What a weekend of cycling from Dromara CC that would see Dromara marshalled by Dromara CC in support of the John Beggs Memorial hosted by Banbridge Cycling Club followed the next day by Dromara CC putting on one of the toughest Sportives around – The Dromara “Hilly”.

Let us start on the Saturday at the John Beggs Memorial race which would see Great weather, Great racing ,Well marshalled and great food at the end.

In the A3/Jnr Race Jack Ferguson and Aaron Watson rode strong all race staying near the front and making moves to get into the break. Just unfortunate to miss the race winning move.

Dromara CC had a strong showing in the A4 race with David Henderson, Darren McCann, Davy Broome and Kevin Walker. Everyone is in good form at the minute and rode an attacking race. David Henderson, just back from a warm weather training camp was impressive all day and was led out perfectly by Davy Broome who took him right to the bottom of the final climb (Some say he has been learning from Team Sky). David Henderson took the win and Darren McCann completed the podium in 3rd. These great results earned them a well deserved upgrade to A3.

Big thanks to the Dromara CC members who were helping out in Dromara for the extra support each lap. Thanks also to the Saturday Morning club run who were supporting everyone at various points throughout the race.

After a successful Saturday it was Dromara CC’s annual “Hilly” Leisure cycle will be on Sunday 13th August 2017. This event has become well established over the years and is now a well known mainstay of the leisure cycling calendar.  A tough but rewarding cycling test, the Hilly is an excellent “target” event for those riders who want to set themselves a challenging sportive as a goal for their summer training.

This year the event offered a choice of two routes,  125km and 85km. The full distance event, originally known as the “Hilly 125” is now in its 28th year and has historically been the more popular of the two distances on offer. The good news is that you don’t have to make a decision which route to commit to until you hit the food stop. Every year we choose a charity to support and we are delighted this year to support the Mourne Mountain Rescue Team.

With the Sunshine ordered it would see around 200 riders take to the start line of the “Hilly” Sportive which would include a few junior riders ready to test themselves. The crack Sign on team would look after the riders and make sure they got their cup of tea/coffee before the riders started at 9:30am led off by the Lantern Rouge Motorbikers who would escort the riders around the course. The food stop is always at Leitrim GAA Club who have always supported the event and with the great help from the Dromara CC members I can confirm that the food stop was first class and much needed. The Chain Reaction Team were on hand to sort any mechanical troubles and I am told they worked hard all day to keep riders on the road.

Once the food and Tea/Coffee has been consumed you get to head out and make a decision which route to take and thankfully Mr Gibson and Mr Wallace were on hand to make sure riders made the right choice. For those choosing the Hilly 125 route they would get the pleasure of going over Spelga to take in the spectacular view before heading back to the finish for a well deserved burger. There are plenty of stories of people completing their challenge at the “Hilly” with the Junior riders successfully making it around a route with almost 8000 feet of climbing. Who knew that County Down had so many hills hidden away?

All in all it turned out to be a great event with plenty of money raised. This event couldn’t happen without help from a whole range of people that volunteer to help on the day, Mark the roads prior to the event, clean up after and generally make sure every rider has a first class day out. With that said a special shout out to Mourne Mountain Rescue Members, Chainreaction cyles for mech support (much needed!), PRM distribution for food, lantern Rouge motorbikers, Dromara Village FC for clubhouse and BBQ, Leitrim GAA club for use of hall, Zak Hanna for sports massage, all DCC members and volunteers for helping out, and finally for all the riders for supporting this great event. See you next year.

Photos can be found on flickr or facebook