LAST weekend’s glorious spring weather produced large numbers of riders in all categories in both Saturday’s Cicli-Sport GP in Moneymore and Sunday’s Carn Classic at Tobermore
At Moneymore Banbridge CC fielded riders in the A4, Junior (under 16 and under 14) and Masters events. Shannon Buller kicked off a run of successes for Banbridge CC riders in the Junior races winning “first U14 girl” by just outsprinting team mate Shenna McKiverigan into second place.
Matty Teggart continued the success with a brilliant second place in the main Junior race. This was Matty’s first open race of the season yet he was alert enough to get into the winning three man break at the end of the first of three 9 mile laps.
This small group worked really well together to stay away for two laps of a difficult course and Matty was delighted to split his breakaway colleagues for second place in a very tight sprint finish.
The A4 race featured a small group of Banbridge riders including Dan Purdy , Marty Winters and Josh Daly. All finished comfortably in the bunch .
In the Masters event (50+) Willie Weir, Ian Cochrane and Paul McGuckin found themselves in very fast race right from the start with the first break of the day forming within 2miles. With Paul in this eight man break, Ian and Willie were content to roll around with the bunch.
By the end of the three nine-mile laps the lead group was reduced to six riders and in a flat bunch sprint Paul had to be content with a very close fourth place. This was the hardest race so far in the Masters series and all three Banbridge riders were grateful to get across the finish line.
On Sunday the race venue moved a few miles down the road to Tobermore and Carn Wheelers’ popular Carn Classic. The weather remained warm and sunny but despite that only two Banbridge CC riders made the start line – both in the A3 group in this handicapped six-lap race for A1s – A3s. It was a case of youth and experience though, with one of our leading juniors Mark Downey riding alongside Kevin McAlinden in a field of 80.
After a frenetic first of 6 seven mile laps, it was Mark who rode across to the early break and this stayed away until half a lap to go. By that time the A3 group had been caught by the 1s and 2s and the break was swallowed up by the fast moving bunch to set up a mass sprint to the line. Kevin and Mark finished together in the middle of the peleton – another hard race notched up before club racing starts next week.
WINTER SPINNING CLASS ENDS - Since mid-November a dedicated group of Banbridge CC cyclists have been attending spinning classes in Banbridge leisure centre organised by the club and lead by club coach Gerry Beggs. This has proven popular among members with every bike used throughout the 20 week programme which finished last week.
Fitness gains are assured by the structured programme compiled by Gerry but, as he says, each rider must take personal responsibility for the effort applied individually if maximum benefit is to be achieved. He knows the very few who were occasionally kidding themselves but, despite “the Cranks” attempts at bribery ,he refuses to name names!
All in all, this was a successful year for the club spinning class and the payback will become apparent in the months ahead. Thanks to Banbridge Council for the use of their excellent facilities and equipment .