CONGRATULATIONS to local cyclist John Madden who took the Gold Medal to win the Ulster 100 mile Time Trial Championships and set a new all Ireland record early on Sunday morning on the Woodgreen circuit between Ballymena and Antrim. Madden set a new course record (to be ratified) with a blistering time of 3hrs.45mins.05 secs.
Second and Silver Medal winner was Stephan Workman with a time of 3hrs.52mins.42secs. Third to take the Bronze Medal was Stephen Harkens, just pipping Conor Hanna by one second with 3hrs.59mins.45secs. Kay Hack took the women’s title with 4hs.48mins.37secs. Phoenix trio of John Rooney, Christain Nachtingall and Jim Hegarty took the team prize. Kay Hack of Bann Wheelers was the only woman to take part this year and was also part of the organising team. She richly deserved her Gold medal.
“I could not believe it when I crossed the finish line and stopped my computer. I new I had broken the Irish record by over 6 minutes which I thought was impossible given the cross winds and the fact that my legs were cramping with a lap to go! I gave a Bradley Wiggins style salute with the relief and joy as the realization of what I had achieved hit home – all I need to do now is work on the sideburns!” Joked Madden.
Madden went on to pay tribute during the medal ceremony to all the officials. In particular he thanked Maurice McAlister and the other volunteers, especially those from Ballymoney cycling club for allowing the race to take place this year. “I had terrific support on the course I could not have posted such a fast time without their fabulous encouragement.” Said Madden after the event.
Madden, was interviewed by Anne Marie McAleese on BBC radio Ulster ‘Your Place and Mine,’ prior to completing the Giants Causeway Sportive last weekend in Ballycastle. During that piece he spoke of the rise in popularity of cycling and the health benefits of being involved in the sport. Over a thousand cyclists took part in the cycle which illustrates Madden’s point.
At the 100 mile time trial seventy year old, Willie John McLaughlin was the oldest rider in the event and he was determined to take five minutes off his previous best time of 4.55.01. Everyone was delighted when he succeeded in recording a 4.50.25. John Madden congratulated Willie John saying, “Willie John is an inspiration to us all. Whenever you feel like giving up just look at what this man has achieved in only five years of cycling. I just hope that when I am the same age I will still be able to turn up here and put in such an excellent performance.” This goes to show that age is no barrier when it comes to participation in this increasingly popular sport!
Martin Birney of SportActive who also competed in the event winning bronze medal in the veteran’s category was on hand to present the Martin Birney Sport Active trophies to John Madden and Kay Hack. John took the SportActive trophies for First Vet and first Senior as well as the Cycling Ulster All Comers Cup.
Madden’s achievement this weekend completes a season in which, despite crashing badly at the Tour of Ulster in May, has seen him lift the Ulster 25 mile for his age group and now the Ulster 100 mile event at senior level for the second year in a row. Madden will collect his trophy and medals later in the year but is now looking forward to a well earned rest after a fabulous return to winning ways.
Ulster 100 mile Time Trial Championships Woodgreen (top 10) John Madden Curran Racing 3.45.05 (Gold for Senior Men and Gold for Vets) Stephen Workman Ballymena Chain Reaction 3.52.42 PB (Silver For Senior Men) Stephen Harkens Team Madigan 3.59.45 (Bronze for Senior Men and Silver for Vets) Conor Hanna North Down 3.59.46 PB Sean McIntyre Orchard CC 4.02.30 Martin Birney SportActive 4.03.03 (Bronze for Vets) Stephen McAllister Ballymoney CC 4.03.44 Christian Nachtigall Phoenix CC 4.05.26 Ryan Patton Ballymoney CC 4.07.32 John Rooney Phoenix CC 4.08.59.