LAST Sunday one of Ulster’s most popular open road race events – The Noel Teggart Memorial, promoted by Banbridge CC, was held on the Banbridge-Gilford-Scarva circuit.
This meeting catered for most categories with a full programme of Underage , Senior, Over 50’s and Ladies.
The highlight of the afternoon was a double win for the home club with a resurgent Mark Downey proving the strongest rider in the U16 race with a clear victory - Banbridge teammate Matty Teggart took an excellent third place, while a rampant Gareth McKee stormed home in the six-lap Senior race for A1s –A3s, holding off challenges from A1 and A2 riders to record a rare victory for an A3 rider in this race.
On the last lap Gareth rode across on his own to the two man break containing East Antrim duo Gary Cranston and Daniel Stewart. The three of them worked hard for the rest of the last lap to hold off the bunch and were joined on the climb up the Scarva Road by Eurocycles’ Connor Murphy.
Coming to the line it was a 4-up sprint with Gareth proving the strongest to take a brilliant win in what was a top class field featuring some of the strongest teams in Ulster.
In the other under age races Shannon Buller won first girl in the Under 14 with Shenna McKiverigan in support with a fine second girl placing.
In the A4 race Dan Purdy and Adie Finnegan maintained their excellent form of recent weeks with both riders finishing their four lap race strongly at the front of the large bunch.
In the Over 50’s race (combined with the Ladies race) there was disappointment for the four man Banbridge team which was primarily riding against a strong Phoenix CC team of equal numbers.
Despite a herculean ride by Phil Beattie on the last lap leading out from Ballyvarley to almost the 30mph signs his teammates Paul McGuckin and Ian Cochrane could only manage second and third place respectively behind Phoenix’s Geoff Hewitt when only a Banbridge a win would have been just reward for Phil’s effort.
However the Banbridge team, with Chris McCann making a solid contribution on the climb up from Scarva, consolidated their lead in the Times Jeweller’s over 50’s team series edging out Phoenix on this occasion.
Freida Brown added to what was overall a very successful meeting for Banbridge CC by claiming the Ladies prize.