On the road again with Ballymoney Cycling Club

BALLYMONEY Cycling Club kicked off the first week of domestic racing with three firsts.

Young Ballycastle schoolgirl Ruth McKeown, in the first ever race held by the local club, rode bravely and gave a typical gutsy BCC display. Ruth who is in the Under 10 years section has a bright future ahead of her as she aspires to follow in the foot steps or should we say in the tyre prints of gold medallist and former world champion Victoria Pendleton CBE, Lizzie Armistead and even the pocket rocket Emma Pooley.

Everyone at Ballymoney CC wishes Ruth every success and support in the future of her chosen sport.

Ruth’s father Philip (BCC Racing Team) was the winner of the Ballycastle cycling club first ever time trial. This event was part of the new “Armoy Community Pharmacy” Time Trial League, and saw the hard riding McKeown win from second placed rider G Maybin and in third place T Sands, both from Ballycastle CC.

* Bann Wheelers 5 mile TT - On Tuesday evening neighbouring club Bann Wheelers held their first domestic race of the 3013 season with the now traditional 5 mile TT on the Collins Circuit at Aghadowey.

Ballymoney CC Racing Team had 7 riders in action and had the honour of taking the first place from 25 other riders. Winner of the race was Steven McAllister in a time of 11 minutes and 37 seconds from last years winner Sharmin Crawford (Bann Whs) 12.09. In third place and further evidence of the strength in depth being built by Ballymoney CC with their young riders.

In 4th place was under 16 Dalriada schoolboy Chris Surgeneor in a tremendous time of 12.51, The came two other BCC youth riders, junior Jordan McCaw 13.03, and team mate Ronan Sherman 13.04.

Other times for Ballymoney riders - Marshall Craig 13.25, Ricky McMaster, 13.34, Philip Magill 13.58. Better luck next time to BCC RT rider Mervyn Linton who punctured as he was warming up.

* William Loughridge 4th at Aghagallon Cup - Former top Irish schoolboy William Loughridge, making a come back to national senior cycling here in Ireland, lined up alongside 75 other A4 riders at the Bartins Bay circuit on the shores of Lough Neagh.

This type of racing normally sees a lot of early action and is renowned for being settled by a mass sprint finish. This one proved to be an exception and a lone breakaway by Newry rider Jude Sands romping to lone victory.

BCC rider Loughridge in his normal aggressive style made numerous attempts to try and bridge the gap to Sands but each time he was reeled by into the

bunch again. In the sprint for the line Richie Sheerin Foyle CC was 2nd, Graham Agnew East Antrim 3rd and BCC Racing Team rider William Loughridge 4th. * First Classic “The Tour of Ards” Road Race - Ballymoney CC Racing Team had three riders at the Tour of Ards 2013, Uel Cunningham, Stuart Laverty and Steven McAllister.

This early season lung opener is held on the flat and super fast Ards peninsula. Taking in the villages of Ballyhalbert, Portaferry and Kircubbin the roads are alive with the top local cyclists trying to get their name on the winners list for this top event

Young Stuart Laverty just back from injury following a smash at Magherafelt and racing in the four stage Gorey 3 Day in the south of Ireland.

Stuart, who is a junior, had an eye opening experience as the first stage from Blessington to Gorey was run at 30mph average speed.

But the experience and the high level of competition will bring the best out in young Stuart as he makes his first year in the ranks of senior racing.

Uel Cunningham, just back from a winter break in Spain, joined his team mates, Laverty and McAllister on the Newtownards start line.

As the race progressed a break of four riders got away, eventual winner and local man James McMaster (Curran Racing), Dundalk rider Bryan McCrystal, Alastair McCauley and Gary Cranston. These four were only a few seconds clear at the finish from the chasing pack.

Former BCC racer Bryan McKinney got 10th and BCC rider Steven McAllister 11th, Uel Cunningham and Stuart Laverty both finished safely in their early season preparation.

* BCC Youth Team Riders in Scotland - BCC Racing Team Youth riders Ryan Orr Under 16 and Ciaran McFadden U-15 are in Scotland taking part in the 5 stage Youth Tour. There will be a full report next week.

* Forthcoming Events - This Wednesday evening Ballymoney CC will hold their “LungBuster” 5 mile time trial on the Portrush/Ballybogey line starting at 6.45.

This event is part of the Ballymoney CC “Biesty’s Centra” Time Trial League for club riders but as is our usual policy riders from every other club will be made more than welcome.

This Saturday is the “North Down Grand Prix”, won by BCC rider Steven McAllister in 2011, and on Sunday is the Carn Wheelers Classic also won by McAllister in 2011.

BCC racing Team will have a full squad of riders at both these races and no doubt the team will be doing their best to get a winner on the podium again in 2013.