Following an annual review with the PSNI, Cycling Ulster have contacted all Ulster Race Organisers who promote ‘A’ and ‘B’ classification events regarding the running of these races.

We rely very heavily on the services of the PSNI when running our ‘A’ and ‘B’ classification events, and so when their feedback is received it’s important we do what we can to act on it when appropriate to ensure we do not risk losing the PSNI classification on these events.

‘A’ and ‘B’ classification events in Ulster include;

· Tour of the North (A)

· Tour of Ulster (A),

· Tour of Ards (B),

· Wallace Caldwell Memorial (B),

· Tour of the Mournes (B),

· Newry 3 Day (B),

· Red Hand Trophy (B).

Over the last number of years a reoccurring message has been received by the PSNI teams working on our cycle events; The race ‘bubble’ becomes too large to safely manage for their outriders, and those competitors who have been dropped and end up outside of the bubble without the protection of lead vehicles or PSNI support. This has the potential to cause a danger on the open road, but also to damage the image and reputation of the event, the promoter, Cycling Ulster, Cycling Ireland and cycling in a wider sense.

It is widely agreed that the easiest way to minimise the risk of the bubble expanding beyond control is by targeting and restricting our ‘A’ & ‘B’ classified events to the higher category riders (A+, A1 & A2), or minimise the range of ability in events – thus reducing the number of dropped riders.

Ways in which to apply this to the events include;

· Restricting pre-entry to A+, A1 & A2 riders only*

· Where ‘capping’ entry to A2 category riders and below, apply a qualifying criteria for A3 riders and give preference to A2’s*

· Not permitting entry to Limited Competition licence holders from the host club

*It is also important we are filling the available places for these events, both to support the financial income to the event and also to fully utilise these PSNI supported events.

Where available places are unfilled by A+, A1 or A2 riders then it may be appropriate to allocate those spaces to the highest ‘qualifying’ A3 riders (I.E. those with the most CI ranking points) from a reserve list.

Note that following a regulation change at the 2017 CI AGM Junior riders are permitted to upgrade to the A2 category, and so this should not impact the participation of our stronger junior riders in these events.

Should you have any queries regarding the above, or would like to discuss options on event pre-entry please feel free to directly contact Cycling Ulster’s Technical Officer, Aaron Wallace, or the Cycling Ireland Events Officer, Garry Nugent