Photo: Robert Bucket

Niton road bike rider Ryan Whitehall competed in one of Northern Ireland’s most prestigious road races – the North West 200.

Traveling to Northern Ireland 2 weeks ago, the 25-year-old gained valuable experience on the 8.97-mile course on the Causeway Coast against established names and top runners.

Originally a ground worker here on the Isle of Wight, Ryan is now based in Northern Ireland where he takes work to fund his runs.

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Ryan started racing in 2018 after watching the thrill of Irish road racing ‘between the hurdles’ on TV and took part in his first race at Oulton Park as a rookie in the Thundersport series. He finished 2nd in the championship that year and the following year he again finished second in the sport/elite 600 class.

He has since entered the Superstock and Supertwins classes on his Yamaha R6 and Kawasaki 650 competing at Snetterton where he won twice and Mallory Park where he also won.

Racing is never easy and Ryan suffered a huge crash at Armoy in 2021, taking around 8 months to recover from a shattered right leg with compound fractures and wearing an external cage.

Photo: Robert Bucket

Unfazed and having had the cage removed, 5 days later he returned and raced the Cookstown 100 where – unbelievably – he won the 600 ‘B’ race on his first outing since the crash.

Ryan would like to thank his existing sponsors for all their support, especially fellow islander George Richards, who prepared his bikes. His ultimate goal is to race the legendary Isle of Man TT course – 37 ¾ miles of public road with over 200 turns on each lap.

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Ryan currently has a small number of local sponsors on the island, but is looking for additional funding. If any island businesses would like to sponsor Ryan on his racing journey. contact Rod Warne on 07970 009725.

Photo: Aaron McCullough

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