WEDNESDAY 30 May, saw Banbridge Cycling Club host its annual trophy race for the Skelly Cup.
This is a 15.5 mile individual handicapped Time Trial over undulating terrain, that starts on the Rathfriland Rd A1 flyover, with riders heading south east towards Rathfriland, then turning north towards Katesbridge and returning north west back to Banbridge along the Castlewellan Rd.
This is a route that suits those with the ability to keep the power on over both the flat sections and the intermittent rises along the route. Conditions were once again generous to those taking part, with mild temperatures, dry roads and little or no wind. Taking up the challenge were 24 club members and 4 visiting riders from the West Down Wheelers and Shimna Wheelers.
For club members it was the sixth round of league combat whilst for those visiting it was valuable training. Each of the 24 club members, was again given a target time in which to aim for.
Uniquely all 24 riders recorded timings under their targets, demonstrating continued performance gains right accross the board. On the night it was 20 year old new boy Jude Sands who took the plaudits with a superb time of 41:58 (22.16mph)taking him 2:29 under his target . This is Jude’s second win in three weeks, in this his first season with the club, having been placed first in the 10mile TT held on the Lurgan Rd on 16 May. Jude has simply burst into the club scene and has shown great potential for stepping up to Open racing in 2013.
As a victim of his own success he will however, have to dig deep for his next win as his target times have fallen rapidly. Second on the night was another new rider Ryan Moore who posted a time of 45:01(20.65mph) with third placed and defending Cup holder Michael Larkin recording a time of 43:00 (21.62mph). Fastest time on the night, was a superb 36:25 (25:54mph) posted with little evidence of effort by the talented Matty Adair, who continues to display huge ability in all cycling race disciplines. Simon Curry posted the second quickest club time at 39:06 (23:78mph) with third quickest actual time Aidey Finnegan at 40:07 (23:20mph). Quickest visitor on the night was ex club rider and growing time trial specialist Dan Gordon with a super quick 38:30 (24.16mph). After 6 rounds the Race League leaderboard has closed up with Paul McGuckin on 189 points, holding a slender lead over both Daniel Purdy and Jude Sands both on 187, Philip Beattie in fourth at 178 and Ryan Moore in fifth at 175. Final words on the evening go to Kevin McAlinden, who had doublel misfortune on the night. Firstly having suffered a puncture during pre race warm up, he was delayed to start some 17 minutes after the last rider.
Disaster then struck a second time with a crash on the Castlewellan Rd in the area of the Anglers Rest, caused by a sheep jumping over a roadside bank straight into his path at around 25mph. Having destroyed an expensive skin suit, caused some cosmetic damage to his TT Bike, having badly bruised his hip, suffered road rash and several stitches to his elbow Kevin calmly stated, “ What a pity , with the hard bit done, I was a minute up on last year”. Thanks to Nicola and Liam who assisted Kevin at corners during his late run and also with some immediate first aid and recovery post incident. The next club event to be held, is race two in the three race series for the Gilchrist Cup on the Gilford Circuit. Results after race 1 saw Paul McGuckin lead with James Curry second, Brian Curran third and Paul Carlisle fourth.