Details of 2014 club race programme

31 January 2014
Ballymena Road Club – Chain Reaction Cycles – have released details of their 2014 club race programme which is due to commence on Wednesday 16th April.

David Dougan is the club’s newest, and youngest, committee member and he fills the role of Race Secretary. David has drawn up a calendar of twenty three mid-week club events and while all the old favourites are included there are a few changes too.

The most notable of these changes is the introduction of a three event "scratch road race” series. 
The scratch series will replace the Australian pursuit series, which in recent seasons has been losing its impact somewhat. The Tommy Smyth cup will go to the overall winner of this mini league which kicks off on the opening night of the season 16th April.

Round one will cover two laps of the Broughshane, Buckna, Sheddings, Carnlough road, Broughshane circuit. This will give a race distance of just under 22 miles. Round two follows two weeks later and covers one lap, 16 miles, of the Ahoghill, Tully, Largy Road, Kilnock, Whitesides corner, Glebe road, Ahoghill course. The scratch series will be concluded on 28th May when an 18 miles race starts at Slaght corner and completes two laps of the Caddy circuit.

David explains the thinking behind the introduction of the series. "The club racing committee have met a couple of times already to discuss options for the new season. One of the most popular races in recent years has been the Sammy Connor cup road race, which doubles as the club’s road racing championship. This is a scratch race and it is held on the relatively flat Sheddings circuit. This was the only non- handicapped road race on the calendar and many riders expressed a wish to have more "scratch” events. We didn’t want to change the format of the existing road racing league programme so we decided to substitute the APR series with the scratch series. Hopefully it will prove to be successful” added David.

The first race in the club road racing league series is the Rex Bonar cup 25 miles handicapped road race at Broughshane on the Lisnamurrican circuit on 14th May.

The fact that two of the scratch road races will have taken place before the Bonar cup should help the handicappers when they come to place the entrants into their various starting groups.
In addition to the scratch road race series the club will also promote a total of eight road races on circuits at Broughshane, Caddy, Clough, Randalstown and Glarryford: 

The time trial enthusiasts are well catered for as well with three 25 miles time trials: three 10 miles time trials: two five miles time trials: one 50 miles time trial: The GP of the Glens TT and the Sherdan Caldwell memorial Crebilly hill climb.  The third 25 miles time trial of the season will be held on 13th August. This event, which will take place on the Woodgreen, Dunsilly Ballee course, is listed as a team time trial but David Dougan tells me that any rider, who, for example, needs a 25 miles time for the best all-rounder competition, may ride the event as an individual. Presumably it will also count towards the time trial handicap league, although I’m not sure about my assumption and this will have to be clarified before the season starts.  

The final race of the club season is the Will Henry cup road race at Glarryford on 15th August. There will also be a full programme of youth time trial and road race events.