Ciaran wins opening event

Bann Wheelers

LAST Tuesday night saw the commencement of the Bann Wheelers club racing calendar with a five mile time trial on the Collins Circuit. Heavy showers persisted prior to the start of the event, but thankfully the rain eased just before the start of the. Ciaran Mullan who was competing in his first cycling event won the time trial in a time of 13 minutes and 1 second, with Portrush man Sharman Crawford taking 2nd only 2 seconds behind Ciaran, Bryan McKinney’s rich vein of form continued, placing 3rd only seven seconds behind the winner.

Mark Wilkenson was 4th a second behind Mark.

With only seven seconds separating the first four riders it seems likely that competition should be fierce between the Wheelers this season.

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Chris McIntyre also produced an outstanding ride in his first time trial to finish 5th in a time of 13.16, Gary Kendall was 6th in 13.26, another rider competing for the first time was local man Charlie Wright, Charlie also produced an excellent ride of 13.50 to take 7th place.

Although the newcomers to the sport excelled in this event, it was undoubtedly it was a rider from the old school who has had everyone talking.

In the 70’s and 80’s the name Eddie McKinney was synonymous with bike racing in this area and the big man turned the clock back on home soil on the Collins Circuit when he produced a time of 14.06 to take 8th place.

Eddie was a time trial specialist and former Northern Ireland Road Race Champion and although the legs, heart and lungs of that champion are no longer the same it was evident the mind of the champion has in no way decreased, this was Eddie’s first event since 1988.

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Steven Kane, another newcomer produced a solid ride to take 9th in 14.26.

Colm McIlfatrick was 10th in 15.04. 11th was Robert Mc Kinlay, now in his 44th season’s racing with the club, in a time of 15.48. Brandon Herald was the 1st of the youth riders home in a time of 16.26, this was a fast ride for Brandon due to the fact that cycling is a secondary sport to him as he is a committed footballer with Bertie Peacocks, club officials secretly hope that he will fail to make the team so we can have Brandon on a full time basis, 2nd was young Ailbie Kendall in a personal best time of 17.04, Blayne Watton was the 3rd youth rider to start but he did not complete the course.

The Club would also take this opportunity to thank timekeeper Ian Nevin and the marshalls for their services on the night.

McKinney 3rd at Ballymoney CC 5 Mile TT.

Bryan Mc Kinney produced an outstanding ride at Ballymoney CC 5 mile TT on the Garryduff Road Circuit, Bryan’s time was 12.58, just 24 seconds behind winner Jason Henry.

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Blayne Watton and Steven Kane also represented the Bann Wheelers in the event with times of 14.31 and 14.46 respectively.

National Youth Road Race League

Blayne Watton, Bann Wheelers travelled to Drumod, Co Leitrim at the weekend to compete in the 1st round of the National Road Race League. Approximately 30 riders presented at the start line for the under 14 category. The race was split in the opening miles by attacks from Kenturk Road Club. The lead group coming to the line consisted of 11 riders, Blayne finished just outside the top 6. This was Blayne’s first Road race of the season and although he found the going difficult at times, he was pleased that he managed to stay with the leaders. The race was won by Craig Crawford of TSC Racing.

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