Eileen retains ladies’ time trial all-rounder title after top year

James Burns of Ballymena Road Club is pictured receiving a sponsorship cheque from Gary Byers of Maxwell Packaging. INBT39-214AC
James Burns of Ballymena Road Club is pictured receiving a sponsorship cheque from Gary Byers of Maxwell Packaging. INBT39-214AC

Eileen Burns has won the Ballymena Road Club – Chain Reaction Cycles – ladies’ time trial best all-rounder competition for the 2015 season.

For Eileen, from Kells, this was a successful defence of the title which she won in 2013, when, at her first attempt, she set a new record average speed of 25.225mph.

In 2014 she won again and improved her record to 26.836 mph.

This season she has gone even faster with an all-time record average of 27.772mph.

Eileen’s best 5 miles time was 10 minutes 40 seconds (10.58 in 2014) which was recorded on 6th May at Woodgreen, and 21 minutes 53 seconds (22.48 in 2014) clocked in the Stan Finlay memorial event at the start of the season on 15th April, also at Woodgreen.

Laura Blair, in just her second season of racing, was second with times of 11 minutes 57 seconds (12. 08 in 2014) for the five miles distance and 24 minutes 17 seconds for the 10 miles distance (25.18 in 2014) Laura’s average was 24.906 mph, which is a speed that would have won this competition many times in past seasons.

Consistent finishing earned Laura Blair the ladies racing league which she won with a total of 83 points. Eileen Burns was second with 64 points and Claire Gillespie third with 19 points (4) Maxine Surgenor 14 (5) Melanie Archibald 4 points.

Eileen also finished third in the Ballymena Road Club senior time trials best all-rounder competition with times of 21 minutes 53 seconds (10) 61 minutes 21 seconds (25) and 1 hour 54 minutes 34 seconds (50 miles).

Her major result of the year came on Humberside in September when she capped her brilliant 2015 season with “an icing on the cake” record breaking performance in East Yorkshire.

Eileen, who won this season’s Ulster 10, 25 and 50 miles Ladies time trial Ulster championships, travelled to the Humberside “Team Swift” 10 miles time trial with the sole intention of breaking the existing Irish ladies 10 miles competition record.

She not only won the event (which was a selection of the fastest 30 females who entered) but completely eclipsed the old Irish record with a 29.46mph performance of 20 minutes 22 seconds

That performance beat Caroline Ryan’s 2011 record (which was set on the same V718 course) by 41 seconds. Less than one week before riding in Yorkshire Eileen had finished the five day Ras na mBan, where she was riding in a strong international field and where she was fourth in the TT, and best placed Irish woman.

Eileen said: “I am proud of what I have accomplished, and it is the success that reminds me that when the training is tough and I am tired that it will be worth it in the end.

“I hope that what I have achieved, particularly the Irish National record, will motivate others to reach their goals no matter how big or small.”