Apollo got the 2016 off road season off to a great start yesterday at Ormeau Park, with round 1 of the XMTB spring series. First race off was the U6 fun race, with Jack Nelson well up the field in 3rd or 4th with Aidan Smyth & Harry McAlinden finishing well middle of the field. In the U8 girls Aisling Smyth got out early to take a comfortable win, with Caitlin Hanna back in form taking 3rd. In the U8 boys Max Boyd finished strongly middle field & first time racer Daniel Mousley also giving it a good go! It was a nail biting finish for the U10 boys with Thomas McAlinden just getting pipped at the end to finish 3rd, with Jamie Boyd also doing well in that race. Then in the U12 girls Keela Smyth came in 4th with Erin Hanna & Kate McAlinden also giving it their all to finish well. Lauren Hanna was next up in the U14 girls tackling the tricky full adult course, with Oran McIntyre giving it a good go in the U16 boys to round up the youth entries.
The mens B & women’s race set off together with a good list of entries from Apollo, with Nicola Nelson, Sean Bingham, Brian McAlinden, Neil Ervine, Colin Boyd, Rory McIntyre & Robbie Smyth tackling a challenging but fun course. Then last off on the day was Tony McConvile riding for team CRC.
Great days racing from all & some very welcome sunshine giving a feeling of spring finally in the air. All sights now set on our host race at Craigavon Lakes on 13 March 😊
Apollo are delighted to announce their sponsorship of The Belgian Project. At a recent committee meeting it was proposed and passed that Apollo would become a ‘medium’ sponsor with the Belgian Project.
The Belgian Project is at the forefront of promoting Irish youth and giving them the opportunity to race in major races both in Belgium and Ireland.
The project has helped place countless young Irish riders in Belgium, giving them exposure to some quality racing and training in the sport’s European heartland.
Dany has been engrossed in the sport all his life and his passion has remained undiminished since he moved to Newtownards after he got married 25 years ago.
He feels just about as Irish as any of the riders he places in his home country every year.
Awarded volunteer of the year 2015 at the recent Cycling Ireland Awards just shows his commitment to the sport.
Apollo CT recently started the very successful Apollo Rockets, which now boosts over 50 children in the club. They have recently been awarded the Lidl Community Works award, seeing £2000 of equipment and clothing supplied to them.
The committee all agree in this current climate, cycling has a shortage of youth in the sport, hence the Rockets were initially formed.
Club Vice Chairman Sean Bingham spoke passionately of the need to promote youth not only in our own club but in the sport in general. Robbie Smyth one of the Rockets coaches commented on the coverage the Belgian Project gives across social media with Rockets featuring heavily in their photos. All of the committee agreed that the youth were the future of the club.
Look out for the Belgian Project team car in 2016 with Apollo CT on the side and go and say hi to Dany, all of us at Apollo CT wish him every continued success for the 2016 season, and you never know one day we might have a youth member on the Belgian Project.
Apollo Rockets have been awarded the Lidl Community Works Funding Award. Thanks to the parents of Rockets especially Debbie Boyd. The Rockets made it through from hundreds of entries, down to the final eight in the Lurgan area. After careful consideration by the judges, the Rockets were selected to receive the “big” award of £2000. Rockets are one of only 32 groups in Northern Ireland to be awarded this money.
This is fantastic news for all the leaders and volunteers who give up their time week in and week out. The money will be used to help Rockets buy team kit that they can issue to any Rocket who represents the club at events. Any money left over will go towards buying more equipment to help build the skills and competency of the kids at all levels.
Club Chairman Paul McCormac replied “Wow! That’s amazing!” on hearing the news, while Rockets leader Robbie Smyth commented “That’s awesome, kudos must go to Debbie and all parents”. Paul McAlinden, a Rocket’s parent agreed “That’s great news! Great to see the Rockets moving forward!”
