With Northern Ireland currently basking in temperatures higher than the continent we couldn’t have wished for a better month to host the County Down Time Trial Championships, add the fact that this year the decision was made to revert back to a Warrenpoint start, we knew times would be fast. The County Down Champs is the fifth event in our VC Iveagh Race League and the second year VC Iveagh have hosted this prestigious TT. The Newry, Warrenpoint carriageway is considered one of the fasted roads on the TT calendar but can be prone to strong headwinds blowing along the Newry River from Carlingford Lough.
Saturday morning once again brought sunshine but the sky was interspersed with high clouds, the conditions would prove to keep the temperatures optimal for the riders. The club has been on somewhat of a role with our event’s this year, with each one gaining high numbers of competitors, the biggest problem has been losing VC Iveagh riders to marshaling duties. On each occasion we hold an event our riders give up their time and places to ensure everything goes without a hitch and we would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every member of the sign-on, time keeping and marshaling team, without whom we couldn’t put these events in place.
The running order was taken from our Entry Central sign-ups with Ollie Forsythe the first man off at 10am sharp, each following rider released at one minute intervals. As has been the case with every event this year we had a top quality group of the riders take part, seemingly from far and wide with a few visiting clubs from the South. Even as the first rider set-off we were still getting people turn up and asking if they could still sign on, however with a 9:45am cut-off we had to make the call to refuse further entry as the event had officially started. Shortly after the 20 minute mark, times started to come through and it was a case of sorting the riders into their individual categories.
When the last rider crossed the line the team sorted each rider into his or her respective time and category, on the day it was Ian Inglis of Black Rose Cycling who came away with the spoils and was crowned County Down TT Champion with a time of 20:34. The female Champs category was once again won by the ever impressive Karen Hull of Phoenix CC with a time of 23:45. Congratulations to both Ian and Karen for the fantastic times and being crowed the 2016 County Down Time Trial Champions.
They say it’s hard to keep a good man down and that statement rung true yet again when Neil ‘Rocket’ Seffen was once more fasted man within the ranks of VC Iveagh. Neil pulled out a season best time of 21:56, we have no doubt this form will continue well into the season ahead.
This TT was a continuation of our new partnership with Rice’s Hotel who shall be sponsoring the 2016 VC Iveagh RACE LEAGUE, not only are we running an internal club league but we have also introduced a visitors league. The visitors league is open to any rider from any club, simply compete in over 50% of our races throughout the season for a chance to win a meal for two in Rice’s Hotel, all details can be found in our Sponsorship Announcement post.
Once again we would like to thank everyone who turned up and made our annual County Down Champs such a great occasion, we hope you all enjoyed the event and we look forward to growing the champs to even bigger and better things in the years ahead. We must also say a massive thank you to Vitus Bikes who stepped in last minute and offered very much appreciated help. With the champs now done and dusted there is no time to rest on our laurels, this Thursday evening will see our first road race of the season in the guise of an Aussie Pursuit. The event starts in Gilford at 7pm with a 6:30pm sign-on and takes in an 18 mile course; we hope to see you there.
All photos are courtesy of mysportsphoto.uk