It is with great sadness that Cycling Ulster has learned of the death of Debbie Barclay (nee Kane).
Debbie began cycling at a young age following in the wheels of her father, Dave who was an accomplished international cyclist before founding the Dave Kane Cycles shop in Belfast in 1978.
At a time when there were limited opportunities for women’s cycling in Ireland, Debbie often competed against her male counterparts, challenging them for the top placings on a regular basis.
Debbie blazed a trail for Irish women’s cycling during the 1980’s, winning several national road race and time-trial championship titles and represented Ireland at just 19 years of age in the 1985 World Championships.
Unfortunately, her progress in the sport was cut short following a serious crash in an international stage race in England in 1988 which left her paralysed from the chest down.
Debbie worked in her father’s shop from when she was a teenager and opened a clothing specific section which was adjacent to the original store. This provided local cyclists with the ability to buy the finest cycling clothing from Italy and Switzerland.
Debbie was a regular at cycling events throughout the last three decades, including supporting her brothers, Mark who represented Ireland in the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games and Paul, a national championship medallist. She also returned to competition in recent years, taking part in the national hand cycling championships.
The Cycling Ulster Executive extend our sincere condolences to Debbie’s family, her friends and her club mates in Northern CC.