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.
As you may or may not know we have been working on a 20th Anniversary Jersey. This is a one off jersey to celebrate our 20 years of the club’s heritage. Some of you older members will remember the original design of the jersey. We had a vote at the AGM to reduce 8 designs down to 3. We have created a survey to see which of the 3 is the most popular. If you want to vote please do, but we expect people who voted are going to purchase the design. We need a minimum of 20 pieces to make it worthwhile producing with Powerhouse. The winner will be available to buy at the next round of club clothing which is at the end of January. So this will enable it to be with you for the start of the season. Please remember this is a one off, and will not be replacing the current kit.
I hope that this is the start of a special year in the club, and we look forward to planning other events to mark our 20 years.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
With Chain Reaction Cycles being our main sponsor, part of the deal is we get to have a club discount night at the store. This was on the 2nd of March at the Boucher Road store. Plenty of bargains was had and with the road group getting ready for Spain all members were stocking up on spares. We would just like to say thanks to CRC for their hospitality and pizza