THE third round of the Ulster Cyclocross series took place on Sunday in Lady Dixon Park in Belfast.
Phoenix CC had set out a fantastic course as always with tarmac and gravel sections, an expanse of open grassland, a few steep banks and some technical rooty singletrack sections to test the riders.
A fine warm autumn day brought out over 200 riders and it was good to see a large number of junior riders. A number of riders from Ballymoney CC entered the races in this popular branch of the sport which provides winter off road races which are not as technical as the cross country mountain bike races and make for fast open racing.
First up for Ballymoney was 4 year old Patrick Elliott in the under 6 category which attracted 6 entrants. This was Patrick’s second race after he entered one of the mountain bike races earlier in the year. Patrick finished strongly to take 2nd place and is keen to enter more races over the winter.
Liam McAuley finished 15th in the under 10 race while brother Eoin was 10th in the under 12 race.
Triathlete Chris Surgeoner has shown great improvement on the road over 2012 and has now turned his attention to the off road racing for the winter months.
He finished in 4th place in the under 16 race following a few unintended dismounts on what was a very technical course on a cyclocross bike.
The morning’s racing finished with the seniors mountain bike support race which is for those seniors who do not own a cyclocross bike. Graeme Elliott form Ballymoney CC finished 20th out of a field of 40 riders.
In the main cyclocross event in the afternoon Ballymoney dentist Jason Henry finished 9th overall and 2nd in the veterans category.
This is a great introduction to cycle racing for children in a safe off road environment and anyone interested can contact Ballymoney CC through their website or facebook page. It is also a good introduction to off road racing for adults as the courses tend to be less technical than these in the cross country summer series. ulstercyclocross.com has details of all races and results.