Ryan wins H and M Wilson cup road race

04 May 2015
Ballymena Road Club – Chain Reaction Cycles – held their annual H and M Wilson cup road race at Slaght last Wednesday evening, which was round one of the season long road racing league series for the William Smyth cup.

Conditions, prior to the race, were very poor with a hailstone shower forty minutes before the scheduled starting time.

However there was a break in the weather and the race went ahead, although the organisers’ decided to cut it to two laps because of failing light.

Twenty five signed on for the event and they were set off in two groups, two minutes apart at the start. At the end of the first lap of the Caddy circuit the scratch group riders had closed 65 seconds and were on schedule for a late catch.

Ryan Bankhead, who won last year’s series, takes up his story of the race.

"This race saw the start of my defence of the road racing league. It took place on the fast Slaght/Caddy circuit which is a course which would have to be up there as one of my favourites, so I always try to do well here. I was in the scratch group and last off, and seeing some of the riders getting off in front I knew it would be a hard chase. So we set off in pursuit of the riders up the road. 

It soon became clear that with numerous riders out of the six in scratch were not prepared to ride or didn't want to ride for some reason. I took the decision that if I wanted to win I needed across to the leaders; if I needed across I needed to ride. Simple tactics that proved successful. I got across with two of the initial 6 still in tow. To be fair the front group had ridden well, with scratch only getting up with approximately two miles to go.                                                                  

There were a few late attempts to get away but I intended putting all my efforts into a sprint win. As we approached the last left hander Connor Young kicked for the line, I quickly jumped onto his wheel, knowing this was my lift to the finish with about 300 metres to go I kicked past Connor in my bid for victory, It worked out 100% and the victory was mine, with the H&M Wilson cup coming home to me again. This is a race which I've generally performed well in over the years with good podium places. 

A first round win also sets me up well again for a title I fully plan to defend. Thanks to all the time keepers, lead cars, finish line judges and corner marshals that stood out through poor conditions to give us the races we love, your efforts are much appreciated by all the riders, thanks again.” Added Ryan.

Results. H and M Wilson cup 18 miles road race. Slaght and Caddy circuit Wednesday 29th April. 
(1) Ryan Bankhead 42 minutes 46 seconds 
(2) Gary Reid 
(3) Richard Reid 
(4) Shaun Byrne (Bann Valley) 
(5) Quinton McFall all at 1 second
(6) Neil Millar 
(7) Mark Wright 
(8) Stephen Little 
(9) Colin Deane 
(10) Adrian Kerr 
(11) Laura Blair all at 3 seconds 
(12) Connor Young 
(13) Jon Hilditch at 7 seconds 
(14) Tommy Wilson at 14 seconds 
(15) Philip Morrison at 20 seconds 
(16) Dale Bonnar at 31 seconds 
(17) Jim McConnell (East Antrim) at 3 minutes 47 seconds 
(18) Eileen Burns at 4.52 
(19) Darren Crawford at 6.25.