Blair International Red Hand Trophy

19 August 2013
Ballymena Road Club – Chain Reaction Cycles – are scheduled to hold their annual Blair International Transport, Red Hand Trophy road race this Saturday 24th August, from their Rex Bonar House club rooms on Railway Street.
There is, however, some doubt about the race as organiser Hugh McCullough had only received 38 confirmed entries by Sunday night. The club would need double that amount before the race could go ahead, please check Cycling Ulster website this week for updates.
Assuming that the race takes place the details are: The peloton will depart from Railway Street at 10.50 am. From there they are neutralised through the town and along Ballymoney road, Fry’s Road to the race start on the Cushendall Road.
The race follows a course to Rathkenny and then left for Clough before heading on for Loughguille and Armoy.
Then it’s down Glenshesk to Ballycastle before the climb to Ballyvoy and on up the hill to Ballypatrick forest and on past the Vanishing Lakes.
A fast descent then follows which takes the riders over the Glendun viaduct and on to Cushendall.
Then it’s around the coast road to Carnlough before the final climb up Glencloy and on in through the Braid to the finish back at Broughshane, where the leaders are expected at approximately 1.25pm
Alan Blair’s generous sponsorship ensures a winner’s prize of £100 and also there are prizes for the first six as well as the "unplaced” second and third category seniors.
In addition to these there are also prizes for the first three Ballymena RC riders who don’t pick up a prize in the main list.
As usual a big team of marshals are required to run the race. Please make yourself available to the race organiser, Hugh McCullough, if you are able to assist.
Last year Adam Armstrong (Eurocycles) won the race by 7 seconds from Simon Williams (Curran) after 2 hours 28 minutes 31 seconds. Conor McAllister (Chain Reaction) took third place at 2 minutes 31 seconds.
This was an impressive time by the winner especially when the race had to divert up the Tower road at Garron point. Armstrong was delighted to have finally won the Red Hand Trophy which was one of the few major classic races he hadn’t mastered. Ballymena Road Club’s best finisher was Simon Taggart in tenth place.