Plaudits keep coming for Eileen as she now wins 100 miles Ulster title

Balymena Road Club cyclists enjoyed a stop at Arthur Cottage during Saturday's second run in the popular Fun Tours series.
Balymena Road Club cyclists enjoyed a stop at Arthur Cottage during Saturday's second run in the popular Fun Tours series.

What a memorable weekend it has been for Ballymena Road Club – Chain Reaction Cycles – rider Eileen Burns.

On Saturday she recorded a new personal best time of 22 minutes 17 seconds in the Ernie Magwood 10 miles time trial at Woodgreen and followed this up on Sunday by winning the Ulster Ladies 100 miles time trial Championship also at Woodgreen. This was Eileen’s fourth Ulster time trial championship victory of the season with her other successes coming in the Ulster ladies 10, 25 and 50 miles distances.

Eileen’s winning time on Sunday was 4 hours 23 minutes 33 seconds which is a remarkable performance in her first ever attempt at the distance.

I’m not sure if any Northern Ireland lady competitor has ever achieved this feat before but she certainly is the first Ballymena Road Club rider to do so.

Afterwards an emotional Eileen said: “(my husband) Jason and I both did the 100 today. Jason clocked 4 hours 17 minutes 04 seconds and I was 4 hours 23 minutes 33 seconds. Jason and I also raised some money for the children’s hospice by doing the 100 but we not sure of the total collected yet.”

“So that’s me Ulster champion again. I am very proud of completing the 100 miles Time Trial, never mind being giving the title of Ulster 100 TT ladies champion. I got advice about pacing myself and I just stuck to that. It was the hardest physical challenge I have ever done. It even brought me to tears when I finished.”

“We both did 10 miles time trial on Saturday and I was delighted to record a new personal best of 22:17. If someone had told me at the start of the season that I would get that time I would have never have believed them. I have thoroughly enjoyed this year’s racing season, but I’m glad it’s finished and now for a well-earned rest.”

Ballymena’s Steven Workman just missed out on a senior medal but was nevertheless delighted with his personal best performance of 3.45.40 which was good enough for fifth place overall.

Results Ulster 100 miles time trial championship

(1) Marcus Christie (An Post) 3 hours 27 minutes 11 seconds. (2) B McCrystal (Cuchullain) 3.36.39 (3) Sean McIntyre (Orchard) 3.36.40 (4) John Madden (Dig Deep) 3.37.36 (5) Steven Workman (Ballymena Road Club) 3.45.40 (6) Stevie McAllister (Ballymoney) 3.47.25 (16) Jason Burns (Ballymena) 4.17.04

Ladies Champion Eileen Burns 4.23.33

FUN TOUR TWO

Seventy three cyclists took part in Saturday’s “Fun Tour” from Rex Bonar house and they donated another £180 to the Chernobyl Children’s appeal NI charity fund which already stands at £705.

Three groups headed out with the “A” group of just six riders completing a 65 miles ride to Larne, Ballygally, Cairncastle, Feystown, Glenarm, Waterfoot, Glenariff and Martinstown. Their average speed was 18.2mph.

The “B” group of 34 riders also had a coastal route to Carnlough and Waterfoot which was completed at 18 mph.

The touring section ride took in Galgorm, Russelstown, Granagh, Lisnahunshin to Rasharkin then on to Finvoy and right on to Mullan Road.

Next it was Aghill road Carclinty and Cullybackey where they visited Arthur Cottage and sampled the home baked soda bread. Saturday was “European Heritage” open day at the cottage.

TALK DATE

BRC secretary Hazel Hughes has organised a talk about group riding which will be conducted by Cycling Ulster’s Colin Hughes.

“I have asked Colin to do his talk about group riding to the new people on the fun tours. “We asked him to come to the clubrooms on Monday 22nd September. The talk will last about an hour so he will start at 7.30 pm

The talk will include instructions about the importance of calling out potholes and obstructions, how to move around in the bunch and also cornering.

“It’s the kind of stuff we all have had to learn - and in some cases perhaps have forgotten,” added Hazel.

Colin’s talk on group riding is well worth attending whether a novice or experienced cyclist.