Will Henry event

25 August 2014
Third time lucky for Harry.
Ballymena Road Club – Chain Reaction Cycles – held their final club road race, of the Northstone sponsored club race season, last Wednesday evening at Glarryford.
There was a field of 26 riders for the Will Henry cup – four lap – 20 miles event with another seven in the 10 miles youth race for the Sandy Spence cup.

The Will Henry event was to see a new winner in Harry Thompson who has shown great improvement in the second half of this season. Harry had already two second places to his credit when he was runner up at Clough and Randalstown but this was his first ever road race win and naturally he was delighted.
Harry gives his own account of his race.
"The race began quite steadily, as the scratch group I was riding in was confident of making up the 5 minutes handicap and catching the front of the race. We worked together well and were reeling groups in as early as the second lap. By the third lap we had the caught the front of the race and the atmosphere suddenly became very cagey, as in my eyes many of the fast finishers were beginning to think about the sprint. 
On the last lap a few moves were made on the climb and at one point I found myself slightly ahead of the bunch with Ryan Shaw, Simon Taggart and Steven McNeilly. However I feared we couldn't stay away due to the downhill section from Millar’s corner to Dunminning.

The race came back together after the downhill and I have to say I noticed the pace went down with many riders probably becoming nervous.                                              I knew I had to try something as I am pretty useless in a sprint so on a slight rise maybe around 1 kilometre from the line I attacked as hard as I could and was surprised to get a gap. 
After that I just put my head down and rode to the line. I couldn't believe it at the time and in retrospect I think I stayed away as no one wanted to work to bring me back after the gap opened.
I was thrilled to win this event and get my first win of any kind in cycling, especially on a course I know well after having first ridden it in 2010. The win was especially satisfying after two second places in Clough and Randalstown, two races in which I was caught near the line for second by two strong riders.”

Results – Will Henry cup.
(1) Harry Thompson 50 minutes 10 seconds (2) Ryan Bankhead (3) Ryan Shaw (4) Stephen McNeilly (Glens) (5) Richard Reid (6) Tommy Wilson (7) G McNally (Bann Valley) (8) Philip Morrison (9) Nigel Kernohan (10) John Shaw (11) Alan Blair (12) Daryl Sempey (13) Jim McConnell (East Antrim) (14) Simon Taggart (15) Stephen Smyth (16) Eileen Burns (17) N Bradley (Bann Valley) (18) Quinton McFall (19) Emma Smyth (20) Neil Millar (21) Derek Dougan (22) Laura Blair (23) Martin Ruddy.