Philip goes fourth on return from injury

ROGER Aiken overcame a seven minutes handicap to win the Cicli Sport GP, "A" race for first, second, and third category riders, at Coagh - his first win in his new Planet X colours.

However the good news for Ballymena Road Club–Scott Roof Tiles was the return of Philip Bremner who was riding his first race of the season after having broken his collarbone following a crash during a club training ride on January 23.

Philip finished in a very creditable fourth position and he will be hoping for a continued improvement in his fitness levels before he tackles the P&O tour of the north at Easter.

Philip is glad to be back riding on the road after spending hours on his indoor "Turbo trainer" which he had been riding six days a week since his fall. Going by Saturday's performance his turbo work has paid off.

Ballymena RC was well represented at Coagh on Saturday with Christopher Beattie, Matthew Brennan, Mark McCullough, Colin Scullion and Clifford Grant all amongst the starters.

The youth riders were in action for the first time this season with local Ballymena riders Craig Crawford and Aaron Swan (TSC) finishing second and third behind race winner Declan Mulholland in the under 14 event.

A Race: 1. Roger Aiken (Planet X); 2. Jack Wilson (East Antrim); 3. Nathan Morgan (Newry); 4. Philip Bremner (Ballymena Scott Roof Tiles); 5. Liam Curran (Curran Racing); 6. John Madden (Curran); 7. Ryan Connor (Irish Road Club).

B Race: 1. Duane McCreedy (North Down); 2. JJ Connelly (Harps); 3. Bryan Martin (Western Lakes); 4. Barry Russell (Carn Wheelers); 5. Stephen Beck (East Antrim); 6. Brian Steele (Dromara).

U14: 1. Declan Mulholland (Clann Eireann); 2. Craig Crawford (TSC); 3. Aaron Swan (TSC).

The opening round of the All Ireland National classis road racing league series took place in Donegal on Sunday.

Victory went to Sean Lacey from Cork after he had been included in a near race long breakaway group. Ahoghill’s Ryan Connor was in this break too until he was halted by mechanical trouble.

Glenarm brothers Conor and Leo McAllister, who were riding in Cycling Ulster’s colours, finished eighth and tenth.

BRC’s Louise Fullerton traveled to Bohermeen on Sunday a finished in eighth place in the opening round of the National Women’s road racing series.

“The approach to the finish was on a very narrow road and I was boxed in a bit for the sprint but I was very happy with eighth as there were over 30 women taking part,” explained Louise.

The youth duo of Crawford and Swan were also in Bohermeen to take part in the Waller Cup and finished third and fifth in the U-14 RR there which had 25 competitors.

TABLE QUIZ

Many thanks to the BRC ladies committee who organised last Saturday night’s Table Quiz at the Rex Bonar House clubrooms.

A lot of effort went in to the evening’s activities and all who attended thoroughly enjoyed the occasion.

TOUR OF NORTH

Ryan Connor, who is Cycling Ulster’s team manager, has been busy since pre-season interviewing riders, assembling a squad and discussing their plans for the year.

Team funding has now been secured from the David McCall Foundation for the P&O Tour of the North, which takes place over Easter from Good Friday April 2 until Easter Monday, April 5.

The Cycling Ulster-David McCall Foundation Team which was announced last Monday includes Conor McAllister (Ballymena Road Club - Scott Roof Tiles) with Ryan Connor included as rider/manager.

CALENDAR

Michelin’s team Bib sport will hold their annual ride around Lough Neagh this Saturday, March 27.

Entrants are advised to assemble at the Enkalon car park, opposite the Massereene army base, on the Randalstown road in Antrim.

The event which will start at 9.30am will complete a 75 miles circuit of the Lough in a clockwise direction.

The 3 entry fee donation will cover the cost of the back up vehicle and includes for refreshments at the half way stop in Moy.

Contact Stuart Knowles on 07842 879010 for additional information.

Saturday 27th March - Tour of the Ards peninsula 12 noon from Portaferry road Newtownards.

Sunday 28th March - Aghagallon cup road races at Bartin’s Bay Lurgan 12 noon.

WALLACE CALDWELL MEMORIAL

BRC race secretary Tommy Wilson has been busy gathering up sponsorship money for this year’s race on Saturday, April 10.

Ben Morrow of Woodside’s chemist shop Church Street Ballymena has now given support to the event for the first time. Ben, who is a cyclist with the East Antrim club, is well known to BRC members and has taken part in the Caldwell on many occasions.

Tommy’s employers J and R keys of Castle street and the Caldwell family will also continue to support the event, which is regarded as one of Ireland’s toughest single day races.