Apollo Road Racers @ Carn Classic

Carn Wheelers were the promoters of the Carn Classic which featured races for A1 -A3, A4 , Women and Masters.The sun came out and bathed the 14 mile circuit is glorious sunshime although there was a sharp bite from the chill wind.

Apollo had six riders entered, they were Daniel McGlade, Dominic McCartan, Cathal Hendron, Enda McDaid, Colin McCloskey and James Wilson.

Carn Team Pic

First off were the A3’s who were given a small handicap over the A2’s which was soon closed down and for a while the bunch stayed together.

However there was enough aggressive riding in the bunch to ensure that this did not stay together for long. A small group of three broke clear of the main field. This group consisted of Darnell Moore,  Matthew O’Neill of Caldwell Cycles and James Wilson of Apollo. They managed to open a 40 second gap but two groups of chasers were hot on their heels. Eventually all the chasers managed to get on, forming a lead group of nine. O’Neill lost the wheel and was sucked back into the peleton but the remaining members powered on.

This group now consisted of Darnell Moore, (Caldwell), James Wilson (Apollo), Steven McAllister (Ballymoney CC), Barry Doyle, (U/A), Mark Millar (Velo Cafe Magasin) and Jonny Taylor, Joe McCrory and Micky Scullion of Carn Wheelers.

James Wilson in the breakaway

James Wilson in the breakaway

By the 40 mile mark this group had opened a 2 minute 7 second gap on the main field. Shortly after this all was to change again when Joe McCrory bit the bullet and went for it. He steadily began to open a gap and was left to hang out for a  while until the group saw this was a serious move. Both McAllister and Moore realised the danger and kicked clear to give chase. They caught McCrory and then these three managed to hold off the remaining chasers to the finish.

On the line it was Darnell Moore who had the power to sprint and take victory. McCrory was second with McAllister third.The chasing group, which had splintered, on the finishing straight then crossed the line with Jonny Taylor taking fourth ahead of Mark Millar and Mickey Scullion. James Wilson and Barry Doyle took the remaining positions for points

The A4 riders completed three laps of the course. As usual there was lots of movement in the bunch but at first no-one was getting away. Eventually one rider made a brave move and opened a gap on the field, He stayed out on his own for a considerable time until the bunch eventually reeled him back in.

It came down to a bunch sprint in the end which was taken by Chris Lawlor of VC Glendale.

Matt McLaughlin of Phoenix CC and Darren Hutton of Bann Wheelers. Adam Callaghan of Phoenix took fourth ahead of Daniel McGlade (Apollo CT) and William Convey of Termoneeny. Ivan Jeffers (East Tyrone CC) and Sean Scullion (Island Wheelers) took the remaining points.

Daniel McGlade Finished 5th

Daniel McGlade Finished 5th

Report Courtesy of Marian Lamb (Cycling Ulster)

Apollo Rockets racing. 1st Round Ulster Cyclocross League


Tomorrow we hope to have as many Rockets as possible racing in the 1st round of the Ulster Cyclocross League.

15 so far have PRE REGISTERED, you can still enter on the day. This is amazing for us. I don’t think any other club in Ulster will have this sort of representation at youth level. Also 5 of us Senior riders will racing the MTB 
support race, myself included.

If we could dedicate our race tomorrow to Coach Gavin who sadly lost his father this week and won’t able to join us but we know he’s with us in spirit.Apollo Rockets tee

If you’re not registered with Cycling Ireland you can get a day license for £5 which will see you through to the end of the year. You’ll have to pay the entry also for the race , which is only a couple of quid for the kids.

We’d also love for Rockets that aren’t racing to come down and show your colours and support. Hopefully you’ll be inspired to race soon.

I’ll be bringing down racing tops for the kids to show the colours in . Can I ask the parents to ensure the kids have their Apollo Rockets T-shirts on for the day.

I’ll be on site from 9A.M. to set up a gazebo for the Rockets and the senior Apollo riders with mechanics stand and Pete Graham will be on hand to service any bikes that need a bit of tinkering, tyres pumping up, basic stuff.

Our stand will be close to the Bowling / Tennis courts.

I’v also asked Mayor Colin McCusker to come down and say hi to the Rockets and Sean Duncan is coming down again to do more filming for a our wee promo film project.

The race schedule is as follows.