And…..if this award wasn’t enough: the Lidl top cats sent their film crew out to see where Rockets take place in Lurgan Park. They were so impressed at the scenic location of the park and the fun the Rockets have on a Saturday they have selected the Rockets to star in their upcoming TV advertisement. Needless to say there will be a few excited Rockets eager for a starring role.
Please see the attached schedule for the Apollo Youth Program for Summer 2015. With plenty on over the coming
months, the Rockets and rockets family are making the most of the summer while we have it. We have an inter-club day trip planned to fellow club Glendale to train with their Imps, which we’re all very excited about! There’s a family and club away day to Kilbroney with some of the rockets camping over too, as well as our 1st birthday party in July!!! We also have some more Colin Ross sessions, CX MTB support races and of course our normal Sat & Wed sessions throughout the summer. So definitely a fun-packed few months ahead for the Rockets 🙂
Apollo Rockets, the youth section of Apollo CT, recently attended the first of six training sessions with Colin Ross. Colin is one of Irelands top mountain bike riders. It was identified that training at Lurgan Park and Craigavon Lakes was not just enough for the Rockets. As we all know, young people today want to push the boundaries, and we could think of no better person for the job. The first session was held at Barnetts Demense Trails at the Mary Peters Track. This being the place Colin taught himself at a young age to ride the natural Trails. So great was the demand we have had to split the Rockets up into two groups according to their age and ability.
Lots of disciplines were covered, from position on the bike all the way to learning to control bike speed on very steep descents and then moving on to bunny hops over obstacles. Also cornering at speed and change of direction on descents. The session lasted for two hours and everyone came away with big grins on their faces as well as a few midge bites.
The next session is scheduled for the 22nd April. If you are interested in cycling or have a child who is interested and would like to learn more. Why not join come along to one of our beginner nights or bring your child to a Rockets Session. They are free, all we ask is your child wears a helmet.
Apollo have teamed up with Colin Ross for six training sessions. Starting in April the first two sessions will be at Mary Peters. This is an exciting opportunity for Apollo as our sponsorship deal, with Chain Reaction Cycles, gives us access to the Team Vitus rider.
Colin Ross (Rosco) is a 7 time national downhill mountainbike champion in Ireland and has also represented Ireland at the world championships 6 times. Through his career in cycling he also worked as a fitness instructor at a local gym in Belfast and after working there for over 7 years he decided in 2009 to go out on his own and started up “Rosco Lines”. The idea behind this was to setup a company that specifies in both mountainbike coaching and fitness training. So whether it’s XC, DH or just for fun and fitness we will have something to suit your needs.
We have 10 places per session. These sessions are free and our open to all club members. Although preference will be given to youth riders who compete in XC. If you are interested please get in touch with Dylan. The first dates are Wednesday 8th April and Wednesday 22nd April.
It was the Rockets show on Sunday 8th March at Kilbroney. On what can only be described as the most challenging course the Rockets had ever tried, they proved that all the hard work and effort put in at training had paid off. First off was the under 6, where Max Boyd came home in a fantastic 1st and a stunning ride from Jack Nelson brought him home in fith place. This set the trend for the next race which was the under 8, Caitlin Hanna came home in third place and in the boys race we had Jamie Boyd, Thomas Macalinden and Cathal Dorrian all placing in the top ten.
In the under 10 girls we had great racing from the girls with Keela Smyth in 5th, Niamh Nelson 7th, Bronagh Dorrian 8th and Erin Hanna 10th. Under 12 girl Lauren Hanna was pipped to the top spot by only 3 seconds to take second place. Such was the pace of the top two, they managed to lap the rest of the field. Under 12 boys had Joel Bingham 8th and Finlay Murdoch 1oth. Under 16 boys raced on the main circuit which was incredibly technical from start to finish, both Ethan and Teo battled hard and finished 6th and 8th respectively.
