Emma Wins Ladies BAR at Fist Attempt!

09 November 2012
Emma Smyth, from Fenton Park in Cloughmills, has won the Ballymena Road Club – Chain Reaction Cycles – ladies best all-rounder championship for the 2012 season.
This is a remarkable achievement for Emma who only started racing this season. She and her husband Stephen first cycled with the club during the 2010 fun tour series, and while Stephen raced during the 2011 season Emma’s first event wasn’t until 18th April this year, when she recorded a time of 28 minutes 21 seconds in the Stan Finlay memorial 10 miles time trial at Woodgreen.
Two weeks later she went even faster when, at her first attempt at the distance, Emma recorded 67 minutes 47 seconds in the club’s 25 miles time trial on the A26 Woodgreen, Dunsilly, Ballee course.
That performance took her to first place in the handicap section.
Another 10 miles time trial followed on 16th May and her performance this time was 27 minutes 57 seconds, good enough for second place on handicap.
Emma’s best 5 miles time was recorded on 11th July when she clocked 12 minutes 47 seconds and again this earned her second place in the handicap section.
This race marked the half-way point in the ten race time trial handicap league series and Emma had amassed 16 points following her win and two second placings. Nigel Kernohan was also showing steady improvement and he too had 16 points.
However Emma improved once again the next time out when she clocked 66 minutes 06 seconds in the Ernie Mark cup 25 miles time trial at Woodgreen on 25th July.
The following week Emma recorded her fastest 10 miles time of the season, in the Gardiner cup event, when her 26 minutes 14 seconds represented a PB by 1 minute 43 seconds. Connor Young also improved by the same margin and the pair were to share the Gardiner cup as joint winners of the handicap section.
These two latest results gave Emma a 3.5 points lead over Nigel Kernohan in the league. However, because of other commitments, Emma didn’t ride the final three time trial rounds and when Nigel Kernohan won the handicap section in the McQuigg cup 50 miles time trial on 8th September he turned around his 3.5 points deficit to win the league by 2.5 points with a total score of 29 points. Emma finished second with 26.5 points.
Rose bowl for Emma in BAR.
Emma had, however, done enough to secure the ladies time trial best all-rounder championship as her 5 miles time of 12 minutes 47 seconds and 10 miles performance of 26 minutes 14 seconds represented an overall average speed of 23.170mph.
This beat defending champion and ladies record holder Louise Fullerton.
Louise finished second with times of 12 minutes 58 seconds and 26 minutes 58 seconds for an overall average of 22.693mph.
Third placed Maeve Savage was just a whisker behind with 13 minutes 20 seconds and 26 minutes 25 seconds for 22.606mph.
Fourth place went to another newcomer Claire Gillespie with times of 13.28 (5) and 28.48 (10) for an overall average of 21.555mph.
Emma Smyth also topped the ladies racing league which sees points awarded to the first six ladies in each of the club’s road race, Australian pursuit, hillclimb and time trial events in the Northstone sponsored club race series. She had a winning total of 94 points.
The other placings in the ladies league were (2) Maeve Savage 54 (3) Claire Gillespie 37 points (4) Louise Fullerton 25 points (5) Eileen McFarland 6 points (6) Hazel Hughes 3 points.
Emma and the other lady competitors will join all the club’s prize winners at Eaton Park on Friday 30th November for the prize presentation dinner. Tickets cost £17.50 and are currently available from committee members.