Strang takes TT crown

OVER the last three weeks the Bann Valley leagues have continued with a very busy schedule of races and time trials.

The AWT Racing ten mile TT on Tuesday July 31st was badly affected by rain but ten hardy souls braved the conditions to take part in the event.

The TT was won by David Strang BVRC in a very good time for the conditions 23 minutes 39 seconds. David was followed home by clubmate Dean McElfatrick who posted a time of 24 minutes 8 seconds just ahead of John O’Neill from Spires CC who clocked in with 24.54.

This leaves just two rounds of the AWT Racing league left to run.

The GMC Electrical road race league has now been completed with races at Gortmacrane and Ballynease over the last two weeks. The penultimate race at Gortmacrane was won in emphatic style by Bann Valleys Irish Development Team member Conor McAteer who rode clear from the rest of the field to cruise over the line with no-one else in sight. Second place was taken by Lakelands Philip Bremner while Jason Henry UA took the third spot. The final road race of the 2012 season was held on the popular Ballynease course, this race attracted 58 riders and was a very fast and competitive event. By the final straight the scratch group was gaining fast and the leaders were tiring, however on the line John O’Neill Spires CC held off a strong challenge by Ballymena pair Peter Smith and Alan Blair to take his first and well deserved win at a Bann Valley race. While this brought the GMC Electrical road race league to an end Thursday 16th was the final round of the Interclub league. This round was hosted by BVRC and proved to be one of the fastest and most competitive races seen on the Gortmacrane course. An accident on the second lap broke the rhythm of the first group and allowed the second bunch to catch them. With just two fast moving bunches on the road separated by only 20 seconds at the bell a mass sprint was awaited. As the race approached the line three riders had pulled clear and on the line Ryan Bankhead BRC had a clear victory from his clubmate Chris Beattie who in turn was closely followed by Bobby Kane Bann Wheelers CC.

With the race season now completed the final league standings will be published over the next week but Bann Valley Road Club would like to express our sincere thanks and gratitude to all those who marshaled, drove lead cars or assisted in any way, this help has never been more essential with the numbers of riders taking part in the races and health and safety of all road users a major concern.

With a few accidents having occurred during the season including the last interclub race we would like to express our appreciation at the attendance and help given with first aid by Joan McCullough. It is comforting to know that someone with Joan’s experience is on hand should any incident occur.

Finally thanks to all the riders who took part during the season, congratulations to those who won races and speedy recovery to those injured recently.