Niall O’Hagan is tops for Ballymoney Cycling Club

THREE weekends have now seen Ballymoney Cycling Club rider’s mass over 15 top ten placings in races around Ireland.

As the riders get fitter and the pace gets faster and faster, BCC riders are showing that they are well able to keep up with and beat the best.

McAllister and McKinney top 20 at the Wallace Caldwell Classic

Ballymena Road Club every year promote this top quality road race over 78 gruelling miles from Galgorm to Maghera and then over the mountain to Limavady, anyone who knows the main Limavady Coleraine Road will confirm it is a times not even passable in a motor car.

Again this year a full field of almost 80 riders scrambled for places and the honour to take part in what is widely known as a part of Irish Cycling history. Ballymoney riders Stevie McAllister and Bryan McKinney were amongst the field when it set off from Galgorm at a break neck pace, heading through Ahoghill to Portglenone.

Break after break attempts were launched off the front of the bunch as the field splintered into bits due to the constant surge of speed, both Ballymoney CC pair were in the thick of the action. With the cream of Ulster in action, top rider and eventual winner Adam Armstrong along with Conor McAllister, evergreen Johnny Dempsey, the Williams’s brothers and Ballymoney favourite Philip Bremner opened a gap over the Cam and Springwell Mountain climbs. In the run back through Coleraine, Kilrea and Portglenone the bunch regrouped and it looked set for a sprint out for the lower places.

Fastest Race Time ever recorded at the Wallace Caldwell 2011

The winning time for 78 miles by the winner of the 2011 Wallace Caldwell Memorial, Adam Armstrong in a time of 2 hours 58 minutes saw a spectacular average speed of over 26mph. By leading in the bunch Stevie and Bryan from Ballymoney Cycling Club equalled the time of the fastest winner up and to this year.

1st Adam Armstrong (Eurocycles) 2hrs 58mins

2nd Conor McAllister (Slane Cycles)

15th Steven McAllister (BCC) @ 3mins.03

18th Bryan McKinney (BCC) Same TimeBoth riders want to thank their BCC mates who turned out along the route to support them!

Niall 6th at the McCann Cup

In what was seen by the diehard cycling followers at Tattyreagh Road outside Omagh on a bright and balmy Sunday as a “Real” challenge for cyclists. The McCann Cup saw Niall O’Hagan from Ballymoney Cycling Club in fine form again. This race was not for the faint hearted beginners with 50miles on the cards today. 5 laps of the Seskinore 10 mile circuit. And the Loughguile man does what he does best and that is leading from the front. Keeping the field in check and whenever possible attacking and getting away to victory. Along with competitors from Donegal, Monaghan, the County Antrim man is never fazed by the illustrious company. Right from the gun it was off and into the first of the five laps.

Coming into the final lap, Niall was receiving encouragement from the small group of Ballymoney CC supporters at the roadside, and then it was just a matter of waiting to see who would take the win. With motor horns and sirens going the riders came into view. Despite being caught on the wheel of a rider who gave up and almost stopped, Niall was able to secure an excellent 6th place.

In the 70 mile A race Bryan McKinney and Steven McAllister both after getting 2 top 20 finishes in the previous days Wallace Caldwell were in Seskinore to put the final preparation to their Gorey 3day stage race plans. In what was a cat and mouse affair, and riders who had not been in the 80 mile battle the day before made good their advantage and slipped away in a group of 10 riders. At the finish Bryan was 12th and Stevie was 18th. This race was won by Ross Blayney from Bangor.

Great Times at BCC 10 TT

The Portrush line north of Ballybogey saw 22 riders face the timekeeper, Mrs Karen Crawford. On a night with a strange tailwind finish and a tough leg to the roundabout at Ballymoney.

Winner on the night was Ballymoney rider Jason Henry from Steven McAllister and David Barton ETCC 3rd.

Special mention has to go to BCC riders Adrian Madden and Martin Carroll, both returning top class times of 25.29. It looks like an exciting year of completion between some of these newcomers to the sport. New boy Wayne Stevens again shows he has a bit of talent waiting to get out as he did 25.18. Missing from the night was last weeks 5 mile TT winner Bryan McKinney who travelled to the Bann Wheelers race and was first there in a time of 11.28

Irish schoolboys Aaron Swan and Craig Crawford were top class performers getting times of 25.22 and 24.55 respectively. Aaron was the outright winner at Stamullen on Sunday when he won the Under 14 race. This makes up for the disappointment of the previous week at Drogheda when his chain broke with a couple of miles to the finish and possible victory.

Final times were:

1st Jason Henry 23.14

2nd Steven McAllister 23.21

2nd David Barton 23.21

4th Sharman Crawford (BW) 23

5th Jason Taggart 24.14

6th Craig Crawford 24.55

7th Neville Patton 24.58

8th Wayne Stevens 25.18

8th Colin Brennan 25.18

10th Jerome McKendry 25.19

11th Aaron Swann 25.22

12th Adrian Madden 25.29

12th Martin Carroll 25.29

14th David McAvoy 25.50

15th Oliver Bateson 26.23

16th Ryan Fenton 26.46

17th Garreth McBride 27.09

18th Aaron Dickie 28. 21

19th Jack Owens 29.25

20th Sam Greer (BW) 29.49

21st Trefor Owens 36.26.

Coming events

This Wednesday night is the first Ballymoney CC road race at Bendooragh, starting at 7pm covering five laps of the Bendooragh, Balnamore and Glenstall circuit. Four marshalls will be required and a lead car will accompany the race. This week end sees local racing go international with the Tour of the North on the local roads.