• 24Dec

    2017 Review of the Year

    2017 has been another very busy and successful year for Donegal Bay Cycling Club. So with 2018 just around the corner let’s review the highlights of the past 12 months.

    Our Donegal town Sunday spins moved residence to Dunlevy’s filling station, on the Killybegs road, at the start of the year. The move proved popular with large numbers attending the Sunday spins throughout January and February, despite some frosty conditions. Kevin McGlynn’s very popular Turbo training sessions, in the Bosco Centre, continued throughout the winter months and ensured that members stayed in good shape! The club saw out winter with a ‘Soup & Sandwich’ spin from the Sandhouse hotel on the last Sunday in February, as members looked forward to the start of the sportive and racing season in March.

    New home for DBCC Sunday Spins at Dunlevys Filling Station

    New home for DBCC Sunday Spins at Dunlevys Filling Station

    The racing season started in earnest in March, with members travelling near and far to participate in events. Damien Reid, Eugene Murray & Roger McCauley represented the club at a number of A4 events such as the Killylough GP and the Markievicz Cup. Meanwhile Darragh McCarter got his season off to a winning start as he claimed the North Pole CC ‘St Patrick’s Day Potato Race’ in the A1 event. The club also initiated a mid-week spin at the end March as members looked forward to the start of the Club leagues. It wasn’t all racing though, as the club also initiated a Saturday mornings beginners spin, led by Paul McGroary, to encourage new members into the club.

    April was all about one event, the 5th edition of the clubs ‘Magee Donegal Bay Spring Sportive’! The event proved to be a huge success with nearly 450 cyclists taking part. A proud day for DBCC, and a massive achievement for a modest sized club with just over 70 members!  Conor Meehan showed that he was in great form by finishing 3rd in the Westport grandfondo. Paul McCarter got his first victory of 2017 at the Bann Valley Classic, in Portglenone. Paul and Darragh were joined by nephew Caolem, from Omagh Wheelers, at the international 4 day Tour of the North event (14th-17th April). The brothers put in solid performances as they looked towards the month of May and the An Post Ras.

    County Donegal welcomed the An Post Ras back to its roads for the first time in five years during the month of May. With no less than five of the eight stage’s starting/ finishing in the county, the 2017 edition of the elite 8 day event was going to be a gruelling challenge. For the first time in the clubs history we had two members competing in the event, brothers Paul & Darragh McCarter, and they put in superb performances to finish the 1,200 km race with the professionals. A proud achievement for both DBCC and the McCarter brothers.

    Other highlights during the month of May included DBCC entering a 5 man team in the inaugural Foyle A4 3 day event, with Damien Reid, Eugene Murray & Roger McCauley all taking part. The DBCC Summer league also commenced at the start of May, with good numbers attending the weekly events throughout the month.

    Aaron McBride had a good run of results in the month of June, taking top ten finishes at the Bobby Crilly Classic and a stage of the Ras Dhun na nGal, points that would see him promoted to A1 racing status. DBCC had 3 teams entered into the Race Around Donegal’s Wild Atlantic Way, brothers Conor & Kieran Meehan raced as a 2 man team, while the 4 man teams of Paul Gillespie, Damien Reid, Bill Nesbitt & Paul McGroary (DBCC Rollers) and Roger McCauley, Tom Dunlevy, WillieJohn & Michael McGroarty (DBCC Turbos), also competed, with all 3 teams finishing the 555km race in times under 24 hours. Many may have thought that after racing the Ras in May Paul McCarter would put his feet and take it easy for the rest of the year. In fact Paul was only getting warmed up with the second half of 2017 being even better than before the Ras! Paul would take 2nd place at the National Over 40s Road Race in Wexford, with more results to follow in July, August and September. But it wasn’t all racing in the month of June with members enjoying a brilliant social night on the WaterBus as part of our Bike week events.

    DBCC members compete in the Donegal WAW 555km Race

    DBCC members compete in the Donegal WAW 555km Race

    In July 5 ‘Bog Men’, Damien Reid, Eugene Murray, Jonathan McCann, Micheal Bryson & Paul McCarter took part in Trichoniall Gap’s mountain bike event with Paul taking victory in the A race and Michael winning the B race. The DBCC Summer league drew to a conclusion with Darragh McCarter only confirmed the league winner at the final round TT, narrowly beating Oisin Doherty (AAA) to lift the Pasty McGroary cup for a 4th time. Paul McCarter would add to his Silver Medal from the M40s Nationals by winning the Gold medal at the Ulster M40 RR in Cranford. While on the sportive front Alfie Mannion and Mick Cahilane represented the Club at one of Ireland biggest events, the Ring of Kerry, with nearly 10,000 other cyclists.

    DBCC had great success at the Wexford 3 Day in August. Conor Meehan took 6th over all in the A4 event, promoting him to A3 status in one season, and Paul McCarter took a brilliant final Stage victory in the A1 event. The club also held its very popular Round the Houses Race in Ballyshannon with Alan Breslin (Trichoniall Gap) eventually being declared the winner after a mix up in the results! Paul McCarter added to his medal collection by claiming the Ulster TT M40 title in Monaghan. Tommy Doherty took part in the UCI Grand Fondo World Championships in Albi France and Aaron McBride came 1st in the 60km Kildarragh mountain bike challenge.

    Paul McCarter in action

    Paul McCarter in action

    September saw Paul McCarter take Sliver at the National M40 TT championships and gold at the M40 XMC mountain bike marathon nationals in Ballyhoura! An unbelievable season for Paul with National and Regional Gold medals in 3 disciplines, Road Race, Time Trial and Mountain Bike. Unfortunately, September also saw the sad and untimely death of club member Liam Hyland. Liam was a great friend of the club and has been sadly missed.

    The late Liam Hyland with Joe Barr

    The late Liam Hyland with Joe Barr

    With the Sportive and Racing season drawing to a close the club launched its Autumn/ Winter training with a Soup n Sandwich spin from the Sandhouse hotel. The club also commenced 2 mid week spins, on road bikes and mountain bikes, in October, with Kevin’s Wednesday night Turbo sessions also running again.

    November would see Ronan McCauley win the DBCC Club Championship, with a brilliant ride on the Mountcharles circuit. The club held their AGM in November with popular Chairman Terry McInytre stepping down after completing a year’s tenure in charge. Paul McGroary took over the reins as Chairman and a new committee was elected for 2018. Also the club held a bike maintenance class with Ted McCaffrey showing those present how to keep their bikes in top condition over the winter months.

    The club saw the year out in style with our annual Christmas dinner dance taking place in the Abbey hotel. There’s no doubt that 2017 has been a great year for the club and having read through the clubs achievements there’s no doubt that the club is going from strength to strength and has a healthy future.

     

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