LAST week Banbridge CC riders were out in force at the 4th round of the Irish Cross Country series at Lady Dixon Park. Racing began at 12:00, with the underage categories and Senior 4 events..
Banbridge CC had a rider in each morning race. U8’s got underway with Sam Baird finishing strongly in a huge field of 20 racers. Next up was U10, in which Jack Baird led James Buller over the line by 2 seconds, coming 4th and 5th respectively. Banbridge were represented in the U12 cat. with Mark Buller getting his hands on the first gold of the day after a brilliant performance right to the line.
John Buller was next to get some silverware, coming 2nd in a very competitive U14 field, with fellow Banbridge rider, Richard Baird finishing strongly to get 5th in the same race. U16’s is always a very tough race, having to complete 2 laps of the senior men’s track. A small but fiercesome bunch of 11 men set off, 10 returned, with Banbridge’s James Curry putting in a great performance to finish in a close 2nd place, and Joseph Baird coming across the line in 6th. In the S4 race, Stephen Prentice flew the Banbridge colours to a fine 32nd place.
In the afternoon’s races: Senior men 1, 2(and junior), and 3, Banbridge CC continued in fine form. Jonathon Buller,
Willy Forsythe and Maurice Mayne put the pressure on in the S3 race and rode well against tough competition. In the S2 and Junior race, Simon Curry put in an ever consistent performance to finish in a very strong 4th position against 42 riders after an impressive pass in the last seconds of the race.
Daniel Runciman and David Montgomery competed in the Junior race, held within the S2 race. David Montgomery started strongly, leading both the Junior and S2 race, until the last climb, in which he was pipped to the line for 1st place S2, but retained his 1st place Junior and ended up 2nd in the S2 category: the only man to win 2 trophies in one race.
Unfortunately Daniel had mechanical problems, but rode his best to pull off 29th place. Banbridge’s elite talent was present, with 3 of the top 4 riders Banbridge CC men.
Taking a fantastic win in S1 was Roger Aiken, riding the fastest laps all day in a league of his own. Gareth McKee was next to cross the line with a brilliant performance putting him in 2nd place on the day. Closely following was Matthew Adair, finishing a fine 4th place in his first year as a Senior rider.
Overall, a terrific team effort from Banbridge CC, and a brilliant race put on by XMTB/McConvey Cycles. Next up on the Irish NPS XC calendar is the 5th round, taking place in a fortnight in Killarney.
If you may be interested in some off-road cycling or racing, get onto the BCC website and message boards and you’ll be made as welcome as possible.