Connor Young emerged as the overall winner of the Ballymena Road Club – Chain Reaction Cycles – three day race last week. Each of the three rounds at Randalstown, Crebilly and Glarryford had different winners but Young proved to be the most consistent and did enough to win the Ballymena Borough Council trophy for the second time in three years.
Connor got off to the best possible start when he led in a four rider breakaway group at the end of the "short circuit” event at Randalstown on Monday evening.
The entrants faced ten laps of the two miles per lap Branch Road, Groggan Road South, Portglenone road circuit. The short course didn’t allow for too big a handicap with an overall limit of four minutes from front to back. It was a tough course too with the hill on the Groggan road getting steeper each lap.
In the end Young crossed the line in a time of 50 minutes 30 seconds. Road racing league leader Tommy Wilson took second with Simon Taggart third and Craig Crawford (Duffin) fourth. These four were 12 seconds ahead of fifth placed Ryan Bankhead who led in the chasing group. Alan Blair took sixth followed by (7) Gary Reid (8) John Shaw (9) Richard Reid.
Tuesday’s action centred on the Sherdan Caldwell memorial hill climb at Crebilly. Colin Scullion, who last won the Crebilly climb in 2006, was fastest with a time of 1 minute 22.59 seconds. He narrowly beat Simon Taggart, who was attempting a hat-trick of victories, having won this race in 2011 and 2012. Simon’s time was 1 minute 23.56 seconds.
Connor Young was third with 1-29.37 (4) Matthew Brennan 1-31.51 (5) M Wright 1-32.58 (6) Tommy Wilson 1-34.11 (7) Ryan Shaw 1-37.33 (8) Gary Reid 1-37.44 (9) Karl Taylor 1-37.46 (10) Richard Reid 1-40.06 (11) Adrian Kerr 1-42.51 (12) Ryan Bankhead 1-48.15 (13) John Shaw 1-51.45 (14) Stephen Smyth 1-53.29 (15) Leo McCavana 1-56.17 (16) Emma Smyth 1-57.56 (17) Alan Blair 1-59.05 (18) Claire Gillespie 2-00.27 (19) Quinton McFall 2-06.41 (20) John Maxwell 2-12.11
Youth section result (1) Caolan Stuart 1-43.07 (2) Breandan McCavana 1-53.00 (3) Caleb Dempsey 1-54.43 (4) S Byrne (Bann Valley) 2-00.49 (5) F Byrne (BV) 2-26.29
Visitors (1) Craig Crawford (Duffin) 1-30.11 (2) Declan Butler (Michelin) 1-50.03
The final round of the three day race was the Sammy Gaston cup 25 miles road race, which was held over five laps of the Glarryford, Millar’s corner, Dunminning circuit on Wednesday evening.
The scratch group just failed, by 14 seconds, to recover their starting handicap and it was Ryan Bankhead, who normally starts with the scratch group, who used his sprinting power to full effect to win the gallop from the 13 rider leading group. Ryan’s race winning time was 66 minutes 58 seconds. Stephen Smyth was a close second with Neil Millar third. (4) R Reid (5) A Blair (6) Emma Smyth (7) J Shaw (8) Claire Gillespie (9) Breandan McCavana (10) A Kerr (11) G Reid (12) M Wright (13) G McCullagh (Bann Valley) all same time (14) Connor Young at 14 seconds (15) C Crawford (Duffin) (16) S Taggart (17) T Wilson (18) M Brennan (19) George Graham (20) R Shaw (21) M Carroll (22) K Taylor (23) C Scullion
Overall result of the three day race
(1) Connor Young 18 points
(2) Ryan Bankhead 17
(3) Simon Taggart 17
(4) Tommy Wilson 14
(5) Alan Blair 13
(6) Richard Reid 12 points.