Wilkie’s fastest once again as kids take centre stage at Taggart Memorial races

I was pleasantly surprised when 17 riders turned up to take part in a 10 mile Time Trial on the Rathfriland Road.

It was a cold and wet night so well done to the faithful few.

There were some very respectable times recorded, none more so than P. Wilkinson’s 22.50. This was Wilkie in top form and I can’t see anybody in the Wheelers beating him this year.

Second placed rider and another man in top form was M. Ale xander who was at least a minute and half behind. His time of 24.22 was a fine effort.

I was third in a time of 25.04. I finished in under 24 minutes last time out on this road so I wasn’t too chuffed.

One rider who deserves a mention this week is Andy Hodgen. He’s now into the 26s, improving with every race.

Unluckiest was N. Seffen. While on for a good time he punctured approximately one mile from the finish line.

Up to now 28 riders from the Wheelers have taken part in club events which is fantastic and shows how much they have improved over the past couple of years.

But as a club we have to keep it going to the end of the season.

There’s a big new event this week - it’s another of the very popular Australian Pursuits starting on the Castlewellan Road to the roundabout at Castlewellan and back.

This is part of the John Maxwell Memorial.

The Wheelers are asking all riders to be earlier than the time they are due to start at.

If you going to be late then let us know and we can organize round it.

The Wheelers would like to say that after his recent accident they hope that Davy Cartmill will be back in action sooner rather than later.

Anyone looking to join a club can log onto www.westdownwheelers.com. 
Noel Taggart Memorial Races

On Sunday June 9 Banbridge CC provided quality racing for all categories today when they promoted their Noel Teggart Memorial Races.

The U12s riders completed eight kilometres over a rolling course which saw the riders strung out from the early stages of the race.

West Down newcomer Louise Priestly crossed the line to take sixth place and also lifted the prize for first girl. Her team mate, Emily Cantley, also rode a good race and took ninth place.

The U14s completed two laps. West Down Wheeler Sam Cantley fought a hard battle and on the closing stages manage to take a well earned fourth place.

The U16s had three laps of the hard course to complete and by the time the riders had climbed the last long drag into the finish outside Banbridge the course had done its job and split the field. Jack Priestley rode and worked hard but was unable to close the gap on the breakaway group and settled for seventh place.

In the A3 race the riding was hard from the off and attacks were frequent. Darragh Long of the NRDT was one of the first to have a lash and opened up a considerable gap before being reeled in. The sprint was taken in fine style by Luke Hylands of Keevan CC. West Down Wheeler, Darren Lynas, who finished in seventh place at Bishopscourt on Saturday, once again rode a tactical race and crossed the line in fourth place. Darren will now move up to an A2 Category rider. Paul Wilkinson also rode a strong race and was in the thick of the action and part of the final sprint.

The A4 race attracted a full field and the race pace was high. By the halfway stage a sizeable break emerged which quickly gained time on the bunch. The West Down Wheelers’ three-man outfit consisting of Neil Seffen, Davy Cartmill and Matthew McKinstry made many attempts to bridge the gap but with little to no support from the chasing group it proved a lost cause.