THE Outlet was the venue last Friday night for Banbridge Cycling Club to host their ever-popular evening of criterium racing around the new Tesco site.
These races have been going on since 2010 with excellent crowds attending each year to watch keen racers hurtle around the pan-flat 1km circuit.
Unfortunately this year attendance was down but that didn’t stop the ones that did turn up from putting on an excellent display of racing.
Dromara Cycling Club had four riders competing in the races. Chris Magowan, Martin McAnulty and junior rider Zak Hanna competed in the A4 race, whilst Aaron McGrady competed in his first A3 race.
Racing wasn’t based on distance but time, for example the A4s had to race for 15 minutes plus three laps.
The evening started with a programme of youth races. The A4 race got underway at 7:30pm with about 20 competitors lining up. The whistle blew and the peloton headed towards the first corner with Chris and Zak in the front pack going around the corner. Unfortunately Martin got caught behind a crash with one rider hitting the barriers on the other side of the corner.
The race continued on with Chris driving the pace at the front of a bunch with about 10 riders in it with Zak just off the back. Martin raced hard to catch Zak with the two riding the remaining minutes and laps together.
When the front pack was approaching the final corner Chris launched a final attack towards the finish which he kept up despite numerous attempts from the others to beat him. Chris crossed the line victorious for the second time in three years. Zak crossed the line ahead of Martin after racing most of the race together.
Many congratulations to Chris on his win which provided him with more race points which he needs to accumulate to move up to the A3 category.
In Aaron’s race he lined up against a classy field of A3 riders and he had a tough session of racing ahead of him. He sat in the bunch for a good while until a group of riders broke away with Aaron unable to follow due to the high pace but he showed a great deal of determination to ride on by himself and finish the race.
Maybe if there had been a mountain in the middle of circuit Aaron would have been the one breaking away from the pack.
Congratulations to all riders who competed in these races. Unfortunately this is the last year for them at this site as Tesco will be building a new shop on the current race track.
Many thanks to Banbridge Cycling Club for putting on an exciting night of racing and to the Outlet for the use of their facilities.
NEWRY 3 DAY -Dromara Cycling Club had three riders taking part in what was the 25th anniversary of this race professionally promoted by Newry Wheelers over the last weekend of July.
Gavin Magowan, Ronnie Smyth and Tony Quinn were the representatives for Dromara taking part in this four-stage race over the three days. Unfortunately Gavin suffered a puncture on the Friday night stage and didn’t get back onto the bunch. He lost so much time that he decided not to race the remainder of the weekend.
Tony and Ronnie both rode a strong three-day and in the final General Classification Tony finished 24th overall, 1 minute and 40 seconds behind overall winner Art MacManusa of UCD Cycling Club. Ronnie finished 30th overall, 2 minutes and 3 seconds behind the winner.
Well done to both riders on a strong weekend of riding. The next big stage race is the Portaferry three-day so Dromara CC will be going into the race with high hopes of an excellent performance.
CLUB LEAGUE ROUND UP - The summer club league has reached the 15th round stage and just to update you on what has happened over the last few rounds here is a quick summary:
Round 11 - 10 mile TT Luragn Road, Dromore-sponsored by Saville Motor Homes. Fastest, on what was a horrible night, was Gavin Magowan with a time of 23:14, with Ronnie Smyth second and Chris Magowan third. Gavin also took maximum points for this round based on his handicap.
Round 12 - 25/16 Mile TT, Castlewellan road-sponsored by Fine Food Distributors-this round was unfortunately cancelled due to the bad weather conditions.
Round 13 - Anahilt triangle road race-sponsored by Stephen Wallace-this round was won by sponsor Stephen ‘Badger’ Wallace who outsprinted second placed rider Martin Winters of Banbridge CC and third placed rider Gary Bailie.
Round 14-10 mile TT, Dundrum Road Dromara-sponsored by Wilby Hanna Coachworks-this round was called off at the last minute due to standing water on the course.
Round 15 – 16 mile TT, Ballynahinch–Hillsborough. The fastest rider on the night was Ivan Robinson (Ards CC) with Gavin Magowan the fastest Dromara CC rider.
The club would like to thank the various business’/people who have kindly donated trophies towards their sponsored round of the league.
ULSTER XC LEAGUE ROUND 4, DUNMORE MOUNTAIN - The club would like to send out a word of congratulations to Barry Van Kellett and Ben Wilson who won their respective categories at this round of the Ulster XC MTB League, promoted by the club.
Barry won the Senior 2 category after a leg-busting five laps of the infamous hilly Dunmore mountain circuit, with Ben winning the under 10 category by a good margin. Well done to all the other Dromara riders who competed in the race.
The next big event for Dromara CC is the famous Mourne Sportive and Hilly Leisure tours, which will take place on Sunday August 5 2012, so keep that date free and keep an eye on the club website at www.dromaracc.co.uk for more details.