Foyle CC – Cycling Ulster Club of the Year

Thomas McLaughlin FCC General

Foyle CC has been awarded ‘Cycling Ulster Club of the Year for 2016’ at the annual Cycling Ulster awards dinner held on Saturday 14th January. Chairman Simon Gill said “Foyle CC is extremely proud to be named Cycling Ulster Club of the
Year! This accolade follows hot on the heels of being nominated for Cycling Ireland Club of the Year and is testament to the efforts of our hard-working Committee and all of our many volunteers who helped us put on so many events this year. Catering for cyclists from 5 to 75, we have been able to put on Bike Skills Classes for Kids with Sprocket Rocket, Open Elite Races, Time Trials, Sportives, Club Runs, a high profile Cycling-cross Race and the Maiden City Criterium. This busy schedule has only been made possible by the Teamwork of scores of people.”

2016 has been a fantastic year for Foyle Cycling Club and Cycling in the North West. With committed members and support from the local community Foyle CC have been able to put on some great cycling events throughout 2016. Events including the flagship annual charity Sportive the ‘Inishowen 100’ in August, which this year attracted over 350 riders from across Ireland and beyond. The ‘Adrian Mullan Foyle Hospice Sportive’ to continue the charitable legacy of one of our members tragically killed on the road in October 2015. ‘Foyle Hospice Women Only Cycling Sportive’, the ‘Tour de Foyle’ and the popular ‘Sprocket Rocket’ bike skills programme for youngsters aged 5-12 in St. Columb’s Park.

As well as hosting its own local calendar of Club Races and Time Trial League the Club also hosted 4 Open Races. The third running of the Foyle GP in July was again a great success as was the 4th Maiden City Criterium in June, which saw high quality racers racing a circuit up Shipquay Street and within the City’s historic walls. If these successes weren’t enough the Club also again successfully hosted two provincial Ulster Championships with the Ulster 10m Time Trial on 31st July and the Ulster Road Race Championships was held by Foyle CC on the 4th September which saw the best riders in Ulster compete in thrilling races which ended with Derry rider Marcus Christie winning both provincial titles. The final race event of the year Foyle CC held was the 4th round of the
‘Ulster Cyclocross series’ which was he in St. Columb’s Park to coincide with Derry’s 30th anniversary Halloween celebrations. Foyle CC Chairman Simon Gill said: ‘we hope that this fixture will become a permanent event at Halloween for Club and City. We’re hopefully too that local companies will take the lead of Halfords Cycles on Crescent Link who sponsored the prizes for all the junior categories. With key sponsorship, this event has the potential to bring in hundreds of competitors and spectators thus helping our local economy to grow,’

Foyle Cycling Club members have had some fantastic successes racing in 2016 with Ronan McLaughlin and Ryan Reilly both made the top thirty in Cycling Ireland rider rankings for 2016. Both have had fantastic years, Ryan raced in France during the summer where he won the Grand Prix Coanus and was 2nd overall in the ‘Tour de Haute’ stage race, back in Ireland he won the 2016 Red Hand Trophy plus many more Podium standings and top 10 finishes. Ronan represented Ireland in the ‘An Post Ras’ 2016 the toughest stage race in Ireland and in Japan at the ‘Tour de Hokkaido’ and won the 555km non stop ‘Donegal Atlantic Way Ultra Race’ to name but a few of their successes in 2016. Many other racing club members had fantastic season with many victories and podium finishes resulting in many moving up through the grades to race at higher levels in 2017.
This success continued as the Club also retained the fiercely competitive Inter Club League against some very strong Donegal teams by winning each and every event in the series with numerous fantastic performances and many riders scoring points and taking individual victories. Club chairman Simon Gill, said it was a great achievement for the club: ‘great credit goes to all the riders who have participated over the last number of months to ensure that FoyleCC retained this title. And with the backup from so many dedicated volunteers, its just gratifying to see all the effort rewarded’.

As a result of the efforts of all the volunteers of Foyle Cycling Club and the community the club was short listed for 2 of the highest award in the country ‘Cycling Ireland Club of the Year’ and ‘Cycling Ulster Club of Year’. Foyle CC was honoured to be shortlist for both awards and to be announced as winners of the ‘Cycling Ulster Club of the Year’ on Saturday 14th January at the annual awards dinner.

Club PRO, Thomas McLaughlin, said that the club was delighted with its nominations and winning ‘Cycling Ulster Club of the Year’: ‘this is fantastic news, not just for Foyle CC but also for cycling in Derry. It’s a great honour to be shortlisted with some of the best clubs in Ireland and to win ‘Cycling Ulster Club of the Year’ is a great achievement only made possible because of all those people who helped out at our many successful events in 2016 without the volunteers none of these events would be possible.’

Foyle Cycling Club has many exciting events planned for 2017 starting with it beginners program, to encouraging more people to join the club and enjoy the social and physical benefits of cycling which begins on 4th March 2017 9am at Templemore Sports Complex Derry.