The second edition of the Cycling Ulster Youth Racing Festival took place at the Eikon Arena on Saturday 22nd June.
The hard work of the Cycling Ulster Youth Academy has made the festival a must attend event for youth cyclists from across Ireland. The traffic free site is perfect for a safe days racing particularly for the younger members and would be utilised a lot more if it wasn’t for the high costs associated.
Commenting after the event, CUYA’s Peter Brown explained the work that went into organising the event.
“The organising of the event started back in November and then intensified about 2 months before, Colin Finley started to contact various cycle related businesses looking for sponsorship for different elements of the day, the jerseys, the medals, the goody bags and the prizes for the various categories, many of the businesses were more than happy to help out. As the day got closer the meetings with site management increased until the setup day arrived, Friday 21st June.
“The setup of the course was carried out by myself, Colin Finley, Doreena White and on broom duties James Mc Guire, we were ably helped by 2 willing cyclists my daughter Lucy and Rachel, Doreena daughter, after a few hours the course was completed, and all was ready.
“Saturday dawned and the weather was on our side has we had another glorious day, wall to wall sunshine. I arrived at the site around 8:00 to be greeted by people already setting up, we had people setting up gazebos, we had people in campervans and caravans and some of the youth already on the course doing their practice laps.”
There were three different circuits in operation on the day with short, middle and long routes. The long course was approximately 1.1Kms, we had planned to use the short course for all the U8/U10 races as well as all the Elimination races, the middle course was to be used for the U12 TT/Crit and the long course to be used for U14/U16 TT and Crit.
The format was adjusted from 2018 with the 250m sprint removed due to time constraints. Ian Barfoot also came on board to assist with time keeping. The first event was the TT with the first rider of at 09:40 and the last rider away at 11:30.
The determination of all the younger riders at the start of the TT was brilliant to see and also the smiles as well.
Following the TT, the Crit races got underway, starting with the under 8’s. In all the categories some excellent racing was produced.
The last race of the festival was the Elimination race, as in 2018 it produced some excellent racing and also some audience participation, some being louder than others but all in good form, the only element of the day left was the presentation of winners jerseys and prizes.
Peter went on to say “I hope this years event improved on last year and we will continue to try and improve it for next year. This type of event is vital for the future and we need to do more events like this.
“Finally, thank you to all the competitors and to the parents who took time out to bring them to the event you are all winners and look forward to seeing everyone again in 2020.”
One of the parents summed up the success of the day with a comment on the CUYA Facebook Page:
“Thanks to everyone who made the day happen, it’s a fantastic event. It gives the children a chance to be friends and competitors in equal measures.”
The CUYA would like to thank the volunteers, the many sponsors and ‘The Belgian Project’ for their media coverage.
The sponsors can be seen below:
Coca Cola, Dale Farm, Asda Dundonald and Phoenix CC for the goody Bags
Powerhouse for production of the winner’s jerseys
The various sponsors of the Jerseys:
Denis Wilson U8 Boys/Girls
Richmond Wealth U10 Boys/Girls
Capital U12 Girls
TAS U12 Boys
Eos Systems U14 Girls
Mc Caul Foundation U14 Boys
InTouch NS U16 Girls
Plushmtb U16 Boy
The sponsors who supplied the winner’s prizes
Mc Convey Cycles
Podium for Sport
And Plush MTB for sponsoring all the participants medals