Banbridge CC’s road racing contingent were once again proving to be on form with a string of fine results last week.
As the busy racing period approaches, many of the country’s top cyclists are fine tuning their form ahead of the Amber Green Tour of Ulster and An Post Ras stage races.
Despite most of Banbridge‘s riders having their sights fixed elsewhere on the calendar, they’re still holding great form and able to compete at the highest domestic level.
Last Saturday saw the third edition of the Donegal Bay Kermesse around the village of Mountcharles. With a short but vicious circuit to contend with, the riders would be in for a tough day - and so it would be with what was left of the bunch split into smaller packs and individual riders littered over the steep Donegal hills.
Banbridge CC’s in-form Cameron McIntyre made the break of the day, and as many of his breakaway companions would fall off the pace, he would remain with three others to fight it out for the victory atop the main climb of the 6.2km circuit which they had completed 13 times.
With all three of his competitors well experienced in Kermesse style racing having spent time in Belgium, young Cameron would be up against it.
The hard circuit took its toll and Cameron was distanced in the closing miles but was strong enough to hold on for a fine fourth place against excellent competition, a result he will no doubt be pleased with continuing his run of great results following the previous week’s overall victory in the Lakeland Two-Day.
In Bohermeen, County Meath, it was the third round of the National Women’s League.
Shenna McKiverigan was showing her senior competitors that she had no intention of making the long journey down for nothing.
The race eventually came down to a bunch sprint.
It was the power of Paracycling pilot Eve McCrystal, who is a World Championship silver medallist, that claimed the win ahead of Donegal sensation Ciara Doogan with Sheena third.
Also in Bohermeen,Mark Downey infiltrated the main break in the Waller Cup, alongside former Track World Champion Martin Irvine.
After a gruelling 60 miles out front with a blistering average of 27 mph, it was only the power of the former World Champ Irvine that could hold off the chase to finish alone.
ROGER’S READY FOR THE RAS
Competing this year for Team ASEA, Roger Aiken will no doubt be licking his lips at the thought of the An Post Ras.
Roger makes no secret of his love for the Ras and with a strong team around him will want to once again stand on the top step of the podium.
In preparation, the Team travelled to the UK for the International CiCLE classic, often seen as Britain’s answer to the Paris Roubaix with its unpaved gravel sections coming after 100km of racing.
With his skills in Cyclo-Cross as a triple National Champion no doubt being a benefit on the off-road sections, Roger had a super race to finish in a diminished front group which was led home by NFTO professional and Australian Criterium Champion Steel Von Hoffe.