Mid Season Road Race Review
The first few months of the season have been very busy for the Dromara CC road racers, who have been taking part in races all over the county. The season started off with a few early wet and windy races that left the new A4 racers wondering if they would ever get a dry race. It was difficult in early races to know who was riding for which club as half the field were wearing Gabba’s the weather was that bad.
With the season starting in the middle of February and we are now near the end of April there has been about 10 race weekends.
First of all everyone in Dromara CC would like to congratulate the Tour of the North team on completing the event, in what was a brutal weekends racing up in Ballymena. The organisation and event looked fantastic and the field was full of strong riders. The team consisted of Nathan Mullan, Gavin Magowan, Stephen Irvine and two guest riders David McKnight (TVR) and Stephen Cunningham (Shimna). From speaking with the riders it was a tough weekend with a lot of attacking racing. On GC Stephen Irvine ended up top Dromara rider after making it across the spilt on the first stage and finishing 39th on stage 1. On stages 3 and 4 the Dromara riders rode strong and finished together in the bunch.
A1 and A2
The A1 and A2 riders have all had a strong start to the season taking part in a number of early season races to build form. Some excellent results from Gavin Magowan in the John Moore (Carryduff) with an 8th place finish, a 10th a few weeks later at the Tour of Ards and an 8th place finish at the Killinchy GP. Ronnie Smyth and Chris Magowan have been riding strong in the races. Nathan Mullan has been working had to return to full fitness after an unfortunate injury, His best race of the season was the Killinchy GP at the beginning of April and looks close to returning to full fitness.
A3 and Junior
The A3 and Junior riders from Dromara CC have had a great start to the season, all riders have been riding very attacking races and always near the front of the race. David Dickson and Stephen Irvine are only a few points away from an upgrade to A2. David had a great 8th place at the Killinchy GP after making it across to the break. Dromara were well represented in this race with Aaron Watson and Stephen Irvine also in the break but were unfortunate to get caught up in a crash with 1.5 laps to go. Jack Ferguson has been improving all season and had a great 8th place in the Coombes Connor race down in Drogheda at the beginning of April. Matthew Armstrong has had a quiet start to the season but put in strong performances at the Wallace Caldwell and PJ Logan road races.
With a lot of new faces taking part in open road racing this year it has been great to see all of the Dromara riders very active and near the front of the races this season. The best result of the season so far has come from Johny Ward who took first place in the PJ Logan. This is always a great but tough race on the traditional figure of eight circuit.
There have been plenty of point scoring results from the rest of the A4 riders including Neil Armstrong with a 6th at the Bann Valley GP and Gerard Doyle 6th at the Spires GP. David Henderson has been having a great season in A4 looking very much a pro on the new Giant Propel, putting in some impressive times in the first few club TT’s and taking a 10th at the East Tyrone GP which is always a tough race with the hilly course.
There is always one A4 rider who turns out to be a domestique always working hard on the front, a few years ago it was Graham Beckett who was always spotted near the front however it was always when a camera was around so it may have just been to get his photo taken. This year this role goes to Darren McCann who has been putting in strong performances in all of the races and always near the front either trying to start a breakaway or close one down. His best result of the year has been a 12th at the Killinchy GP…..Stop the press it was actually 4th at the Lakeland GP… The podium cant be far away.