Ryan Orr and Stuart Laverty both under 16 schoolboy riders won Silver and Bronze medals at the Ulster Youth Time Trial and Road Race Championships at the Loup in County Tyrone on Sunday.
With the best young cyclists from all over Ulster assembled the Ballymoney CC Racing Team lads were
well prepared for the challenge ahead. The Time trial saw Ryan Orr who showed that not only can he ride, race
and win on a mountain bike he can also do the same on a road bike.
The Time Trial was a 3.3mile event and designed to get the maximum effort out of the competitors on the Ruskey Road
from the Loup heading towards Coagh.
Ryan put in an excellent effort and got the Silver medal in a time of 8.34 from Craig McAuley who did 8.30.
In the Road Race on the Loup circuit of 36 miles, 4 laps at 9 miles each time and the Ballymoney riders Ryan Orr and Stuart
Laverty were again in action. Stuart had decided on instruction from his coach to sit out the time trial and concentrate on the
road race, Ryan was up for having a go at both, and following his silver medal in the time trial he was a top contender for the
honours in this event. With the pace fast and furious from the start it looked as though the choice to sit out the time trial was not a good
idea as Stuart Laverty was dropped on the last 3 laps and had to fight to get back on each time. His team mate Ryan Orr was looking good
and a possible win was very much on the cards. Stuart again going into the last few miles bravely fought to get back in touch and then disaster
struck, as young Ryan lined up to take the sprint his chain snapped and the angry and frustrated BCC rider had to pull in at the road side
and contemplate what could have been, Ryan is a first year under 16 rider and you can be very sure that he will be back next year.
But as it has often been said that “Fortune favours the brave” and Stuart Laverty is the epitome of bravery, getting tailed out the back
and having to battle to stay in touch with the rest of the field, the Ballymoney CC youth dug deep and in a valiant effort and with the cheers
of support from around the course the popular tall lanky Ballymoney CC Road race Champion of 2012 added another honour to his fast growing
Ballymoney Cycling Club send their congratulations to Ryan and Stuart and also to Ryan Patton who travelled to Drogheda to compete in the “B”
Championships. At the time of going to print we had no results but a full report will be available next week. Ryan recently was upgraded from A4 to
A3 in about ten months... Fantastic effort.
Garvagh Forest MTB Racing.
Garvagh Forest was the venue for the 5th round of the Northern Ireland mountain bike cross country series last Sunday.
This was the first time since 1996 that races were hosted here. Host Club Carn Wheelers have put in an impressive amount of work on the already impressive natural trails to make this one of the best venues for XC racing in Ireland. The course itself has a bit of everything thrown in; fast flowing single track sections, tough technical climbs, fire roads for getting the fluids in and “the Fire-Break” to test all levels of mountain biker.
First up for Ballymoney was young Patrick Elliott making his race debut at the young age of 3. Patrick was racing against much older children in the under 8 yrs category who had their own dedicated off road course within the forest. Carn Wheelers have been instrumental in developing these trails for their Saturday kids sessions and the strong showing in all the under 16 age groups by the host club shows that these dedicated kids training sessions have been paying off. Patrick completed the course strongly and shows great potential for the future.
Graeme Elliott and newcomer Mervyn Linton were in action in the senior section as a field of 30 riders tackled the senior course.. Graeme got off to a good start on the fire road climb and was 5th going into the first technical section. Coming into the technical Rabbit Hill section he was lying in 2nd place but a few basic errors on the climb and descent left him struggling mid pack. Some strong riding in the technical sections kept him up with the chasing pack but a dismount on the rooty chute towards the end of the lap saw him passed by a few riders and caught by fellow Ballymoney rider Mervyn Linton who was having a strong race in his first outing in the xc series. A strong second lap saw Graeme in a group challenging for 10th place but he was again caught out by the rooty chute near the end dismounting over the handlebars and landing heavily. Uninjured but badly winded Graeme got back on the bike having lost a few places and sprinted to the finish line to finish 16th. Mervyn finished in 21st place, an impressive result in his 1st race and he is showing himself to be a good all round cyclist following strong showings in the club road race and time trial championships.
The last race in the XC series takes place on the 2nd September at the Craigavon Lakes complex before the attention turns to the cyclo cross series for the winter months.
This Wednesday evening the Ballymoney Club will hold their 10 mile Club Championship on the Ballybogey Line at 7.15pm. Already there are stories circulating
about TT bikes and new wheels so it will be interesting to see who the medals go to.
The first ever Ulster Provincial Road race and Time Trial Championships will be promoted by Ballymoney Cycling Club with the Road aces on the Saturday for A1A2A3 riders, Vets and Woman racers signing on at the Ballymoney Rugby Club from 9.30am. Racing starts at 11.00am. On Sunday the Time Trial Championships are on the Ballybogey line, first rider off at 9.00am. and in the afternoon an “Unofficial” A4 Ulster Road Race Championship will be held, sign on from 11.00am at the Rugby Club and racing from 1.00pm.