This was the 13th annual running of this charity event for Marie Curie cancer care and was held in the 25th anniversary year of Bann Valley Road Club, the only disappointment was the weather.
However the showery conditions didn’t put off 155 riders, young and old, who signed on to ride the Tour of the North Coast.
Following safety advice, the large group rode out at 10am and immediately into a gale force head wind and a very heavy shower. This was to be the order of the day with reports from riders at the refreshments afterwards of pedalling downhills and dangerous crosswinds.
The riders returned in small groups back to Portglenone Community centre between 1.30 and 2.30 to the now legendary refreshments of sandwiches, buns and biscuits with the centre piece this year being a specially baked cake, by Mrs Ray Graham our local Marie Curie fundraiser, in the Bann Valley colours and a banner commemorating both the Club’s anniversary and the long association with Marie Curie Cancer Care.
At the end of the proceedings Club Chairman Lawrence Maguire and Treasurer Gerry McCullagh presented Mrs Ray Graham and Pauline McGoldrick from Marie Curie Cancer Care with a cheque for £1800.
Mrs Ray Graham and Bann Valley Road Club would both like to thank all who turned out in such inclement weather to support this incredibly worthwhile cause
Bann Valley Road Club would also like to note the excellent and very professional work of the BVRC marshals, who, with the attendance of the PSNI motorcycle outrider kept the group flowing safely through the junctions and towns.
The Club gratefully thanks everyone who helped in any way especially to those responsible for the tea and coffee before and after the event, The Rose Cafe and Pauline McGoldrick. To the club members who provided cars and vans in support of the run and who supplied food and helped with the tea.
Finally we appreciate the attendance of the Order of Malta who provided the now essential medical cover.
In the last GMC Electrical road race of 2014 Bann Valley junior riders had a brilliant ride to finish 1st and 2nd in a sprint which took them clear of the rest of the field.
Shea McTaggart just took the win by less than a wheel from Shaun Byrne with Paul McQuillan taking third place a few second behind and Liam O’Connor forth, to make a Bann Valley lock out of the top four places.
In the last of the junior series the hillclimb was won by Brendan McCavana BRC U16 in a time of 3 minutes 50 seconds closely followed three seconds adrift by Bann Valleys Shea McTaggart U16 with Shaun Byrne also BVRC U15 in third with a time of 4.09.
Full results can be found on www.bannvalley.co.uk.