The weekend past saw the local race scene centred around the Mid Ulster GP. VC Iveagh a regular now at most races were represented with 3 club members (JD, Jonty and Colin) in the A4 race (4laps) and 1 (Neil) in the main race, within the A2’s (6laps). Sign on was from 11 -12.30pm in the mid ulster sports centre, with the races scheduled to start shortly after 1pm. Located in the Cookstown region, the. race hosts were Harps CC, whom as ever did a splendid job throughout the day.
Wwith a number of club riders available, we asked JD our highest finisher, for some comments on the race.
So how was the race JD?
JD – With glorious sunny weather on the day before, we had all hoped that Sunday would have similar and the forecast wrong, it’s fair to say it was a different day. Decisions made on dress wear enroute were debated and changed after arrival.
Warmed up and mentally ready to tackle the circuit ahead we lined up. The circuit boasted a number of small hills, drags, a rolling back straight and a fast steep downhill finish. Within the first 1/4mile the heavens opened and made the racing conditions slippery on the turns. Like most of the other races I’ve been in, starting fast we soon settled into a nice rhythm. The race itself was a punchy stop-start, high tempo affair and was cagey, until a few breaks began to occurr on the 2nd lap. Myself, Jonto and 2 lads from Dromore CC got involved but were unable to get away and make it stick. Things seemed to settle again and maybe even slow down on lap 3, I assume with most trying to leave a little in reserve for the final lap which on its own had everything. Shouting, jockeying and fighting for poistion and of course the inevitable mass sprint.
Each race, I prepare for in the same…a hearty breakfast, a snack bar and a drinks bottle, ohhh and the odd coffee stop enroute. I was feeling good going into this race, with confidence growing from previous races and recent speed at club events. I’m delighted to have come away winning the bunch sprint on the day and finish in 2nd place in the race…..this gave me 7 pts and as I carried 6pts fforward from 2017, this was enough points to promote me up to A3. Not sure this is a good thing or a bad thing lol, going into A3 is going be very tough for me, but its always nice to have a new challenge an see how i fair out….
A massive thanks to Jonty, who’s wheel was often there for me and whom has helped keep me right and allowed me to grow in confidence and to Colin whom new to the club came in 8th in this race gaining his first points, in this his first year.
In the main race, it was another tough day at the office for Neil, whom spent the day as the hunter and the hunted in a field that had much of our best talent.
“With 4 minutes to the A3/Juniors group & 1 minute back to A1’s, the A2’s were stuck between a rock & a hard place! The A1’s caught the A2’s within 5miles & the pace remained fairly steady until the A3/Junior group was caught at the end of 2nd lap, then all hell broke out for just over 2 laps until the breakaway was established as the A1 pro’s took it turns to attack the peloton. With around 10 riders getting away, they quickly gapped the peloton by 2minutes, with James Curry of the France based La Pomme VC winning. With the bunch sprint for nothing, I managed to grab 7th place after having to kick 3 times in the final 300ms due to riders sitting up after their legs gave up”.
Massive congratulations to all our riders, but in particular this weekend to JD having been promoted to A3.