Destination of the Weir Cup is decided

Roger Aiken - winner of mens elite race at Ulster MTB Cross Country Championships
Roger Aiken - winner of mens elite race at Ulster MTB Cross Country Championships

WITH only the final two 10 mile Individual time trials to go in this year’s Banbridge CC Road Race League series, this season has seen the talent of a number of new club riders emerge, whilst at the same time a rejuvenated race interest from some of the more experienced club riders.

Race 19 like those before it saw keen competitive interest in all, with the silverware on offer this week being The Weir Cup which would conclude with this, the second of two 10 mile time trials, the first of which took place back in mid-April.

James Curry - winner of under 16 age group in same event , and coincidentally winner of the Weir Cup in Banbridge CC's race programme.

James Curry - winner of under 16 age group in same event , and coincidentally winner of the Weir Cup in Banbridge CC's race programme.

Almost perfect race conditions met competitors, with only the lightest of breezes to keep riders company. 

With the surface wet though, riders would have been aware of the need for a smooth and cautious performance.  

So with 26 riders taking part, 21 club riders and the remainder visitors, the first riders set off in no particular order.

Of the 21 club members that took part, an amazing 11 posted personal bests (PB’s), in a season which has seen the ability of many massively improve and exceed all expectations.

One such is Jude Sands who has made a massive mark this year and is now rated as one of the clubs biggest emerging talents. Jude posted a time of 24:11 which was the second quickest time of the night and is a full five minutes better than his times in April.

More impressive is the fact that Jude on a road bike, is now able to out-perform almost all of those using specialist time trial bikes.  

James Curry, at the age of 14, deservingly gets a mention having posted 26:01, and is enjoying a super season including three club race victories.  Brian Curran also gets a mention - down now to the mid-26 minutes bracket along with Ryan Moore who simply is on fire this last few weeks.

Ewan Anderson who has been super consistent within the 26 min bracket must also get a mention, as it is no mean feat to achieve a mid-25 minute time trial.

Other riders who have been ever competitive and consistent are Paul Carlisle, Philip Beattie and of course that very experienced time trial maestro  Kevin McAlinden.

Results on the night saw the race win go to Jude, with runner up Brian Curran and third place Ryan Moore. With the placings and points added to those posted earlier in the year, the Weir Cup goes to James Curry by the slenderest margin finishing half a point in front of Neil Beattie with third place Ryan Moore.

In the Club Road Race league and with only 2 league events to go, a two horse race has developed between Jude and Brian. Jude now leads on 532 points, narrowly in front by a meagre three points. Third place is Paul Carlisle on 483, fourth place Ryan Moore on 482 and fifth place held by Ian Cochrane on 478 points. 

Banbridge Riders Dominate at the Ulster MTB Cross Country Champions - Last weekend’s Ulster MTB cross country championships held in Castlewellan Forest saw Banbridge CC riders claim top spots across a wide range of categories.

The major prize – the Elite Riders was won by the irrepressible Roger Aiken with Gareth McKee in second place, thus underlining Banbridge’s superiority at the very highest level in Ulster MTB circles.

Banbridge riders also dominated the under youth categories. James Curry was crowned under 16 champion , John Buller triumphed at U14 with team mate Richard Baird making it another one-two for local riders, and, not to be outdone by the boys, a very competitive Shannon Buller clinched the u14 girls championship.

So once again our MTB riders have excelled - bringing yet more off road Ulster titles back to Banbridge CC.