Gavin Hanna

Gavin's Fork...the wheel doesn't look much better

It was a fine, sunny, cool, spring-like morning for the Newry wheelers hosted John Haldane road race. I was keen to test my form and was up early, eager to get going and in fact was the first person to sign on (possibly too keen). 

We set off with a full field in the A4 race at shortly after 10:05. The pace was relatively slow at first but soon picked up as riders started coming through. After the end of the first lap there was a bit more urgency in the bunch with DZ and another member of the Phoenix club doing a lot of work off the front. I gave a hand as much as I could to ride with them and kept myself in the top 20 riders to keep out of harm’s way. The second and third laps were much the same with more riders coming through and diving up the inside each time we approached a roundabout but all in all it was going well. 

As we entered the last lap the pace increased significantly and there were several attempts to get away off the front but nothing was going to develop and they were reeled back in again. As we turned the roundabout for the last time turning into the headwind the speed dropped as everyone wanted to save their legs for the sprint. I was sitting in a good position as we got into the last 2 miles, conscious of not wanting to be riding in the middle of the bunch and getting blocked in so I stayed out wide still in the top 15-20 riders.

As we hit the 1km to go mark someone came across in front of me and he must have tapped the wheel of the bike in front as he went straight down in front of me. As I slowed to avoid him, the rest of the field was around us and I had nowhere to go but over the top of him. The bike’s well damaged but I've hardly a scratch on me thankfully. All in all an eventful start to my first year in open racing.

 

 

John Haldane Memorial  A1-A3 Sunday 4th March 2012

Congratulations to Peter Wilson on his first race of the season, the following is taken from the Cycling Ulster Website.

Newry Wheelers had their orders in early for someone to turn on the sunshine for their promotion of the John Haldane memorial road race. Despite the cold it was pleasant out of the wind on the Newry to Warrenpoint dual carriageway as full fields lined up for the two races on offer.

First off was the A race in which the A1’s – A3’s  were set off in separate groups with a short handicap between each. The A3 group was a large one and early on a group of about fifteen riders decided to make a break. They steadily increased their lead on the chasers with the gap remaining at around a minute and a half.


Among the riders in the break were Gary McKee (VC Glendale), John McAuley (Apollo CT, ) Matthew Doyle (Foyle CC), Daniel Stewart  and Stephen Beck (East Antrim Audi), Mark Potts (Omagh Wheelers), Peter Wilson (Maryland Wheelers), Conor Hanna (North Down), Ryan McDermott (Westtyronevelo.com) Cormac Clarke (Newry Wheelers)and David Neill (Shelbourne Motors/Orchard Wheelers).

This group were well organised and worked well together with Juniors Doyle and Stewart proving to be strong despite racing on Saturday. Gary McKee also showed his experience and helped to maintain the gap on the chasers.

The A1 riders took two minutes out of the gap in the first ten miles with some hard riding from Gary Cranston and Glen Kinning (East Antrim Audi), Ryan Connor (Ballymena Chain Reaction) and Desi Foley (Phoenix CC). They caught the A2’s and it wasn’t long before they swallowed up the remaining A3 bunch.

Maryland’s Heather Wilson was also in the thick of the action as was Geraldine Gill of Bohermeen and Trudy Brown of Northern Dave Kane.

From then on the pace was jumpy with riders lashing off the front to try and close down the break. Foyle’s Jim Doyle was to the fore in many of these attacks. However it was to no avail and at the finish the A3 break were the only ones in contention as they sprinted for the line.

Maryland’s Peter Wilson got the decision ahead of relative newcomer, Mark Potts of Omagh and Ryan McDermott of Westtyronevelo.com

East Antrim’s Daniel Stewart amassed more points by taking fourth followed by Connor Hanna (North Down) and Cormac Clarke (Newry Wheelers)

 

 

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