Armagh Down Cycling Club were launched late in 2015, and can already boast over 60 members. A lot of work has gone on behind the scenes to get the club to where it is, in such a short time.
Winter training was lead by club coach, Paddy Clarke, and involved a 12 week turbo training programme. During 2016, a number of riders will be taking part in open road races across the country. A further 20 members will be taking part in The Bike Station League organised by neighbouring Dundalk outfit, Cuchulainn Cycling Club. This is the largest number riders from a visiting club.
The club is has launched their inaugural cycling sportive, The Gullion Tour, taking place on 1st May from Newry Sports Centre. All proceeds to Multiple Sclerosis Newry. There are 60km and 100km relatively flat routes, suitable for all abilities.
Reflecting the close bonds between the club and Cuchulainn CC Dundalk, Armagh Down CC has been invited to host a stage of The Bike Station league – the first time an outside club will have done so, and the first time the league will come across to Ulster, and into Armagh.
The Armagh Down CC stage will cover a challenging route at the base of Slieve Gullion, passing through the villages of Mullaghbawn and Forkhill. The stage will involve three laps, so plenty of opportunity for locals to see the event. The best vantage points are likely to be on the bridge in Forkhill, and the finish line at Mullaghbawn Chapel. This event will take place on 2nd June at 7pm.
Armagh Down CC will also be hosting the Ulster Cycling Hill Climb championships on 3rd August, on Slieve Gullion. This event will attract the elite of hill climbing specialists from across Ulster.
Further details of all these events will be on www.facebook.com/armaghdowncc