Ulster Cycling News
4Jun/050

Evans New Northern Ireland Road Race Champion

The Northern Ireland Open Road Race championships, hosted by Ballymena Road Club on Saturday saw Tommy Evans take the laurels. The event was run over six laps on the tough 10 mile course which took in the climb at the Battery. By the end of the first lap the Senior race had split into several groups as the long drags took their toll on the riders. A group comprising, Tommy Wilson (Ballymena RC), Willie Hamilton (East Antrim/ Audi), Gary Crory (Planet X), Ryan Connnor (Ballymena RC), Fraser Duncan (Northern/ Dave Kane), Tommy Evans (Planet X), Roger Aiken (Banbridge) and Ben Morrow (East Antrim) managed to get away.

However this group split again leaving Tommy Evans, Fraser Duncan, Ryan Connor and Roger Aiken leading the chasers by a minute after the third lap. They continued to increase their lead but in the penultimate lap Aiken touched a wheel and came down. Despite some bad grazing he climbed on and chased to bridge the inevitable gap along with Fraser Duncan. However it was not to be his day and Tommy Evans eventually broke away from Connor and came home alone 26 secs ahead of Connor.

In the Junior/Vet event, it was Adam Petrie Armstrong (Norhtern/Dave Kane), Jim McConnell(East Antrim/Audi) and Gordon Scott (Kings Moss) who split the group. They stayed ahead of the chasers and in the closing stages Armstrong broke away to solo home and lift the junior prize. John Sloan (Maryland Wheelers), who has been showing improved form of late, was second with Conor McAllister (Ballymena RC) third. In a sprint for the line Gordon Scott beat Jim McConnell for the Vet's prize with Davy Clark (Madigan) in third position.

Seven women enterd the competition and Ann McFarland (Omagh Wheelers) and Trudy Brown (Northern/Dave Kane)emerged as the leading contenders. Ann McFarland took the honours from Trudy Brown with Kay Hack (Bann Wheelers)third and Elaine
Harte (Phoenix CC) fourth. Catherine Bell (Northern/Dave Kane) took an unfortunate tumble in the last lap and was unable to finish. Race organisers promised that for the next women's competition they would ensure that all turns would be highlighed to assist the women in following the course!!

For pics of Saturdays's action click the link below.
VIEW FULL GALLERY

Results
Senior
1. Tommy Evans (Planet X) 2.34.32
2. Ryan Connor (Ballymena RC) @26 secs
3. Roger Aiken (Banbridge CC) @44 secs
4. Fraser Duncan (Northern/Dave Kane) @2.36
5. Paul Hanna (Total Cycling) @4.49 st
6 Willie Hamilton (East Antrim /Audi)st
7. Tommy Wilson (Ballymena Rc) st
8. Gary Crory (Planet X) st
9. Colin Scullion (Ballymena RC)@ 10.48
10.Gary Mc Keegan (Madigan) @ 14.54

Vets
1. Gordon Scott (Kings Moss)
2. Jim McConnell (East Antrim/Audi)
3. Davy Clarke (Madigan)

Junior
1. Adam Petrie Armstrong (Northern/Dave Kane)
2. John Sloan (Maryland Wheelers)
3. Conor McAllister (Ballymena RC)

Women
1. Ann McFarland (Omagh Wheelers)
2. Trudy Brown (Northern/Dave Kane)
3. Kay Hack (Bann Wheelers)
4. Elaine Harte (Phoenix CC)
5. Sara Wilson (Ballymena RC)
6. Florence Millar (Toyota North Down)

Report and pics : Tommy and Marian Lamb

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