This year’s race had the added importance of being the club’s road race championship and the race distance was increased by one lap, from two to three laps, of the Broughshane, Buckna Sheddings circuit.
Twenty-five riders set off in a mass-start, with no handicaps. This is the only scratch race on the club’s, Northstone sponsored, series of road races.
Ballymoney cyclist Chris Beattie took the honours, in the wet, 32 miles, event, having been the first rider to instigate the decisive move on the opening lap. This move eventually became the break of the race and left seven riders to contest the sprint finish, as all subsequent counter attacks were neutralised by Chris on the fast run in to the finish from the Sheddings.
Chris was delighted to have won the club’s inaugural road race championship and afterwards explained his winning tactics.
“I knew, after going clear on the first lap, that it would be hard to hold a gap into the headwind from the Sheddings to the finish, so I just countered any moves on the run in to Broughshane.
“I opened my sprint from third position came off Ryan Currie’s wheel and went for a long one. It all worked out well.”
Michelin’s Uel Cunningham was second and top veteran Tommy Wilson third. Next it was Connor Young, Ryan Currie and Simon Taggart. Andrew Moss, who hasn’t ridden a race for years, showed that he has lost little of his natural talent coming in seventh on the same time – 1 hour 19 minutes 07 seconds – as the winner. Well done Andrew, it was great to see you racing again.
Karl Taylor led in a group of nine riders, 1 minute 29 seconds behind, for eighth place. (9) Sean Wright (10) Ryan Shaw (11) Alan Blair (12) Richard Reid (13) Adrian Kerr (14) Quinton McFall (15) Nigel Kernohan (16) David Dougan (Slane cycles) all at 1 minute 29 seconds (17) Peter Smyth at 9.20 (18) Brian Geddis at 9.30 (19) Emma Smyth at 12.50 (20) Martin Ruddy (21) Stephen Smyth all at 12.50
It was also great to see Martin Ruddy back racing again following his bad crash earlier in the season.
Alan Blair tells me he was particularly pleased with the way his son in law Richard Reid performed on Wednesday night. In general he contributed to the work of the group and gave Alan a hard time. I notice he didn’t beat him at the finish. Sensible boy!
The Sammy Connor cup event was the fifth round of the eight race road racing league series. Competition is very close this year. Ryan Currie leads on 35 points with Chris Beattie and Connor Young equal second on 33. Nigel Kernohan is fourth with 24 then Matthew Brennan 21 and Tommy Wilson on 20 points.