Weekend successes for Road Club cyclists

Ballymena Road Club.
Ballymena Road Club.

There was some success for Ballymena Road Club – Chain Reaction Cycles – riders at opposte ends of the country last weekend.

Ryan Bankhead finished ninth in the Tour of the Ards peninsula road race, while Eileen Burns winning the women’s race at the “Danny Boy” events promoted by Roe Valley cycling club at Feeney. Martin Ruddy finished tenth in the over 50’s “masters” race at Feeney.

Recalling his race, Ryan Bankhead explains: “All was going well until 30 minutes into the race when I had a touch of wheels with Frazer Duncan, resulting in me breaking a front spoke.

A solid wheel change by neutral service had me up and running but facing a hard chase back on as, with the race all still together, I knew the task was going to be difficult. After 20 minutes of hard chasing I made contact with the back of the bunch. I made my way through the bunch to find the break had gone.

Six riders escaped who included Damien Shaw, Dave Watson, Craig McAuley, Mark McKinley, Sean Featherstone and Ali Macauley.

In the run into the finish Shaw left the break in pursuit of a solo victory. Dave Watson led the rest of the break in for second with Craig McAuley taking an excellent third. This still left me with a chance of seventh place, but my earlier chase meant the legs were starting to feel the fast 26.3mph average. The final few miles saw attack after attack but I followed the wheels then kicked for the finish, I ended up third over the line in what was left of the bunch. This gave me ninth overall and FIRST A3 rider. All in all it was a good day considering my earlier mishap.

It was a good day too for BRC with strong performances from all its riders, Hall Booth, Matthew Brennan, Clifford Grant and Karl Taylor,” concluded Ryan.


Ballymena Road Club- Chain Reaction Cycles - are looking forward to their first big promotion of the season – the Wallace Caldwell memorial road race - which is scheduled to take place at Galgorm this Saturday 21st March.

The Ballymena Road Club entrants are Clifford Grant, Matthew Brennan, Ryan Bankhead, Hall Booth, Karl Taylor and Michael Carroll.

The race starts from Galgorm at 11am and follows a route to Ahoghill, Portglenone, Maghera, Garvagh, Ringsend and then the tough climb to the Cam forest. Then it’s a fast downhill sweep to the outskirts of Limavady before turning right and the even tougher climb up to the Springwell forest. Then it’s on towards Coleraine before turning right on to the Garvagh road and left through Aghadowey to the Brown Trout.

The final miles take in Kilrea, the outskirts of Rasharkin and on to the Lisnahunshin road and on through Killyless before descending Ballyconnelly road to the Galgorm finish at Wrightbus, a total distance of 74 miles. The event starts at 11am and usually finishes just before 2pm.