Ballymena will be hub for Tour of North cycle race

Ballymena Road Club.

Ballymena Road Club.

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Entries opened last week for the annual showpiece Tour of the North stage race, which takes place over the Easter weekend.

The 2015 will be the 51st edition of this International Stage race.

This year’s race will consist of three tough stages on Saturday 4th April, Sunday 5th and Monday 6th all of which will be based in the Ballymena area.

More details will be available in the coming weeks, while stage details will be available once the routes have been verified.

The race director is Joan McCullough, who is the daughter of Ballymena Road Club – Chain Reaction Cycles – President Alan Mark, who himself also filled the roll of Tour race director for many years.

This is always an exciting stage race which is eagerly looked forward to by all riders and no doubt entries will fill up very quickly.

While the event is open to A*, A1, A2 and A3 riders all those considering taking part should be aware that this is a very tough race and riders should not enter it unless they are at peak fitness levels.

One of the reasons for this is that the event receives PSNI support with motorbike outriders and a control vehicle providing escort for the race and operating a rolling road closure system. Cycling Ulster have been informed by the PSNI that they will be operating in a tight escort “bubble” and riders who fall outside this “bubble” are on their own and subject to the normal rules of the road regarding junctions, roundabouts and traffic lights etc.

To enter the Tour of the North you can download forms from www.tourofthenorth.net for any further queries contact race director Joan McCullough on joanmccullough@hotmail.co.uk

SEASON STARTS

There is likely to be a change of venue for this Saturday’s Annaclone GP due to road works on the circuit.

Banbridge Cycling Club has been forced to seek an alternative circuit away from the original course. However at the time of writing a suitable alternative circuit hadn’t been finalised.

The club advises entrants to check the Cycling Ulster web site for confirmation of the new circuit and HQ. For further information contact race secretary Aaron Wallace via aarwallace@gmail.com or 07713 147 968.

ANDREW’S HONOUR

Ballymena Road Club’s Andrew Wills successfully completed the Cycling Ulster Commissaires’ training course at the White River hotel in Toomebridge recently.

He was amongst a group of eighteen people who were in attendance, this number included two women. I understand that Andrew will be one of the assistant commissaires on the forthcoming Easter Tour of the North stage race.