This Classic race has been on the calendar since 1964 and considered one of the hardest races in the province producing top class was not different. This hilly event was in two parts on the road as we had a separate ladies race and both counted as last leg of the Irish National Road Series. In the men’s section Conor Hennebry (Viner-Caremark-Pactimo) who was leading the series, won the sprint to the line from Adam Ward (Irish Junior Champ from the Powerhouse Racing Team)  both managed to breaking away from a dozen riders who made an early separation, leaving the rest of the bunch behind scattered in many groups on the road, sensational 3th place for the home rider Richard Maybin who excelled this year in big races with Dermot Trulock from Lucan 4th, 5th was Donegal Bay’s hard man Darragh Mc Carter, 6th Angus Fyffe (Caldwell Cycles) 7nd Gareth McNeil (Newry Wheelers) and 8th graduate of the project and inspired cycling Conor Mc Cann , next was James Davenport (Strata3-revolution) in 9th, with Aaron Doherty 10th (NRPT) Next to finish was the girls and also a sprint between Aine Donegan (Scott-Orwell Dublin) and local girl Katharine Smyth (Ballymena RC)..Katharine pipped Aine at the line with a very small margin to receive the £200 winner prize money who was equal to the men’s race. Aine lead the series coming today and her second place secured it permanently. The girls also had some big separations as early as Cloughy 10 miles in where a long and steep hill in to this sleepy town got the strongest girls braking away towards Ballycastle. The big decider happened in the last 20 miles in a annoying head wind when Eileen Burns, Ainje Donegan and winner Katharine  left the rest of the leading group behind..Eileen had to drop off eventually on the way home but still had at least 8 minutes spare to the 4th girl Fiona Guihen (Black Rose racing Galway) who won the sprint of a group of chasers  with Niamh O’ Donavan 5th from TC Racing, 6th girl over the line was Jennifer Bates from Gerard-DHL, 7th was Laura Wylie (Maryland) 8th was Maura Claffey (UCD) 9th Isobel Oakes (Smugglers CC) 10th was Laura Campbell BRC formally known as Blair. After a big spread in the Rex Bonar House in Ballymoney (Head quarters of BRC) and prize presentation. This race is only 103 kms long but if you not a climber it will feel like 200..The PSNI had their work cut out as very busy roads, and in the ladies race they amalgamated with a old tractor event on the road as seen in a photo below..all came safely home  in the end and that makes an event already successful in his own right..Well done Ballymena never disappoint to serve us great spectacle and worthy winners. Photos from myself but have a look at the action photos of Sharon Mc Farland who was guest photographer today..she certainly knows her onions when it come to paint a picture of the race so to speak..thanks for the company today Photo below with main sponsor Alan Blair and daughter Laura who was first unplaced BRC lady today taken by Sharon

Men Elite & Juniors Result

  1. Conor Hennebry Viner-Caremark-Pactimo
  2. Adam Ward Powerhouse Sport
  3. Richard Maybin Ballymena Road Club
  4. Dermot Trulock Lucan CRC
  5. Darragh McCarter Donegal Bay CC
  6. Angus Fyffe Caldwell Cycles
  7. Gareth O’Neill Newry Wheelers
  8. Conor McCann Inspired Cycling
  9. James Davenport Strata 3-VeloRevolution
  10. Aaron Doherty NRPT-Chill Insurance
  11. Darnell Moore Caldwell Cycles
  12. Ronan McLaughlin Viner-Caremark-Pactimo
  13. Gary Donaldson Caldwell Cycles
  14. Richard Meaney Westport Covey Wheelers
  15. Sean Moore Gerard Cycles-DHL
  16. Cian Sutcliffe Gerard Cycles DHL
  17. James Curry VC La Pomme
  18. Jody Wright Phoenix CC
  19. PJ Doogan Caldwell Cycles
  20. Conor Gallagher NRPT-Chill Insurance