Wallace Caldwell Memorial race hailed a resounding success

Matthew Brennan and Simon Taggart pictured after Saturday's Wallace Caldwell memorial road race.Matthew Brennan and Simon Taggart pictured after Saturday's Wallace Caldwell memorial road race.
Matthew Brennan and Simon Taggart pictured after Saturday's Wallace Caldwell memorial road race.
Saturday’s Wallace Caldwell memorial road race was judged to be a resounding success by all involved.

The Ballymena Road Club – Chain Reaction Cycles – organising committee were in danger of losing the race this season following its cancellation earlier in the year but the “course clash” with the Blair International Transport, Red Hand Trophy and the Armoy motor cycle races meant Saturday’s date became available for the Caldwell.

Sixty seven riders started the event and immediately it was flat out speed.

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Matthew Brennan for BRC along with Mike Millar Mark Dowling and Colm Quinn broke clear early on between Ahoghill and Tully and at Portglenone they held a 30 seconds advantage. However they were reeled in before Gulladuff.

The high speed was to continue with 26.8 miles being covered in the first hour’s racing.

After Garvagh, on the road to Ringsend, the first of the climbs took their toll and a few riders started to suffer.

By Bolerin four riders had gone ahead and led by 1 minute 12 seconds. Mark Dowling was there again along with Fraser Duncan, Alastair McAuley and Connor McConvey.

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At the top of the Cam forest climb they led by 1 minute 14 seconds over a chasing group of 14 riders with the main field at 2 minutes.

At Limavady, with 38 miles covered, their lead had gone out to 1minute 43 seconds, over three chasers, with the bunch at 2 minutes 10 seconds.

The next challenge was the climb towards the Springwell forest and this really took its toll on the bunch, which fragmented into several smaller groups and numerous individual riders.

Thomas Martin, Brian McCrystal, and Connor Murphy bridged the gap to the leaders by Kilrea although, by then, Fraser Duncan and also Alastair McAuley had lost their place at the front.

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This group of five leaders maintained their advantage along the Lisnahunshin road to Killyless and down the Ballyconnolly road and on to the finish at Fenaghy road at Galgorm.

Thomas Martin (Eurocycles) was first over the line in 2 hours 54 minutes 15 seconds for the 74 miles event.

Chris Beattie was the best finisher for BRC in twentieth place (28) Matthew Brennan (29) Simon Taggart; all three came in with the main pack 6 minutes 57 seconds behind the winner.

Ryan Currie and Nigel Kernohan also completed the race 14 minutes 05 seconds behind.

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Spare a though for BRC’s evergreen veteran Michael Carroll who was the unluckiest rider in the race.

Michael’s chain broke in the neutralised section on the Galgorm road just outside the bus station. At least he didn’t have far to go to get a lift home.

Well done once again to Hugh McCullough and his organising team.

The static marshalling was excellent and this, combined with a team of nine motor cycle marshalls and the PSNI outriders made the race as safe as possible for the riders.

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Thankfully the first aiders – Joan McCullough and Vikki Woodrow weren’t required but they were on standby if needed.

The post-race refreshments were very welcome and again thanks go to Mary Mark, Sadie Connor and their team of helpers. Many thanks to all involved with the event.


Clough teenager Aaron Swan (TSC Racing) won the Ballymoney CC Kermesse (race around the church) from a 40-plus rider line-up who rode 10 laps of the three mile Armoy motorbike race circuit.

Matthew Brennan was BRC’s best finisher in fourth, with Clifford Grant fifth.


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Ballymena Road Club’s touring section held their annual “Nine glens challenge” on Sunday.

Thirty five riders gathered at Glenarm for the start of the 70 miles event, including 11 from the Glens club in Cushendall.

They donated a total of £240 for the Chernobyl Children’s appeal.

Weather conditions were near perfect with just one heavy rain shower at Knocknacarry, and there were no punctures to fix!

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Many thanks to Marian McQuillan and her daughter Brenda for the catering and back up with the club’s events’ vehicle and also thanks to Silvercliffs for the use of their showers and changing rooms.

The next touring event is on Sunday 4th August when BRC’s touring section will take part in “Martin’s run to Carnfunnock” leaving from the club rooms at 9.30am.


Ballymena RC will hold their annual three day event in the Northstone club race series next week.

The action starts on Monday 5th August in Randalstown with a short circuit road race.

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This is followed on Tuesday 6th August with the Sherdan Caldwell memorial hill climb at Crebilly and rounded off with the Sammy Gaston cup 25 miles road race at Glarryford on Wednesday 7th August.

The youth section will also be in action at Crebilly and Glarryford.

The overall winner of the three day will be awarded the Ballymena Borough Council trophy.

There is a lot to race for next week as both the Randalstown race and the Sammy Gaston cup event count towards the club’s road racing league series.

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Going into tonight’s race at Clough the club road race league is currently being led by Tommy Wilson on 29 points

Other positions: (2) Ryan Bankhead 22 (3) Karl Taylor 20 (4) Connor Young 17 (5) Michael Carroll 16 (6) Ryan Currie 15 (7) Neil Millar 13. Equal (8) Simon Taggart and Clifford Grant 12 points each. Equal (10) Matthew Brennan and George Graham 10 points each.


Neil McGuigan, the store manager of CRC Boucher road, has issued the following invitation to Ballymena Road Club members as part of Chain Reaction Cycles “proud to partner Ballymena RC” sponsorship arrangements.

“I am pleased to invite you to the forthcoming exclusive evening for the Ballymena Road Club on Wednesday 31st July from 6.30pm until 8.30pm.

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“As usual we are keen to meet all members on the evening and always encourage a good attendance to build the relationship and as part of this we allow the club member to bring a guest or “plus one” along to also benefit from these offers.”

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