Muck and muckers turn out for Ulster Cyclocross

Children compete in one of the junior categories at the Ulster Cyclocross race at St Columb's Park.
Children compete in one of the junior categories at the Ulster Cyclocross race at St Columb's Park.

The Ulster Cyclocross series wheeled into Londonderry for the first time in its history when round eight was held on Sunday, in St Columb’s Park.

Hosted by Derry club, Foyle Cycling and sponsored by Ireland’s largest cycle store, Chain Reaction Cycles, sixteen categories will fought for, from under 6 to Senior Cyclecross for adults.

Despite the hail, rain and wind, almost 300 competitors signed on at Foyle Arena and took part in the day’s activities.

Organisers were undeterred despite high winds felling a tree near the course finish line, and the day kicked off with the juniors, cheered on by parents and supporters alike.

The first race commenced as the rain began to fall, with Ethan Casey from Trail Demons Cycling Club, Craigavon, taking the podium. The senior races were won by Alwynne Shannon, Newry Wheelers and Christopher McGlinchey, Chain Reaction Cycles, for female and male respectively.

Simon Gill, Chairman of Foyle Cycling, said: “This was a wonderful day for Foyle Cycling, the sport in the North West, and for Derry in particular. The natural beauty of St Columb’s Park served as an ideal location for the races.”

Despite the weather, Gill praised all involved. He continued: “Despite the extremely challenging weather conditions, volunteers and spectators alike turned out to assist and watch what was a great series.”

The local club is hoping to make this event a permanent fixture in the Cyclecross calendar.

For 2016, the organisers are aiming to double the number of entries across all competitions.

Ulster Cyclocross, series 8, category winners: Under 6 – Ethan Casey, Trail Demons Cycling Club.

Under 8 (female) – Grace McVeigh, Shimna Wheelers; Under 8 (male) – Fionn McCluskey, Roe Valley Cycles.

Under 10 (female) – Aine Doherty, VC Glendale; Under 10 (male) – Oran Anderson, VC Glendale;

Under 12 (female) – Summer McGibbon, Trail Demons Cycling Club; Under 12 (male) – Scott Roberts, Island Wheelers.

Under 14 (female) – Maia Simmons, North Down Cycling Club; Under 14 (male) – Darren Rafferty, Island Wheelers.

Under 16 (female) – Summer McGibbon, Trail Demons Cycling Club; Under 16 (male) – P.J Doogan, Errigal Cycling Club; MTB Support (female) – Angie Smyth, Apollo CT; MTB Support (male) – Clive Caldwell, Caldwell Cycles; Cyclocross ‘B’ race – John McLaughlin, Cookstown Cycling Club.

Cyclocross (Females) - Alwynne Shannon, Newry Wheelers and Cyclocross (Male) – Christopher McGlinchey, Chain Reaction Cycles.

For further information: Ronan Gallagher, PRO, Foyle Cycling Club, 00353 87 649 5537 or e-mail: ronangallagher@gmail.com.