Dromara Youth and the ladies show how it is done at XMTB CX
This weekend Ormeau Park was taken over by a tribe of cyclocrossers from all over the country. The host club XMTB but on a fabulous course that would test everybody’s technical ability as well as their fitness level. The Under 6’s always start the show and it was great to see so many having a go at the course as they tackled the great course on the knowledge that the prize for finishing must surely be some sweets. Once you progress out of the Under 6’s the next challenge is of course the under 8’s which would see Dromara’s Aoife Kellett and Eva Cowan take to the start line for this two lap race. The whistle goes for the boys first and a minute later the girls head off and it didnt take long before the Aoife and Eva were carving through the boys. Aoife made a spirited performance to claim 2nd on the podium with Eva managing to continue on after losing her shoe to take 7th place.
A great start for the Dromara CC Youth squad but we werent finished yet as James Armstrong took to the start line in the Under 10’s with that usual stance of head forward and low to the handlebars waiting for the start whistle. Just as usual he was off like a whippet to the first corner and he would battle with Curtis McKee from Maryland Wheelers for the top spot. The course was challenging and it would be Curtis that would get the edge on the last lap to take the win and awesome second place for James.
In the Under 16 boys Ben Wilson and Fraser Harrower would be back in the frame and when the whistle went they both had great starts but this course is not fro faint hearted and although their was plenty of technical bits the long straights would take the toll on the legs. With 4 laps to complete Ben was in the mix for a podium position but would lose out but the smallest of margins to take 4th with Fraser putting in a battling performance to just miss out on the top 10. A great effort from both young men producing lap times some of the senior men would have been happy with.
With the Dromara Youth setting the standard for the day it was time for the senior team to try and compete. In the MTB race Wannita Broome would show her class with a gutsy performance to claim 2nd place with Mick Foley loving his day out on the MTB to produce yet another brilliant display to pick up 5th place in a very competitive field. In the ladies cyclocross we would see Diane Wilson leave the running shoes at home and show she has plenty of skills on the cyclocross bike. With an epic performance she would battle through the crowd to take 2nd place on the podium.
Somebody once told me the B race was a sedate race that people did to get used to cyclocross. Clearly no one told the riders about that as the start line was full of Dromara CC riders eager to beat one another to claim bragging rights for the week ahead. The first lap was fast and furious as everyone fought for position and we would see Robert Davison lead the Dromara men with Brian Wilson hot on his tail. Paul Mawhirt a traditional slow starter was now on the hunt as well as the laps started to tick down he would slowly creep up on Robert Davison but run out of laps to make the catch. Brian Wilson was in his element on this course which would see him battle through the crowd to claim 12th place. The other battle that was going on was between Mike Barton, Bryce Hetherington and Darren McCann. Bryce has this unusual tucked riding style that he tells me cuts through the wind like a hot knife through butter and who could argue as he put in his best performance this season beating Mike Barton and only getting pipped on the last lap by Darren McCann.
This would leave us with the A race which had Barry Kellett, Peter Davison, Richard Cowan, Jack Ferguson and Neil Armstrong take to the start line. The start can be a make or break time in the cx race and Neil and Jack nailed the start leaving Peter and Richard to play catch up. Barry was away with the leaders and would trade postions with all the top 5 but with a podium place looking a certainty lady luck would leave him and a front puncture would see him drop back to 5th. Peter Davison was loving the course and slowly made his way through the field and take the 1st Espoir. Behind him Neil, Jake and Richard would trade places all day with Jack just getting in ahead of Richard followed by Neil.
All in all a great day out at Ormeau Park with many thanks to all the helpers at XMTB for putting on a great event. Next up will be the final race of the Ulster Cyclocross Series at Donard Park hosted by Shimna Wheelers.