Last year Gary Donaldson won it for Caldwell Wheelers, this year Darnell Moore took the win for the Tyrone Team after a hell of a day with high cold winds.

What a day we had on the Antrim roads today, gusty icy winds, 2 climbs to say Sir to and the peloton of 80 riders split into pieces from as early as 10km in the race with the danger men up the road in two groups who managed speeds due to the tailwinds of over 60km an hour at times. The climbs where awaiting for the leading 2 groups which made another selection up front and the bunch already nearly 3 minutes down at the top of the Springwell with sidewinds who made it nearly impossible to get back to the front from some lads who missed the breaks and it was more preparing for the headwinds going back to Ballymena who hit them that time a group of six has formed up front and they went to the line in Galgorm.

Up front start crumbling near the top of the Springwell
The second group on the road, some made the connection to the front
The chasing bunch been hit by the famous phenomena called the “waaiers”

The leading group stayed away till the finish with howling winds in their faces and Darnell Moore didn’t fancy a sprint and took his chance in the last mile separating himself from the danger men such like Dave Watson (Bike House), Ronan Mc Laughlin and his teammate James Curry from the Dan team, the very dangerous and lively Lindsay Watson (Powerhouse Sport) and last weeks Carn Classic winner Gareth O’Neill from the Newry Wheelers team who had to sprint for second place won by Dave Watson ( Dave likes this finish as he took the last stage of the Tour of the North a few years ago in the same place in Galgorm) Jude Sands from Newry took the best of the rest in 7th place…here the top 15 result

  1. Darnell Moore Caldwell Cycles
  2. David Watson The Bike House
  3. James Curry Dan Morrissey-MIG-Pactimo
  4. Ronan McLaughlin Dan Morrissey-MIG-Pactimo
  5. Lindsay Watson Powerhouse Sport
  6. Gareth O’Neill Newry Wheelers
  7. Jude Sands Newry Wheelers
  8. Craig McAuley Caldwell Cycles
  9. Mark McKinley Newry Wheelers
  10. James Ambrose The Bike House
  11. Jody Wright Phoenix Cycling Club
  12. Paul Kennedy Newcastle West Cycling Club
  13. Cathir Doyle Powerhouse Sport (First unplaced Junior)
  14. Richard Maybin Ballymena Road Club (First of promoting club Ballymena RC)
  15. Mark McGinley Four Masters
Cahir Doyle saying hello…you have to admire these juniors with restricted gears still getting the better of many riders in such winds

To finish the story of today we just have to say chapeau to the promoting club Ballymena RC and his volunteers, the expertise of the comms to control such race in the wild conditions with riders as far as 3 miles behind in the end, the PSNI with their outriders and control landrover, the timekeepers and my favourites of each race..the tea ladies..just love them as I never come hungry away from the Ballymena RC headquarters and so does no one else. Here the link to the photos of our Flickr cloud taken by David Mc Veigh from our media team, and more photos will be added in the next few days, but here a taster of his brilliant work for now, just click on the photo and bob is your uncle.

Here some photos I took to describe the behind the scenes and podium shots to finish…a long day it was and wishing you all good night …
The commissaires
The wheel builder
The volunteers
The Ballymena smiles made my day

The prizes
The Newry Warrior
Beaten today after a hell of a fight…more to come from them
4 hour drive to race up north…chapeau Paul Kennedy
Just done
The Donegal Junior
The Bangor connection
The comeback kid
The ambulance girl
The prize giving
The border town gang
The snacks
The podium
The first Junior
My favorite Ballymena mum (Note: Mary finished Night Shift this morning looking after Alzheimer patients, and still cater for the hungry today…my respect)