09:30 Sign on opens
10:30 Under 6 fun race
10:40 Under 8
10:50 Under 10
11:10 Under 12
11:30 Prize giving
11:45 Cyclo-cross females race
11:46 Cyclo-cross B’ race (males only)
11:48 Under 16, MTB support race, Under 14
13:00 Cyclo-cross A’ race
14:15 Prize giving

For more details on the event go here.

The weather for tomorrow gives it to be dry and fresh.

Apollo for the Nationals

image descriptionThis Sunday 5 Apollo riders head for Kilbroney and the Irish National Marathon Mountain Bike Championships.  The riders will race for gruelling 74 KM over some of the best trails in the country.  the lads will be racing for somewhere between 4 and 5 hours.  You can see from the attached profile its going to be tough and hopefully our riders will come home in one piece and maybe with a medal.

Good luck to Derek King, Keith Abraham, Tony McConville, Andy McGibbon and Campbell Armastrong and  UP APOLLO.

Report from the 5th round of the Ulster MTB League hosted by Apollo.



14985426409_df94ccfa36_oREPORT WRITEN BY MARTIN GRIMLEY

The sun shone at the lakes in Craigavon for the fifth and final round of the Ulster Cross-country Mountain Bike series.  This round was hosted by Apollo Cycling Team whose members have been working hard on developing the course and adding in new features not used in previous years. The course takes in a circuit around the lakes starting from the Watersports centre which has a café, separate room for sign on, showers, toilets and bike wash facilities.  Beside the car park there is the grassy hill section which has a large stone erected on the top as the focal point and is surrounded by a circular line of trees.  This section was used as the start for all the races.  It formed the courses for the Under 6s, Under 8s and Under 10s with the Under 12s and all other categories using this section purely as a start loop.  The older riders then crossed the pathway, went down a steep dip, up the other side, crossed the entrance road to the park before jumping up onto the pavement and heading over to the other side of the river to take in an off camber bank of grass which headed down to the finish line at the tarmac path.  

Racing got underway at 10:30 with the Under 6s which saw twenty young riders, some on 14985427629_8317d77ea5_ostriders, take on one lap of the grassy loop.  The Under 8s then used the same start line but their 3 lap course which went through the circular ring of trees, took in a U shaped section before heading over the top of the mound and around to the start/finish line.  The Under 10s used the perimeter of this grassy section dropping down to the trees to weave in around before heading up the climb over the mound to the start/finish.

15171781192_d7a38e8ae2_oThe Under 12s course crossed over the road and headed down to the finish line on the tarmac path before then turning sharply right and dropping down to the path beside the river.  This is a narrow ledge with no room to overtake and at the end they had to ride / drag their bikes up a steep bank and onto the grass to start another lap.

The Under 14s made use of the main course but sections were taken out to reduce their lap times.  The Under 16s and all the seniors used the main course which had many new sections cut in through the trees as well as the fast single track of the trail centre network.  A temporary bridge had been included into the course design to take the riders over the river beyond the finish line.  This was a tricky bridge to drop down onto and it was left out of the 12:00 races but then included in the 2pm races.

Many thanks to Apollo CT for putting on a great race and to Craigavon Borough Council for facilitating it.  A big turn out for this final round.  Youth and senior racing continues in October with the cyclo-cross season.  The first round will be hosted by Apollo CT at Lurgan Park on Sunday 5 October 2014. See for details.

Commissaire: Martin Grimley

Full details and photos here

The Billy Stewart Cup

Billy Stewart Cup
Apollo Cycling Club will be running their annual Billy Stewart event on the 3rd August 2014. Known locally as a sprinter’s paradise with it being practically pan flat making it difficult for a break to get away it always draws the fasted A2/3 and 4’s in the country.

This year the race will sign on from the Apollo Club Rooms in Lurgan High Street with a neutralised roll out to the race circuit 3 miles away at Derrymacash.

Details as follows.
Sign On at Apollo Club Rooms , 42 High Street Lurgan
Sign On is open from 10.30am – 12am.

Neutralised roll out at 12.15 to race circuit
A2/A3 race to start at 12.30 with a 5 minute delay to the A4 race and a further 5 minute delay to the vets/ladies race.

Distances are as follows
A2/A3 8 laps – 56 miles / 90km
A4 5 laps – 35 miles / 56km
Masters/ Women 3 laps 21miles / 33km

Race start on the Derrymacash Road , race finish Charlestown Road.

£12 online or £15 on the day.

Billy Stewart Cup now live on Entry Central.

