Ballymoney Cycling Club were in stage race action again at the weekend.
They entered a team of five riders, Jason Henry, Chris Beattie, both from Ballymoney, Stevie McAllister, Cathal Doyle a guest from Carn Wheelers and eventual top ten finisher Bryan McKinney
Travelling down to Newry on the Friday night for the first stage the five lads were to the front at the fast and furious Newry 3 Day held in the foot hills of the Mourne Mountains.
The first stage was held on the Warrenpoint/Newry Road finishing with the Greenan Road climb just before the finish.
The racing got off to a frantic start and a break of 12 riders including BCC rider Chris Beattie opened a short gap and with a lot of teams represented in the break only a few were interested in trying to get them back.
In the final miles with the race being run off at 26mph the break started to disintegrate and junior Aaron Baines was the winner and early yellow jersey holder. See BCC results below.
Stage 1 - BCC results
14th Jason Henry
15th Steven McAllister
20th Bryan McKinney
31st Chris Beattie
47th Cathal Doyle - all on the same time.
Day two would be a busy day for the riders, it included a tough 50 mile road race in the morning then a super fast Time Trial in the evening.
Fast finisher Jason Henry who was part of the BCC outfit at Ras Donegal, was at it again in Newry getting an excellent third on the mornings stage into Hilltown.
Stage 2 - BCC results
3rd Jason Henry
7th Steven McAllister
9th Bryan McKinney
16th Chris Beattie
42nd Cathal Doyle - all same time
BCC Team 1st and 4th in Overall GC
Stage three, saw time trial specialist Bryan McKinney make a move for overall victory as he raced at 30mph average into a fantastic second place a few seconds behind the winner.
Bryan has enjoyed a some great results this season with 11th at Bobby Crilly Classic that finishes on Divis mountain and 3rd at the Emyvale Grand Prix.
Mechanical trouble for McAllister and Henry prevented the BCC team from moving up the Team classification into 3rd out of 22 teams, this resulted in them remaining just outside the top three by 5 seconds.
Stage 3 BCC Results
2nd Bryan McKinney 4.24
18th Steven McAllister 4.42
26th Chris Beattie 4.46
29th Jason Henry 4.50
37th Cathal Doyle 5.02
Stage four was a day for defending the yellow jersey and others attempting to wrestle it from the Co Down junior Aaron Baines.
Baines was surrounded by his strong Total Vision Racing team and despite attacks to get the jersey the nature of the course saw him defend his lead around the Mournes and back to Newry for another sprint finish with BCC rider Jason Henry getting another 3rd place and is now promoted to an A1 status rider, Bryan was 7th and Chris 10th.
Three BCC riders in the top 10 on the last day. Cathal was 41st on the same time as the winner. Fith BCC rider Steven McAllister was involved in a high speed crash in the last three miles and finished behind the bunch.
Stage 4 - BCC results
3rd Jason Henry
7th Bryan McKinney
10th Chris Beattie
41st Cathal Doyle - all the same time
65th Steven McAllister at 4.34
1st Team in stage 4 and Final 4th placed Team in Overall GC
This was a good solid BCC effort with 3 riders in the top 10 and Bryan holding on to 8th place overall.
With Ballymoney Cycling Club fast becoming a club to be reckoned with, this is a date for the calender 2012.
The Newry 3 Day is a race where possibly the club could field two teams.
It is a fast but not too hard race for some of our newer riders to get started in stage racing.
A BIG thanks to Eddy McKinney again for being the team mechanic, team manager and team driver.
Jason Henry wins the Bendooragh Road Race
On Wednesday night Ballymoney CC held their weekly club race with a 24 mile race at Bendooragh.
22 riders were divided into three groups and as usual it was hectic racing from the start.
Super schoolboys Aaron Swan and Craig Crawford as usual were mixing it with the big boys and holding their own in style.
Gareth McBride and other race winner Ollie Bateson along with new sensation Devon McIlwain are getting used to riding in these faster type races and improving every week.
Caitie O’Hagan and Aoife Cameron Mitchell despite the bad and at times wintery conditions competed in the Woman’s race.
This is very encouraging for the Ballymoney Club as the girls are getting more and more involved. As it seems BCC are the only local club with a Youth Development Programme in place there will be a crop of young riders hitting the Cycling Ireland stage in the coming months and years.
Clear winner in the sprint finish was the newly promoted to A1 status Jason Henry from BCC’s Jason Taggart.
The Final Result was,
1st – Jason Henry
2nd – Jason Taggart
3rd – Uel Cunningham
4th – Simon Taggart
5th – Adrian Madden
6th - Dean McIlfatrick
7th – Craig Crawford
8th – Devon McIlwaine
9th - Ollie Bateson
10th – James Thompson
11th – John Allen
12th – Wayne Stevens
13th – Garreth McBride
14th - Neville Patton
15th – Nigel Elder
16th – Steven McAllister
17th – Aaron Swan
18th – Ryan Fenton
19th – Ronnie Kidd
20th – Philip McKeown
21st - Ann Paul
This Wednesday 29 June at 7.15pm, there will be the weekly club road race on the Tullaghans circuit, there will be a new route introduced this week due to safety and road surface concerns. The start and finish will remain at the same place and the distance will be 28 miles.
A route map will be on the BCC website prior to the event, www.ballymoneycyclingclub.com