Foyle Cycling Club’s Ryan Reilly claimed first junior prize at the prestigious Wallace Caldwell Road Race in Ballymena last Saturday.
Reilly out-sprinted Craig McAuley to the line to take the junior prize and an overall 9th place finish in the notoriously difficult course.
And crowning an excellent weekend for the Foyle Cycling member, Reilly, who was representing Cycling Ulster’s Junior team, finished in 12th place at the Nenagh Classic race in Tipperary the following day.
Cycling Ulster Junior Team in the Nenagh Classic race in Tipperary.
Ryan Reilly of Foyle outsprinted Craig McAuley to the line to take first junior prize and an overall 9th place.
At the Wallace Caldwell race on Saturday, both Reilly and fellow Foyle Cycling Club member, Lawrence Watson were in action in a challenging race which included 80 A1,2,3 and Juniors on the starting line for a mass start.
Starting in Ballymena, the circuit heads out through Portglenone, Maghera, Garvagh, Limavady via the Cam climb, then takes a right turn onto the Coleraine Mountain Road (Springwell climb), before turning right again at Macosquin to Kilrea, Rasharkin and finishing the 75 miles in Galgorm.
There was a lot of activity in the bunch from early on and Watson of Foyle CC was one of the riders who tried for an early break but was reeled in by the time the race reached Garvagh.
As the race approached the climb at Cam Forest, a lead group had opened a gap of over two minutes.
The riders faced a strong headwind on the climb which did even more damage to the peloton, causing more splintering. When the race reached the top of Springwell climb the group was well spread out with a small group of five riders at the front.
Shortly behind this group, juniors Reilly and Craig McAuley powered up the climb and joined Frazer Duncan and Ronan McLaughlin on the descent into Macosquin.
The race finished with Adam Armstrong taking a solo win from Frazer Duncan and Cormac Clarke while Reilly beat McAuley to the line to take first junior prize and 9th place.
Reilly was in action again on Sunday, representing Cycling Ulster Junior Team in the Nenagh Classic race in Tipperary.
With a section billed as Ireland’s answer to the Paris/Roubaix, the 102km race was a tough race for the Ulster Junior Team.
With a very large field of racers in the A3 race - over 150, it was the Cycling Ireland and Cycling Ulster Junior teams that controlled this race, with the top 12 placings mostly juniors from the two squads.
The race was won by Eddie Dunbar riding for the Irish team with Ulster’s Craig McCauley coming in third behind Michael O’Loughlin.
Cathal Clarke came in a strong 6th with Rory Maguire, in his first Ulster outing, finishing 8th and Foyle’s Ryan Reilly 12th. Unfortunately Jordan McGinley crashed with the same crash also holding up Harry McComb.
Foyle CC race officer Lawrence Watson was happy with the day’s work: “The day ended with four Ulster riders in the top 12 which was an excellent result,” he said. “Especially when you take in to account that both Craig and Ryan finished in the top 10 on the notoriously tough Wallace Caldwell the day before.”