After extensive efforts by the Cuchulainn Cycling Club and Cycling Leinster, the Irish National Youth Cycling Championships scheduled for August 19th had to be cancelled due to Storm Betty.
This was a big disappointment for many young cyclists.
However, the cycling community swiftly rallied together to organise a remarkable replacement race for our youth.
Cycling Ulster and Cycling Leinster collaborated with Strabane Lifford CC and Foyle CC to quickly arrange this event.
Given the limited availability of dates, a decision was made to hold both the Irish National and Ulster Youth Championships simultaneously.
Full race results can be found below for both races. The results in this post are for the Irish National Youth Championship.
Fortunately, on the race day, the weather was in our favour, and 165 young cyclists gathered in Killea, Co. Donegal.
The race commenced under the expert guidance of race director Chris McElhinney and a team of commissaries led by Tommy McCague, Chair of Cycling Ulster.
The atmosphere was filled with excitement as the first races kicked off at 9:00 a.m. with the U12/U11 boys, covering an 8.8km course with an uphill finish in Killea village.
William Hance won the U11 race, followed by Daragh Quigley in 2nd and Jake Govan in 3rd.
In the U12 race, Ethan Real claimed the top spot, with James Cunningham in 2nd and Xander Huele in 3rd.
Among the girls, Laoise Crinion emerged victorious in the U11 category, followed by Daria Murphy in 2nd and Cara O Sullivan in 3rd.
Ava Baker secured the U12 girl’s race, with Eire McCrystal in 2nd and Caoilfhionn Foley in 3rd.
Next up were the U15/U16 and U13/U14 girls’ races.
The U14 girl’s race saw Emer Heverin as the clear winner, accompanied by Ysabella Huele in 2nd and Clodagh Molyneaux in 3rd.
In the U13 race, Naoise Byrne clinched the 1st position, with Katie Turner in 2nd and Clodagh Quigley in 3rd.
The U15/16 race comprised three full laps covering 55.3 kilometres, while the U13/14 race completed one full lap, totalling 18.7 kilometres, both finishing with an uphill sprint.
Aliyah Rafferty secured the U16 girl’s race, followed by Rhiannon Dolan in second and Mya Doocey in 3rd.
In the U15 girls race, 1st place went to Ffion Dolan, 2nd to Ami Flavin, and 3rd to Aoife O Donovan.
After the girls’ presentations, the boys’ races commenced with the U15/16 and U13/14 categories.
Josh McClune claimed victory in the U13 race, followed by Tom Lane in 2nd and Dylan Murphy in 3rd.
In the U14 category, Rian McCrystal secured 1st place, with Caleb McGreevy in 2nd and Austin Henry in 3rd.
U15 was won by Jack Woods, with Curtis McKee in 2nd and George Sevastopulo in 3rd.
The U16 boys race saw Rory Condon emerge as the winner, making an early solo break in the race, followed by Luca Holmes in 2nd and Toby Sweetman in 3rd.
Without delay, the Time Trials began, covering a 8.8km course. All results can be found below.
The event was a resounding success, with a collective effort to ensure safety and enjoyment.
Parents and clubs worked closely with event organizers to marshal, set up, and clean up afterwards.
Cycling Ulster, Cycling Leinster, Strabane Lifford, and Foyle CC extend their heartfelt thanks to race director Chris McElhinney for his tremendous effort in organizing this race on short notice.
Lastly, congratulations to all the determined young cyclists who participated.
Keep up the training!
Thanks to Toby Watson for all the great pictures from the day.