Jason ‘Burns’ up the roads to claim handicap league title

Jason Burns enjoyed an impressive season with Ballymena Road Club.
Jason Burns enjoyed an impressive season with Ballymena Road Club.

Jason Burns rounded off an excellent second season with Ballymena Road Club – Chain Reaction Cycles – by winning the club’s time trial handicap league competition in the season long Northstone sponsored club race series.

When the club’s prize presentation dinner and dance takes place at Leighinmohr House Hotel on 21st November Jason will be one of the major winners as he will have four pieces of silverware to collect.

These will include the Combat Cancer 25 cup, The McQuigg 50 cup, the Rex Bonar road race cup and the season long Time Trial handicap league cup.

The club season started well for Jason (36) who recorded a personal best 10 miles time trial performance with 22 minutes 40 seconds on 23rd April. His best in 2013 had been 23.38 so the signs looked good for what lay ahead.

Jason’s first silverware of the season was earned when he won the Rex Bonar cup 25 miles road race over five laps of the Lisnamurrican circuit at Broughshane on 7th May.

More silverware was to follow when Jason clocked a personal best 25 miles time of 59 minutes 04 seconds in the Combat Cancer cup event at Woodgreen on 4th June. This performance earned Jason six points, as winner, in the Time Trial handicap league.

Another six points came Jason’s way when he again won the handicap section of the GP of the Glens time trial on 18th June.

Jason more or less secured the league when he beat his 50 miles time by almost 15 minutes, to win the handicap and the McQuigg cup on 25th June.

His time that night was an impressive 1 hour 57 minutes 59 seconds. This was just 7 seconds slower than event winner and seasoned campaigner Sean Wright.

Another personal best came for Jason in the Ernie Mark cup 25 miles time trial on 9th July.

On this occasion Jason clocked 58 minutes 11 seconds and was fourth fastest on the night and third on handicap.

Jason wasn’t finished though as he took fourth place in the club 5 miles time trial at Woodgreen on 5th August. His time was 10 minutes 28 seconds for another handicap win.

The final club time trial of the season was a 10 miles event at Woodgreen on 27th August.

Steven Workman was fastest with 20.53 and Jason Burns was second with 21.51, yet another PB.

Overall Jason improved all his best times dramatically during the season with his 10 going from 23 minutes 38 seconds to 21.51.

His 25 improved from 64 minutes 42 seconds to 58.11 while his 50 miles time improved from 2 hours 12 minutes 33 seconds in 2013 to 1.57.59 in 2014.

Jason even managed a notable open road race performance when he was runner up in the A4 event at the North Down GP on 8th June.

Incidentaly by winning the time trial handicap league Jason kept the trophy in the house as his wife Eileen won in in 2013.

“I am happy with the way the 2014 season went but I know there is still room for improvement so I am going to try and train hard over the winter.

“This was my first year with an open licence and it was a good experience racing in big fields of riders but I prefer time trials, testing myself against the clock for a position.

“My best open race would have been the North Down grand prix where I got second in the A4 race in a field of 70 riders when, after 80 miles, I had a strong finish.

“I also enjoyed the club races and time trials as they can be quite competitive,” added Jason.

FUN TOUR FOUR

Saturday’s fourth ride in the fun tour series saw a record 83 riders assemble at Rex Bonar house for the day’s activities.

The previous best had been 77 on the opening day of this year’s series. Another £65 was donated to the Chernobyl Children’s appeal and the total now stands at £860.

The touring group continued with their charitable activities because, during their 35 miles tour to Crosskeys, Moneyglass, Toome, Church Island, Bellaghy, Portglenone and Ahoghill they stopped off at the Bannvale credit union building in Portglenone to support the Macmillan Cancer coffee morning.

The 30 riders in the “B” group completed a 50 miles ride to Toomebridge, Ballyronan, Magherafelt, Tobermore and Maghera at 18.4 mph.

This Saturday’s fifth ride is the first opportunity, for those with full attendance, to earn their bronze medals.

PUNCTURE LECTURE

Jim Burns will be the instructor at a puncture repair night lecture in Rex Bonar House next Monday, October 6, from 7.15pm.