Maryland Wheelers fielded athletes in three different events in terrible weather over the weekend.  On Saturday, Jason Graham, Anthony Wylie and Desi Foley took part in the SERE Lisburn Duathlon, held at Down Royal, with Desi winning the main event comfortably.  Desi and his wife Heather Foley, current National Champion, are going to represent a formidable pair of athletes to beat this year in these events.


On Sunday in simply atrocious conditions, over 100 riders from across the country met for the first round of the Ulster Mountainbike XMTB series at Ormeau Park in Belfast.  Maryland Wheelers fielded riders in both the adult and junior events, but with David McKee currently sidelined from injury, Gavin Thompson and Stuart Suckling were the lead local riders in a 6 lap race of the park. The course incorporated technical singletrack and grass sections which all quickly turned to thick mud, but Stuart and Gavin battled through the 40 strong field to finish 13th and 14th respectively. Although an solid result, Stuart was frustrated with mechanical difficulties caused by the treacherous conditions, and it’s clear that he feature on the podium this season.


In the junior categories, Maryland was represented in the female under 10 race by Cara Suckling finishing 5th – an amazing achievement for this young rider in her first ever event. Curtis McKee also finished 5th in the male under 10 race after working his way consistently from the second starting grid, which represents an excellent start to the season for this talented rider.  Zach and Freddie Thompson also took part in the under 8 race, finishing 11th and 21st respectively and the young Jake McKee entered the under 6 category, giving him his first experience in racing.   The tenacity of all these young riders in such horrible conditions over the weekend is to be congratulated and to see such a strong youth contingent bodes well for the Lisburn club in the future.


A final word of mention must also be given to road strongman Joe Pyper, who represented the club at the weekend’s main road race at Newry, finishing an excellent 9th position in one of his first ever races – well done and expect to hear more of this man in the future.

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