Cycling Ulster Team Manager, Ryan Connor, has been busy over the past few weeks interviewing riders and discussing plans for the year. Following the input of funding from the David McCall Foundation the first priority was to make the selection for one of Ulster's Premier Stage Races, The P&O Tour of the North, which takes place over Easter. The Cycling Ulster-David McCall Foundation Team was announced yesterday and consists of

Conor McAllister (Ballymena Scott Tiles)
Simon Williams (Juiced Orchard)
Philip Lavery (Look Academy Belgium)
Johnny Cole (Team Madigan)
Ryan Connor - rider manager

It is likely that this team will also compete in the Des Hanlon later in the year.

Manager - Tommy Wilson (Ballymena Scott Tiles)

Connor has selected teams for some of the other forthcoming events. The first of these takes place on St Patrick's Day at Dunboyne where a young Development Squad has been selected. In the frame for this event is
Matthew Brennan Ballymena Scott Tiles),
Jack Wilson (East Antrim Audi)
Adam Rayner (Team Basso UK)
David Neill (Team Madigan)
Nathan McLeer (Curran Racing)
Pauric McCafferty (Four Masters)
Aaron Baines (East Antrim)

Gary Wilson, a former Irish international star, will ride as team mentor.

Pauric McCafferty is the first rider from Four Masters to don the Ulster Jersey and we wish him well in the event. With the dramatic increase in cycling in Donegal he will certainly not be the last and we could well see another Philip Deignan in a few years time.

Connor has also gathered a team of assistant managers, drivers and mechanics around him to help out. These include Ballymena squad Hugh McCullough, John McAllister, Colin Scullion and Tommy Wilson as well as Orchard's Paul Williams and Keith Gallagher.

Other riders in the frame for upcoming events are Euorocycles Thomas Martin. Cyclists who have not been named on the early season squads should draw some comfort in that Connor will be observing most of the races this season and quite a few other Ulster riders who show potential will find themselves wearing the Provincial jersey at some stage during the year.

Cycling Ulster wish Ryan and all his squads the best of luck in forthcoming events.