Newry 3 Day by Andy McGibbon

The Newry 3 Day is an annual stage race run by Newry Wheelers and one of the premier bike races in the Ulster calender.  Now in its 26th year Apollo Cycling Teamentered a four man team to see what these men of the road could do.  Junior McAuley, Tony Hare, Andy McGibbon and Robert Greer with team manager Usher Greer put on the yellow, pinned on the race numbers and headed into the Mournes to throw themselves against one of the hillier Newry 3 Days.

Stage one is the traditional start to the 3 day, 40 miles up and down the Newry to Warrenpoint dual carriageway , all flat until the last lap when the riders are taken up the fearsome Grinan road, a 1 mile climb which peaks at a gradient of 11% after which a 3 mile sprint to the finish line at St Marks school in Warrenpoint.  Spinter Andy McGibbon found himself well down after being distanced on the hill  with Tony Hare and Junior McAuley rolling in ahead of him but it was Apollos junior rider Robert Greer, a natural climber who found himself up in the first third of riders.
Stage two on Saturday morning was a short two and a half mile Time Trial followed by a 56 mile stage around Killcoo, Hilltown and Raithfriland culminating in two climbs over Reed Hall and Elm Hall.  Once again the sprinters in the team found themselves distanced on the last of the climbs but 17 year old Greer stayed in with the favourites over the climbs and moved up through GC in the top 25 with one stage remaining.
So to Sunday and stage four, the Queen stage and 72 miles from Newry to Newry via Bandbridge, Castlewellan and Raithfriland taking in four King Of The Hills and two passes over the terrifying Raithfriland.  The entire race stayed together until the first dig at Raithfirland when a few riders went out the back then on to the Seven Sisters climb, although not as steep as some that had been tackled this weekend, it is long and perfectly placed to cause the most damage in the peloton, and so it did, with riders going out the back with another pass over Raithfriland still to come.  Robert Greer and Junior McAuley managed to stay in the main pack.  After that it was a head down, maximum threshold 10 mile TT effort to the finishline.
In the end, after a dramatic 3 days, Apollo ended up 13th team in the overall standings but most importantly with their young rider Robert Greer in 22nd overall, a fantastic achievement from this 1st year rider.   Speaking with Junior McAuley afterwards he said “If Robert keeps improving like he has been he could win that race next year”
Over the four days the team and the race averaged 25mph, over 200 miles and 7000 feet of climbing.  The team are ready for a well earned rest, that is until the weekend, when it all starts agin.
Newry 3 Day Garmin data.  2013.
Stage 1 (averages lowered on this stage because I forgot to turn Garmin off over finish line)
Stage 2 (averages lowered on this stage because I forgot to turn Garmin off over finish line)
Stage 3 (averages lowered on this stage because I forgot to turn Garmin off over finish line)
Stage 4 (averages lowered on this stage because I forgot to turn Garmin off over finish line)

Great weekend’s racing for ApolloCT

James Wilson took the honors at the A4 race on the Bishopscourt race track on Saturday. This race was run on a closed racetrack, with high speeds and little places to hide. With a bunch finish looming, James grabbed the top spot in the race. Excellent work.

Cathal Hendron took 4th at the Noel Teggert on Sunday as well, helping drive the break all day, he got a well deserved placing for his work!

Well done lads & also to the other guys racing @ the weekend (Not to mention the Wicklow 8)! Good to see the club represented!

Well Done Paul!

Well done to Paul McCormac getting 2nd in the A4 race at the Outlet, Banbridge. He just missed 1st by a whisker, and also picked up the intermediate sprint along the way! He was led out by Campbell Armstrong, doing a great job to bring him up to the front. Well done Paul!

Open Racing Update

Well done to Paul McCormac, Desi O’Hagan and Robert Greer who showed well for Apollo on sunday at the Mid Ulster GP.

The course was a tough hilly one but nonetheless big Paul went to the front of the bunch and tried to pull back an early breakaway which unfortunatley for him managed to stay away and take all the points on the day, but he’s happy enough with his efforts.  the photos of him leading the bunch up the climb is evidence that he’s got legs at the minute and one to be watched. Desi O’Hagan managed to finished strongly in the bunch.

Meanwhile on the same course in the under 16 race Apollo’s Robert Greer finished 7th overall, a good result for the young man.  Robert’s is new to the race scene and is extremely keen to progress, he’s showing natural talent for the sport and we reckon he’ll be making a name for himself in the coming years.

Link to the Cycling Ulster photo gallery