Hennebry takes Red Hand after close battle with teenager Ward

Posted on: September 16th, 2018

Having just held off the breakaway men, Conor Hennebry won the two-up sprint that settled the Red Hand Trophy; junior rider Adam Ward the runner-up (Photo: Shea Gribbon)


Conor Hennebry has won the Red Handy Trophy after being pushed hard all the way to the line by top junior rider Adam Ward.

The duo had dangled off the front of a large breakaway for the final 25km. And while the gap came down to just eight seconds towards the end, they hung on.

Ward, the Powerhouse Sport junior who has appealed his omission from the Irish team for the World Championships, led out the final sprint.

However, Hennebry (Viner-Caremark-Pactimo) got passed him to claim victory, with teenager Ward (Powerhouse Sport) a very close 2nd on the day.

Just seconds after the leading pair crossed the line, the sprint for 3rd place from the breakaway was taken by Richard Maybin.

He claimed the final place on the podium for the host club Ballymena Road Club. His result was part of a really successful promotion for the hosts.

The racing produced all-out action and Katharine Smyth and Eileen Burns took 1st and 3rd in the women’s race for Ballymena.


Top down: The early escape, Angus Fyffe leads the breakaway, Richard Maybin wins the sprint for third place (Photos: SheaGribbon)


In the men’s race, a strong breakaway went clear about an hour into the contest after an aggressive and fast start saw repeated attacks recaptured.

But when the elastic finally snapped; the group that went clear was a very strong one.

Ward was in there along with national U23 champion Darnell Moore (Caldwell Cycles) and Maybin. Also present was Ward’s team mate, and Euro and Worlds track silver medal winner, Xeno Young.

Completing the group were another two strong men; Kevin McCambridge of Mellow Velo and Inspired Cycling’s Conor McCann.

However, while there was plenty of horsepower in the move, their gap remained modest for a long time; about 30 seconds.

On an exposed section of road, Dermot Trulock (Lucan CRC) took flight from the bunch. And Hennebry went after him.

The gap to the escape was still relatively small and the two chasers, who have won a very large number of races between them this year, were soon up to those at the head of the race.

Hennebry was clearly feeling good, as was original breakaway man Ward. And with about 25km remaining Hennebry and Ward attacked the breakaway.

They worked well all the way to the finish line, though only ever had about 15 seconds; at times much less.

Some attacks from the chasing group coming in the road saw the gap come right down to just seconds.

But the two leaders made it all the way to the finish, where Hennebry took the verdict over young Ward.

Behind them Maybin took the sprint for 3rd from Trulock, Darragh McCarter (Donegal Bay CC) and Angus Fyffe (Caldwell Cycles).


Sat, Sept 15th: Red Hand Trophy

Promoted by Ballymena Road Club

  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