Tommy Wins League for 7th Time

15 October 2013

Top veteran cyclist Tommy Wilson has won the Ballymena Road Club – Chain Reaction Cycles – road racing league series for the 2013 season.

Tommy has a superb record in this particular event which he first won in 1998. He was runner up to Liam Nelson in 2000 and then won it three years in a row in 2001, 2002 and 2003.

In 2005, 2006 and 2007 Liam Nelson also completed a hat-trick of wins and on each occasion Tommy was second overall.

Wilson won again in 2009 and in 2011, and was fourth last year, when Ryan Currie was the winner, and now he has achieved top position again for 2013, his seventh success in the contest in a sixteen season span.

This year’s league, in the Northstone sponsored club race series, had eight rounds with riders’ best results from seven of the eight races counting for the overall points total.

Tommy Wilson’s challenge got off to the best possible start when he collected maximum points in round one’s H&M Wilson cup event at Slaght. Aaron Swan was actually first across the line that night in early May but Wilson won the trophy as first BRC rider.

Round two’s Rex Bonar cup race at Lisnamurrican saw Muckamore’s S Carley take the honours with second placed George Graham the first BRC rider. Swan was third and Tommy Wilson added another 9 points to his total by taking fourth across the line (second BRC)

Connor Young won the Star Trophy GP of the glens road race at Broughshane on 12th June with Wilson in second place.

The half way stage of the series was reached on 26th June with the Sammy Connor cup scratch road race at Broughshane on the Sheddings circuit. Tommy Wilson’s training partner, Jim McConnell (East Antrim) was the race winner while Matthew Brennan was the first BRC in fourth place. This gave Brennan the trophy and also the honour of being the club’s road racing champion.

Tommy scored just one point in the Sammy Connor cup but his overall lead was comfortable, as he had amassed 29 points, while his nearest challenger, Ryan Bankhead, had 22 and Karl Taylor was third on 20.

Jason Burns won round five on 30th July, at Clough on the famous Mid-Antrim motor cycle circuit, where Wilson added another seven points.

Less than one week later, on 5th August, Connor Young earned his second win of the series, in the short circuit event at Randalstown. Wilson was second in this event.

Wilson didn’t score in the Sammy Gaston cup race at Glarryford on 7th August, which was won by Ryan Bankhead, and this meant that Bankhead could still win overall if the results went his way in the final round.

Going into this eighth and final round Will Henry cup race again at Glarryford on 14th August Tommy Wilson lead the road racing league series with 45 points while Ryan Bankhead was second on 39 points and Connor Young third with 33. 

Bankhead was the only rider who could catch Wilson but the final round was to prove to be an anti-climax, as far as the league was concerned, as Ryan was absent on a scheduled holiday.

The race itself was nevertheless very exciting and produced one of the closest sprint finishes ever witnessed at Glarryford. It took the camera to separate the first and second riders over the line with Clifford Grant proving successful by a few inches over Karl Taylor.

Just for good measure Tommy scored another 5 points by taking sixth position.

Wilson’s overall winning total was 50 points, Connor Young finished second on 40 and Ryan Bankhead third on 39. The other league placings were (4) Karl Taylor 29 (5) Simon Taggart 28 (6) Clifford Grant 26 (7) Richard Reid 23 (8) Neil Millar 21 equal (9) and (10) Michael Carroll and Alan Blair 19 points each (11) Matthew Brennan 18 (12) Ryan Currie 15 (13) George Graham 14 (14) Claire Gillespie 12 (15) Stephen Smyth 11 (16) Jason Burns 10 equal (17) and (18) Ryan Shaw and John Shaw 8 points each. Equal (19) (20) and (21) Gary Reid, Chris Beattie and Hall Booth 7 points each (22) Martin Ruddy 6 points. (23) Emma Smyth 5 points. Equal (24) and (25) M Wright and Adrian Kerr 3 points each.  

Tommy and the other perpetual trophy winners will receive their awards at the Road Club’s annual prize presentation dinner which is scheduled to be held min Eaton Park on Friday 22nd November at 7.30pm. Tickets are currently available from Richard Wilson.