Finally we had the mens race. With Robbie Smyth, Gavin Hanna, Neil Irvine and Michael Nelson taking part in the Senior 4 Category. Tony McConville was in his new Team Vitus strip in Senior 3. Neil Irvine had a mechanical which left him only completing one lap and Michael Nelson in true sportsman tradition DQ himself after realising that he had missed a section of the course. Gavin finished 12th and Robbie 19th and in Senior 3 Tony McConville came home in 10th.
Overall it was a good day for Apollo and everyone agreed that it was probably the toughest course they had raced so far.
Rockets continue this Saturday at Lurgan Park 10am and soon we will be starting back to Craigavon Lakes for adults, youth and rockets.
Apollo Rockets and Apollo Seniors took home a total of four podium prizes in the three race mountain bike series held in Ormeau Park recently. In what can only be described as a ‘mud fest’ all riders, from under 6 up to senior, experienced some very tough conditions under their wheels. Tyre pressures were checked and double checked to gain as much traction as possible.
Apollo had no fewer than 31 riders taking part over the 3 week series, with Peter Graham and Dylan Lyness making their debut into mountain bike racing. The highlight for the seniors was Michael Nelson taking his first ever win in week three and claiming the overall senior ‘B’ title. There was a large crowd of supporters to cheer him home to the finish. Neil Ervine was 7th and Gavin Hanna 9th. Senior ‘A’ had Tony McConville in 12th place.
In the junior categories it was close racing between them all, but overall the team spirit and taking part was the main aim of the event. In the under 16 boys, Jack Murdoch secured third overall with Teo Davidson and Oran McIntyre finishing 5th and 6th respectively. The Under 12 Boys had Joel Bingham in 8th. Under 12 Girls had a podium with Lauren Hanna finishing 2nd Overall. Under 10 Girls was the tightest racing of the series and Keela Smyth finished 4th, Niamh Nelson 5th, Erin Hanna 6th and Bronagh Dorrian 8th. In the Under 10 boys we had another podium with Thomas Macalinden 3rd, Jamie Boyd 4th and Cathal Dorrian 10th. Under 8 girls had Caitlin Hanna 5th, Aisling Smyth 8th and Chole Mccartan 11th. Last but not least we had Max Boyd and Jack Nelson in the Under 6.
After the prize giving on the last Sunday there was a raffle and our own Robbie Smyth won the top prize of a brand new mountain bike. Its fair to say everyone had a great event and the sales in washing powder in the local area definitely increased to get all the mud out.
Just had great email from Paul at Fleet Maintenance and his firm are going to be sponsoring the Apollo Rockets with a bursary. I’m delighted that a great local firm is backing our project along with international beheamouths like Bike Pure 🙂
Be sure to head over to Fleet Maintenances’ FaceBook page and say hi and thank them from us.
What a great day we had with the Rockets and the senior riders. Everyone rode amazingly well. We came home with 4, count ’em 4 bronze medals. Aisling Smyth, Lily McGibbon, Summer McGibbon and big Rocket Cathal Hendron.
All the Rockets are improving week on week and the ones that haven;t medalled yet its only a matter of time for them. Thomas McAlinden got a great 4th today, nearly matching his 3rd at Lurgan Park, Lance Abraham is charging (5th we think) and it has to be said when Santa brings him his new bike he’ll be hard to beat. Joel Bingham has such a sprint on him and also finished at the pointy end of the results, he also looks amazing on a bike, great style. The Boyd brothers Max and Jamie again are also flying, Jamie got around the first lap in 2nd and had a spill unfortunately, Max decided to stop for a rest Keela Smyth also rode brilliantly along with Lauren,Caitlin and Erin Hanna along with Harriett Abraham .
In the boys Kevlin Devlin, Oran McIntyre and Jack Murdoch blasted it with Jack finishing 5th in his first ever race.
It must be remembered that winning is not the aim of the game, enjoying it is and if they gave medals for smiling Apollo would win the Gold medal every week. Sorry if I left anyone out.