Three days of youth action on Ulster roads took place in the last weekend of July at the Foyle CC Ulster 3 Day International Youth Tour. What an emotional rollercoaster for our nine Orwell youth riders  (two riding in the Leinster blue) - from stage win thrills to back road spills, we saw it all! I don’t think anyone escaped the  incessant deluges over the whole weekend that even threatened to derail the racing on the first day. But the best bit was definitely between races when the kids hung out, chattering endlessly and sharing the stories of their own races.

In terms of results, it was in the U12 girls’ category that Orwell dominated, taking home two overall podium positions - 2nd for Daria Murphy and 3rd for Laoise Crinion, in her first ever race on open roads! Daria also took home the white jersey for u11 young rider and the polkadot jersey for the QOM category.

In the boys’ u12 race, James Cunningham, riding in Leinster blue, took second across all categories after an epic battle with his formidable Sliabh Luachra rival over the three days.

All our riders finished safe and upright which is all we hoped for and everyone had their own story to tell.

Thank you to Foyle Cycling Club and everyone involved in hosting and running the Ulster 3 Day. We were made feel very welcome and most importantly the kids had a ball! On a personal note, as a first timer to the cavalcade I (Aideen) particularly enjoyed the race radio patter - it’s well worth tuning into!!


U12 Girls

Daria Murphy and Laoise Crinion were representing Orwell in the U12 girls’ ranks, both in the younger age category. Daria has already seen plenty of success in her first season racing, but it was Laoise’s first foray onto open roads (she’s a regular on the mtb scene and has also been seen honing her sprint at Monday night racing in Corkagh Park). It was fantastic to see the U12 girls category so competitive. There were 11 riders in total, including two international riders - one from Australia and one from the Isle of Man - the highest numbers that have raced in this category this year. The racing was really competitive every day with four different winners over the four stages - two for Orwell: Daria on stage one and Laoise on stage three. The gap that overall winner Rose Linehan from Sliabh Luachra got on stage two when a small crash held up some riders proved decisive, but the final podium places were not settled until the final stage - a true battle to the last!  

2nd Daria Murphy
3rd Laoise Crinion

Young rider (u11) - White jersey
Winner Daria Murphy
2nd Laoise Crinion

Points competition - Green jersey
2nd Laoise Crinion

QOM - Polkadot jersey
Winner Daria Murphy

Stage Winners Jersey
Stage 1 Daria Murphy
Stage 3 Laoise Crinion

U12 Boys

In u12 boys race, the epic Real-Cunningham showdown continued with Orwell’s James Cunningham, riding for Leinster, pinning his main rival, Ethan Real from Sliabh Luachra, to the pin of his collar over the four stages. James battled to the last, only losing time to him on the first two stages, and taking 2nd place overall across all categories for his efforts.

Orwell’s Xander Huele,also riding for Leinster, was biting at the heels of a podium place across the four stages and finished up 5th in GC. Jake Govan and William Hance, in their first year of road racing, never gave up and learned some lessons along the way. William showed true grit on stage 2 - after slipping out on a corner, he got back on his bike and saw the race out, his main concern that he might not get to race the following day. A true bike racer!

2nd James Cunningham

Points competition - Green jersey
2nd James Cunningham

KOM - Polkadot jersey
2nd James Cunningham

Team prize
Team Leinster with James and Xander

U14s Girls

In the u14s race, Issy Heule discovered how aggressive the riding can get and the importance of positioning when she found herself on the wrong end of a few sprints on the first days. She was delighted with herself in the final stage when she was part of the winning break of 5 that finished over a minute ahead of the rest of the field giving her a respectable 5th place on overall GC.

U14 Boys

In the boys u14 race, Fionn Crinion, more accustomed to mtb, made another foray into road racing this weekend. The race was dominated by experienced Rían McCrystal, whose preference was to control the race from the front to ensure a sprint finish. This type of racing didn’t suit Fionn, who would have been more at home in an attacking race. He got stronger as the race went on though, and moved up the GC rankings on every stage.

U16 Girls

The numbers in the u16 girls ranks were lower than usual due to a contingent that had travelled to the Assen Youth Tour in the Netherlands. Áine Reilly was the sole Orwell representative in a group of six. After a strong start coming 2nd in the TT, she discovered how unforgiving small bunches can be on the road. The small group splintered on each stage, leaving groups of only one or two to take on the longest and toughest circuits  reserved for the u16 riders. It made for some tough days in the saddle for her but very gutsy ones.


  • Daria Murphy u12
  • Jake Govan u12
  • William Hance u12
  • Laoise Crinion u12
  • Issy Huele u14
  • Fionn Crinion u14
  • Aine Reilly u16


  • James Cunningham u12
  • Xander Huele u12


  • Aideen Keenan
  • Brian Crinion
  • John Huele
  • & all other parents !!