The Bann Wheelers Women’s Team of Kay Hack, Anne Paul and Alison Rankin took the Gold Medal in the Ulster Team Trial Championships on Tuesday evening on the Woodgreen Course between Ballymena and Antrim.
This is a unique but popular event in the Irish cycling calendar, in which teams of up to four riders must complete a 25 mile circuit. The clock stops when the third rider crosses the line, so it is important to work together as a team and make sure that no-one gets ‘dropped’. The most effective teams therefore form a ‘train’ with each rider taking it in turns to take the brunt of the wind.
For the first time in many years Bann Wheelers had enough female members to field a team, albeit with some members who were new to competitive cycling. On the night, they were without Paula Rainey, who had been practicing hard with the team but felt that she was not yet quite ready to be able to keep up with the other girls.
On paper then the Wheelers were up against it, competing against strong ‘four-man’ teams from Belfast Club, Phoenix CC, Chain Reaction Cycles-Ballymena Road Club and North Down CC. However, the Wheelers worked well together, and soon got a pattern established, completing the 25 miles in 64 minutes and six seconds. They were shocked and delighted to hear that their nearest rivals Phoenix CC were 9s behind, giving the gold medal to the Wheelers women. Chain Reaction Cycles-Ballymena Road Club’s women took the Bronze whilst their men’s team took the gold in their event.
All in all, this was a fantastic achievement for the Bann Wheelers’ women!
Meanwhile on May 8th club members took part in the Hospital Australian Pursuit Race and a new name was added to the list of winners as Adam Dorrans took the honour in the now obligatory sprint finish, followed closely by Ciaran Mullan in second, Paul “Beefy” McAfee in third, David Park in fourth and Ivan Goldsworthy in fifth. This was another great result for Adam.
The remaining positions were (6) Shane McDonald, (7) Bobby Kane, (8) Jason McIntyre, (9) Paul Boyle, (10) Robert Gaston, (11) James Thompson, (12) Graeme Montgomery, (13) Dominic Drumm, (14) Rhodri Evans Jones and (15) Ashley Moore.
Thanks to Gary Kendall and Derek McMenemy for keeping everyone safe and on the right course. As always, a big thanks to Ian Nevin for time keeping and sorting out the sprint finish-never an easy task. It was a great evening’s racing.