Foyle Cycling Club have taken home prestigious ‘Race Event of the Year’ accolade at the 2019 Cycling Ireland Awards in the City West Hotel in Dublin.
Awards were nominated by and voted for by Cycling Ireland's 23,000 members with the local club receiving a total of four nominations including Mark Moroney for ‘Coach of the Year’ following his efforts with the ‘Women on Wheels’ and ‘Sprocket Rockets’ programmes. Chris McElhinney was nominated in the ‘Volunteer of the Year’ category for his tireless efforts relating to running race teams and events.
Both Mark and Chris were pipped at the post in their respective categories but Foyle did claimed the ‘yellow jersey’ position for their highly successful running of the National Road Championships, both in Donegal and Derry last June, was named ‘Race Event of the Year’.
Huge crowds turned out for the National Time Trials which were held on the Letterkenny Road, centred at Kernan’s Newtowncunningham, and for the road races across a Derry city course which included both bridges and a finish area at Ship Quay Street. The event proved a huge success and was covered by RTE, BBC TV and Eurosport.
Foyle Chairperson, Ronan McLaughlin, and Nationals Race Director, Chris McElhinney, were in Dublin to receive the award.
“We are truly delighted to have won this award, a great recognition for the efforts of our members in running this highly important and prestigious event and the best Nationals Ireland has ever seen,” explained Ronan.
“It would not have been possible without the club members’ selfless donation of time and resources, the committee’s long hours of planning, the support of Derry City and Strabane District Council, the PSNI, Gardai and other local cycling clubs such as North Pole and Inishowen.
“We are also indebted to our many event sponsors who made the event financially possible. We were truly delighted with the response of the public to the event especially to the large crowds on Ship Quay street helping to create an exciting environment.”
McLaughlin was speaking following a week in which the Foyle Cycling Club’s AGM returned the former professional cyclist as Chairperson of the growing club once again and he reiterated the club mission to become the premier cycling club in the north west by growing its membership, especially for females and youth riders. The club will also continue to support a wide range of disciplines including mountain biking, cyclo-cross, road racing and leisure events. The backbone however continues to be the Saturday and Sunday club rides which commence from the Templemore Complex.
The AGM also paid tribute to several committee members who were standing down including Peter McLaughlin after a 10-year stint as treasurer and a 16-year contribution from Mark Moroney, a past Chairperson only one of the many other hats worn down through the years.
“Foyle Cycling Club wants to put on record the overwhelming and selfless contributions of both Mark and Peter which have seen the club grow from a handful of members to a strength of over 150 members in that time,” said a spokesperson.
A motion to make Mark and Peter Honorary life members of the Club was unanimously passed by all present at the AGM in the Abercorn Bar last Tuesday evening.
Thanks, was also expressed to Chris McElhinney and PRO Thomas McLaughlin who were stepping aside after three years on the committee and much time and efforts given to the club.
The club had further reason to celebrate this week following the achievements of youth members at the final round of the Ulster Cyclo-Cross League on Sunday at the Palace Demense, Armagh, where almost 300 individuals raced across a variety of classes.
The Series took place over six rounds across Ulster and was attended on occasion by 13 members of the club from very young to not so young!
Dominating the Under 8 Boys Class Club members were delighted to learn that seven-year-old Daragh Quigley was appointed Series Champion after six wins from six races.
In the Under 10 category, big sister Clodagh Quigley also produced some great performances, securing third in the series. Evan Wynne (9) Ashton Wynne (7) and Kealan Doherty (8) all took part in the Under 10 boys’ races with Evan amassing enough points to take a fine series fifth from a very competitive field. This topped off a fine year for the enthusiastic young rider from Muff who also took third place at the National Cross-Country Mountain Biking Series.
Ashton and Kealan raced their hearts out and had some great performances, especially considering they are the younger riders in the class.
Foyle also had three riders in the Cyclo-Cross Under 14 races, namely the oldest Quigley sibling, Peter, Calum McMonagle and Ryan Lynch. Whereas the younger children race shortened courses this class takes in the full adult courses which are very challenging. The three had great races with each other throughout the season with lap times on occasion besting many of the adult members of the club!
The event in Armagh also proved a breakthrough for young McMonagle who broke into the top 10 with ninth place on what was an extremely challenging course. Ronan McLaughlin, in a message congratulated all the competitors, especially our new champion, Daragh Quigley, and notedthat the efforts of these young sports people offered great hope for the future success of the club as they continued to grow and develop their abilities.
Also worthy of note was Karen Wynne who managed to take second in the Ladies Mountainbike Class of the Cyclo-Cross League for the second time having been also champion in 2018. Committee member and Quigley Team Manager, Liz Quigley also took part in selected races in addition to Daniel McCallion of the Abercorn Bar who rode the entire series.