Ballymoney CC Biesty’s Centra Race Team riders were again at the front of the Irish national cycling
race scene with leading senior Steven McAllister and talented under 14 rider Arthur Taggart getting two
prestigious third placings in eight days.
Taggart recently was third at the European Youth Olympic trials at Westport in Co Mayo.
These races are early season tests and the Ballymoney top flight outfit used them for the senior racers to prepare for next weekend’s International Tour of the North over three days and four gruelling stages and a programme of quality youth races included in the Dave McCall Foundation League set the stage for the 2015 season.
The Wallace Caldwell memorial 80 mile race saw four of the team in action with a great showing by Niall O’Hagan and Stuart Laverty. Finishing also were Uel Cunningham and McAllister. On the Sunday at Maghera, McAllister again lined up beside Cunningham, Mervyn Linton and Laverty in the Classic to complete a weekend’s racing of over 135 miles at 25 mph average speed. Not bad for the average weekend leisure cyclist.
The race was won by top Caldwell Cycles Team rider Darnel Moore from Joe McCrory of the local team and McAllister third. he day set off at a frantic pace and the short handical given to the A3 riders was closed quickly and the attacks started from 5 miles out. Attack after attack was launched and BCC’s Mervyn Linton was in the early break of three that saw the bunch respond and reel them in before Bellaghy. When the Carn Wheelers riders launched a wave of attacks in this their own event A group of nine riders broke clear. This group now consisted of Darnell Moore, (Caldwell), James Wilon (Apollo), Steven McAllister (Ballymoney CC), Barry Doyle, (U/A), Mark Millar (Velo Cafe Magasin) and Jonny Taylor, Joe McCrory and Micky Scullion of Carn Wheelers.
The Saturday races kicked off at the Loup with round two of the European Youth Olympic selection races at the Ciclisport GP. This was a race where Ballymoney CC schoolboy Shay Donley was expected to get a podium position but a car on the circuit at the finish put paid to this and he had to accept a lowly sixth place. In what was described as the best quality field of under 16’s assembled since the Ballymoney outfit held the Irish National Championships. Young Robbie Doherty getting the racing back into the legs after a winter of medalion rugby showed his great promise and was with the national elite riders to the final few miles only to see the lack of bike work tail him off in the run in to the finish.The Under 14 race had Jordan Campbell
Kevin McCambridge 12th and Shay Donley 6th in the under 14 race. With the Ballymoney Biesty’s Centra youth riders getting ready to compete it looks an exciting year with a lot of youth talent to show yet.
Sunday it was the PJ Logan Cup at Coalisland on the Tour of Ulster circuit at Killyman. BCC riders Finn Sands Robinson, Breandan Flannagan, Robbie Doherty were in the Under 16 race and in the under 14’s it was Arthur Taggart who could badly have done with a team mate as his two breakaway companions tried to work the Ballymoney High school lad over but he kept coming back at them and was able to get third at the line, despite their efforts.
In the weekend’s senior racing it was a typical mechanics nightmare with punctures and mechanical hiccups the order of the day instead of the racing. BB