Last weekend saw a busy schedule of Open racing for Dromara CC riders, both on and off-road.
Nathan Mullan made the trip down to race the packed Waller Cup, Bohermeen, Co Meath. Up against a stacked A1 field of riders, he tried to force a break on several occasions with nothing sticking, only to then unfortunately miss the break when it did go. Some strong riding from Nathan on the front to try and bring it back proved in vain as many of the big engines had made it away and not many others left behind were willing to assist. Never the less – a strong ride and a decent top 15 result.
Our A4 contingent appeared at both the Lakeland GP on Saturday and the Mid Ulster GP on Sunday. Race reports from our man on the ground, Darren McCann;
Three riders in the A4 race. An administrative error and a chat with our inside man Brian Kellett saw Colin McGready sneaking into his first A4 race of the year having been in the Masters race’s previously. The A4 race saw two laps of the 19 mile course plus 6 miles up to the finish line. Nice smooth roads on long steady gradients up and down hill with a breeze coming off Lough Erne on the back straight. New recruit Brian Kellett seized his opportunity to show off his lovely (new?) kit to his old Lakeland clubmates by going to the front any time he saw a camera on the side of the road. Darren McCann played an altogether more quiet game (ie. did as little work as he could get away with) which ultimately paid off, managing to get up for the uphill sprint finish, only missing the podium by inches but securely in the points with 4th place.
Big thanks to all the Dromara men who made the long trip up, there was more noise from County Down on Saturday than from any of the locals. I’m sure Enniskillen doesn’t know what hit it.
Mid Ulster GP
The A4 race saw a big turnout from Dromara with 6 riders at the start line. The 91/2 mile circuit had several short sharp sprinters climbs with a nearly 2 mile downhill stretch to the finish line meaning speeds rose to nearly 40mph for the finish and a lot of riders wishing they rode for AG2R La Mondial with their appropriately coloured shorts. Neil Armstrong and David Henderson were twitchy from the off and immediately started taking turns out the front to try and break away. Gerard Doyle, Stevie Stranney, Kevin Walker & Darren McCann with his legs still tired from the previous day were content to go with the flow.
Such was the extent of Darren’s hiding was that Gerard Doyle had put in a missing person’s report to the local constabulary, when his legs eventually woke up on the third lap and he started to move up the pack there where shouts of shock that he was still in the race. A plan was hatched to attack up the last hill to provide a blue & white lead out train down the finish line. Unfortunately when David got to the bottom of the last hill, the lead out man was nowhere to be seen, I think he was busy making excuses about being a multi-day specialist and not a domestique. David launched a heroic solo effort up and over the top. It looked like he was going to hold to the line, only to have victory snatched from him in the last 100 yards. Good effort, could have been a victory on another day. We just need to convince his wife and children that Omagh is a perfectly acceptable place to go for a family holiday to watch some stage racing in August.
Off road Section
Peter Davison continued his strong recent set of results across the disciplines (7th Senior at the last IDMS, 4th S1 at Craigavon XC) with a super 2nd place senior at Sundays Gravity Enduro race at Ballinastoe, Co.Wicklow, Up against a quality field, only missing out on victory by 30s at the end of the day.
Lisa Millar returned to action at the Ormeau Spring series Rd3 ,with 50% lung capacity after a recent dose of WomanFlu™. Out seeking revenge on Wannita Broome after getting schooled in Friday night’s club league, a tight race ensued with Lisa taking 4th and Wannita only 40s behind in 5th place. Great efforts from both. The result secured Lisa a super 2nd place overall.
Gibson Chambers secured a 9th place in the mens B race, and young James Armstrong forced his way through a packed U10 race field to take 11th from the back of the grid. A great performance.
Aoife Kellett also raced and clinched 3rd overall U8. She then stayed on for several more hours to watch her dad make a dog’s dinner on his return to XC racing, where he somehow managed to come away with a 3rd place on the day in the Senior mens A race.
Well done to all our racers.
Don’t forget to keep us updated if you are up to anything in the coming weeks that we might not know about!