It has been an amazingly successful weekend for local cyclist John Madden (Curran Racing/Bann Wheelers) who competed in the Ulster 25 mile Time Trial (TT) Championships and took gold in the veteran section for the 5th consecutive year and also the All Ireland veteran TT Championships where he took a superb silver medal.
Madden travelled to Swinford, County Mayo on Saturday and raced with distinction against his peers to lift a fabulous All Ireland silver medal in atrocious weather conditions. This represents a significant progression for Madden who has placed 4th and 3rd the last 2 years respectively in this fiercely competitive class.
Perhaps next year he can finally go one place further and lift the coveted Irish national champion’s jersey he so narrowly missed out on this time?
Not to be deterred by the unfortunate timing of back to back championship races both North and South Madden then traveled back to race at the Ulster 25 TT Championships which took place between Ballymena and Antrim on Sunday.
Not only did he win the veterans title for the 5th year once again but he also placed second over all behind the senior winner and professional cyclist David McCann (Giant Kenda).
Madden said: “High winds and driving rain were not ideal conditions to time trial on both Saturday and Sunday.
“My legs were tired from my All Ireland effort so I was ecstatic to lift the Ulster title after the slight disappointment of not gaining gold the day before.
“I have to be delighted with another Ulster ‘25’ Championship on Sunday. In the end it was only Giant Kenda’s David McCann who beat me in the senior men’s championship with a time of 53.08 which is outstanding given the conditions.
“McCann is a professional rider who will be competing against the best in the world in two weeks time at the World TT Championships.
“I was also pleased to put nearly a minute between myself and third placed John Heverin (Clann Eireann) who had beaten me by 3 seconds to lift the Ulster 10 mile senior title a couple of weeks ago. Following my silver medal position in the All Ireland’s yesterday, I was really happy to add to my weekend tally of medals when I took Gold in the Veteran men’s competition from Mark Greer (Maryland Wheelers) and Jim McConnell of East Antrim Audi who are both quality cyclists.”
Madden went on to say: “It was a similar story at the All Ireland Championships where I was beaten by a former professional rider Greg Swinard (Usher) who raced in America for a number of years before coming to live in Ireland. I am only an amateur cyclist and compete because I enjoy it having given up triathlon 10 years ago.”
Madden was a former Irish International in the sport of Triathlon and won both All Ireland and Ulster Championships on a number of occasions.
Since crossing over to cycling Madden won the Dave Kane and Super six TT leagues a couple of years ago and recently smashed his own Irish Veteran record for 10 miles in a time of 19:55. Madden is also the current Irish record holder for Veteran 10, 25 and Senior 50 miles.
After this fabulous, yet tiring weekend, of success at both All Ireland and Ulster level Madden will also be doing the 182k sportif which leaves Ballycastle next weekend on Saturday 17th September which is being promoted by Radio Shack professional cyclist Philip Deignan from Donegal and finishes over the grueling Torr Head road from Cushendun to Ballycastle. Madden is then also considering entering the Ulster 100 mile TT Championships on the 25th September which is being organized by Bann Wheelers.
Ulster Veteran Men’s 25 Championship Gold - John Madden Curran Racing 00:56:17 Silver - Mark Greer Maryland Wheelers 00:57:34 Bronze - Jim McConnell East Antrim Audi 00:59:58
Ulster Senior Men’s 25 Championship Gold - David McCann Giant Kenda 00:53:08 Silver - John Madden Curran Racing 00:56:17 Bronze - John Heverin Clann Eireann 00:57:08
All Ireland Veteran TT Championship
Gold – Greg Swinard (Usher)
Silver- John Madden (Curran Racing/Bann Wheelers)
Bronze – Gerry McCabe (Newry Wheelers)