Armstrong takes second at Lurgan

Armstrong takes second at Lurgan

9 October 2019

THE first round of the Ulster Cyclo-Cross League, hosted by Apollo CC at Lurgan Park, took place on Sunday.

It was certainly a testing time for the course setters. There was a clearly much debate from the competitors about how muddy it was going to be and if they would have enough wet weather gear. 

As it turned out, the sun would appear and the rain would disappear leaving Lurgan Park looking beautifully tranquil.

The first race up was the U-6 race with Fiadh Kellett, Hugh and Conor Hetherington flying the flag for Dromara CC and more importantly loving the mud. Great to see them enjoying it.

The U-8s boys’ race saw young Oscar McBride loving the mud as he battled through the crown to claim eighth place in a competitive race.

Aoife Kellett was in a tough U-10 girls’ race that saw her put in a tremendous effort to claim third place with second place not far away. A great start to her league campaign and pressure on dad to produce in his race.

James Armstrong has had a great summer of cycling and has taken this rich vein of form into the cyclo-cross. Curtis McKee, from Maryland Wheelers, would keep James from the top spot of the podium, but only by a mere six seconds.

With junior members having set the scene at the cyclocross it was time for the senior team to get on their bikes. 

In the MTB Support race Mick Foley, fresh back from injury and claiming to be unfit, tore through the mud to claim a top 10 finish leaving expectations that he can only get better and better.

The club had a large representation in the B race which saw 10 riders competing.

It didn’t last long for Gibson Chambers as he got caught up in a crash at the start. 

This left Paul Hamilton taking the honour of first Dromara man home in sixth place, not far behind was Richard Cowan in eighth, Brian Kellett managed to take 12th and hold off Darren McCann, just. 

Adi Booth took the bragging rights as he finished ahead of Bryce Hetherington and Mike Barton finishing 41st, 43rd and 46th respectively. Robert Davison finished in 67th with John McGuigan taking 74th.

The Dromara Ladies had a full team out and it was Diane Wilson on her comeback who was first Dromara Lady home in fifth with Martina Hawkins finishing closely behind in 7th. Andra Hamilton was enjoying the course and claimed a battling 14th place.

The final race of the day was the men’s A race which saw Barry Kellett, Neil Armstrong and Derek Graham take to the start line.  

Kellett showed that moving the M40 category certainly hasn’t slowed him down as he battled with his younger rival Graham Boyd, from McConvey Cycles, for the top spot. 

This time it was Graham who held on to take the win, but an excellent second place and top M40 for Barry. Neil Armstrong claimed 34th just ahead of Derek Graham in 36th. When the scores where totalled up, it left Dromara CC taking the third team prize.

Many thanks go to Apollo CC for putting on a tremendous event, considering the awful weather through the week. Thanks also to Belgium Project and Toby Watson for the photos. 

The next round at the weekend will see the racers heading to Necarne in County Fermanagh.