Foyle CC host first Ulster Cyclo Cross Series

St. Columb's Park can expect an influx of hundreds of off road cyclists at the Ulster Cyclo-Cross Championships

St. Columb's Park can expect an influx of hundreds of off road cyclists at the Ulster Cyclo-Cross Championships

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The 2015 Ulster Cyclo-Cross Series will take place in Londonderry for the first time after Foyle Cycling Club announced details of the penultimate round which has been confirmed for St Columb’s Park on Sunday.

The exciting programme sees races run on a mixed terrain course commencing at 10.30am with a 10 minute Under 6 Fun Race in which the youngest competitor is likely to be three-year-old Muff resident, Ashton Wynne from Foyle but children of all ages and abilities are welcome to take part on the simplified short course.

Each individual round of the Chain Reaction Cycles sponsored Series also has a full schedule of youth races with races at Under 8, 10, 12, 14 and 16 as well as a mountain bike support race before the main event of the senior race.

The main races last approximately one hour and are held throughout the morning leading up to the first adult support race at 11.48am under the watchful eye of accomplished series promoter Martin Grimley.

With more than 100 cyclists expected for the adult races alone, Foyle Chairman Simon Gill said he was hoping the event could become a permanent fixture on the Derry cycling calendar.

“Foyle Cycling Club is extremely excited at the prospect of hosting its first Cyclo-Cross Race,” explained Mr. Gill, “Preparations are fully underway to get together an extremely challenging up and down 3.3km parcours to really test out all competitors from the elite riders down to the first-timers.

“St Columb’s Park will provide a particularly beautiful back drop on the banks of the Foyle with views over the City.
“Everyone at the club is extremely confident of producing an exciting series of races which will hopefully become a key fixture on the Cycling Ulster Cyclo-Cross calendar.”

The ‘A’ race will see local Elite rider, Ronan McLaughlin from Muff, doing his best against season-long dominator Glen Kinning from Belfast.

Fresh from competing in the European races in front of reported crowds of 60,000 will also be former champion David Montgomery from Ballymena.

For the adult contests, the racing will mass start on the running track and weave its way around St Columb’s Park, taking in the best features and most challenging terrain available.

The route brings the cyclists out the top of the track and into the trees before flicking back through the forest and coming out on the cycle path along the Foyle.

It then kicks up steeply back into the trees and down past the junior playground, re-joining the cycle path and around to the back of the playground before heading up the old steep path toward the Foyle Arena.

At the playing fields the course travels along the tree line, ducking into the forest and back down towards the playground before taking the off-road path along the stream, up the steps, across the path towards the statue of St. Columba, then a zig-zag through the trees and eventually back to the running track once again to start the next circuit!

The adult races will be over five or six laps depending on the class.

Entry for spectators and further details can be gleaned at www.ulstercyclocross.com or www.foylecycling.net or on the Foyle CC Facebook page.