Rising star McLean eager to make a big impact at Armoy
Yesterday's launch of the 2017 Armoy Road Races featured leading young riders, who are the future of road racing.
Among the riders signed up to compete around the picturesque three-mile Armoy circuit is 21-year-old Adam McLean from Tobermore, who just a couple of weeks ago was the top TT Newcomer around the 37-mile Mountain Circuit.
A winner of the Junior Support class at Armoy in 2015, McLean is looking forward to racing on July 28 and 29. He said: "I like the circuit. It is certainly not like the TT.
"In the Isle of Man I still have a lot to learn and I was pleased with the way things went there, but here at home with winning at Cookstown and finishing fourth at the North West 200, I know that expectations are high, but I'll just be going out to give it my best and see where I end up."
At the official launch of the Roadside Kia Race of Legends at Gracehill House, the film producer of the fly on the wall documentary 'Road Racers', David Wallace, from nearby Dunloy, gave a presentation on how the film, 40-years-old this year, was made.
He admitted: "The Road Racers film gets talked about more than anything else and I was taken aback by its success."
The film centred on the Armoy Armada of Joey Dunlop, Mervyn Robinson, Frank Kennedy and Jim Dunlop, who took Ulster road racing by storm in the 1970s - how they prepared and tested their racing machines on the quiet country roads around their native Armoy village, their battles with the Dromara Destroyers and the camaraderie among the riders.
Clerk of the Course for the Armoy Road Races, Bill Kennedy - brother of Frank - commented: "It's hard to believe Road Racers was made 40 years ago.
"The Armoy Road Races started off with a bit of craic in a local pub. This is the ninth running of the meeting and we continue to celebrate all our road racers past and present, hence our feature race being named the Race of Legends."
Kennedy also said: "You know, it took in the region of £118,000 to run this race meeting a year ago and it will take no less this year.
"The Armoy Motorcycle Road Racing Club are indebted to all our sponsors who have come on board, without whom it would be impossible for the club to organise and promote this meeting."
Alongside McLean at the launch were local riders William Dunlop - the 2016 Man of the Meeting - Neil Kernohan, Paul Jordan, Darryl Tweed, Christian Elkin, Paul Robinson and English visitor Dominic Herbertson.
Entries close on July 3 and, of course, the entry of Michael Dunlop would be the icing on the cake for the organising club, simply because the recent TT double winner has won the Race of Legends for six consecutive years, and along with William and Paul Robinson continue to keep the Dunlop and Robinson names to the forefront of racing 40 years on from the Armoy Armada.
Kennedy concluded the launch, fronted by Pamela Ballentine, by thanking Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council and Tourism NI for their kind support, Roadside Kia for their title sponsorship, and the hard-working club members and volunteers for their input into the Armoy Road Races.
Bike Week runs from Sunday, July 23 to Saturday, July 29, culminating with the Roadside Kia Race of Legends.