Ballymoney Cycling Club were a class apart in 2013

100 mile Gold Medal Team winners at the cycling event. Included are Stevie McAllister, Mervyn Linton and Bryan McKinney.
100 mile Gold Medal Team winners at the cycling event. Included are Stevie McAllister, Mervyn Linton and Bryan McKinney.

BCC Biesty’s Centra Racing Team have shown in 2013 to all opposition that they have built their team from the strong base of youth and new athletes to the pinnacle of the race winning senior riders, who dominate the Ulster Cycling scene.

A statement recently from the team explained how 2014 would see new signings and a very interesting open race calendar.

On Saturday evening in Castledawson, at the local golf club, the good and the great of Irish and Ulster Cycling arrived to hand over prizes to 8 year olds and 50 year olds for the year long achievements.

Guest of honour for the evening was newly elected Cycling Ireland President Denis Towney. Denis has been a life lone campaigner for the paralympics and has helped make it now a worldwide area of recognised sporting achievement.

Clubs from all over the province were gathering and BallYmoney was well represented. Noted was a fact that two years ago the club only had two members present to pick up prizes.

Last year there were three prizes but this year there were over 20, medals, cups, trophies and awards were to be collected.

Flying Schoolboys Ryan Orr and Ciaran McFadden picked up 7 awards, for Provincial on and Off Road Events, promising junior Stuart Laverty won the Northern Ireland 25TT championship, and silver in the 10 TT, in the Ulster Provincial 25mile TT Championship he lifted Gold, as an individual and gold againin the Team prize.

First year sensation and one too watch Ronan Sherman got the Bronze in this event. Stuart was also awarded the Martin Birney Best all Round Cup and the cup for the most improved rider in 2013.

Senior rider and back with Ballymoney again, adding more strength is Bryan McKinney, Bryan got the silver medal in the 100 mile TT championship, bronze in the Ulster 25TT Championships and along with Mervyn Linton and Steven McAllister, they won the 100 mile TTT gold medal, and helping Bryan to the gold team award in the 25 mile TT was Mervyn Linton and Stuart Laverty.

Cycling Ulster secretary Marian Lamb announced in the ongoing talent building process, Ballymoney chairman Maurice McAllister, would be co-opted onto the Ulster Youth Commission, with a responsibility to see that there would be more events for young people over the coming years.

McAllister said last year there were only eight youth events held in 2013 and that unless we promote our youth riders, it is not the hoards of lycra clad middle aged adults we see on our roads who will bring us our next Tour de France and World Championship winners.

* Coming Events - This Sunday leaving Ballymoney Rugby Club at 10am will be an opportunity for riders from all over to come along and ride part of “Stage 2” of the 2014, Giro d’Italia route that comes here in May.

There will be the 80 mile run and a 50 mile run with less severe climbing in it. All BCC members not taking part are asked to come along and help out with a lead car or a support vehicle on the day.

Sign on is from 8.30pm and at the finish there will be tea, coffee, sandwiches etc. for everyone.