Double success for Banbridge

AT the recent Irish Cyclo Cross Championships BCC not only turned up in force but they came away with two titles - one for the junior race and the main event, the senior race.

Roger Aiken won the senior race and David Montgomery took. the junior race.

Sunday started off with foul weather at the Championships held in Dundalk’s Muirhevnamor Park. Cuchullain CC hosted the event which turned out to be one of the largest CX events in years.

The day started off with the support race with BCC man William Forsythe battling hard to finish a well-deserved 10th from the large field. He had mentioned having to ride the final lap of four pushing through the pain barrier of cramping legs to hold on to his position.

In the second race Banbridge had three members competing for their respective titles, first being the two veterans in the shape of William Mulligan and Simon Curry. These two men are equally matched as many with in the club would know, and true to form the pair kept each other in their sights. William got the better start of the duo and seemed to have had the measure of his teammate after pulling out another few seconds on the second lap.

Simon had other ideas and chose to avail of the F1 style pit change and with a clean bike began to pull the time back on William who chose to struggle on his by now heavily mudded bike. Simon passed William on the second last lap and kept the lead to the finish. Both riders performed well in front of the big crowd and many BCC spectators, Simon and William finishing the Vets race in eighth and ninth respectively.

With BCC having David Montgomery competing for the junior title in the same race the supporters who had travelled down to the event had plenty to cheer for. Nobody was expecting how dominant this young man would be.

With the juniors being gridded behind the vets and ladies, David had the whole field in front of him who could have guessed the he would have passed the whole field on the opening lap, allowing him free rein to open up the throttle and ride his own race, powering on to finish first and lift the Irish title 11 mins 7secs ahead of his nearest rival over the five lap race.

BCC would like to congratulate David on his victory and well deserved title.

This led us to the main event, the Irish Senior CX Champs with BCC having three members competing in this event, namely Roger Aiken, Don Travers and Dan Purdy.

The field consisted of the big hitters from all over Ireland and was held over seven laps of the muddy 2.34km course.

The atmosphere had already been set as both of the strongest CX riders in the country where set to pit their wits and strength against each other for the first time this season, BCC’s Roger Aiken, a two-time title holder) and defending champ Robin Seymour, an 18-time title holder.

The race started with the pair trading places at every opportunity. It could have been anybody’s guess as who was the strongest as there was nothing separating the two on each lap. With the course now taking a pounding from almost 100 competitors the ground had become extremely muddy and boggy. The pair were in the pits every other lap changing bikes, allowing them to keep the pressure on. This kept the pit crew busy cleaning and preparing the bikes for the next changeover.

The pair only traded seconds with each other every lap until the sixth lap where Roger had a super slick pit change which gained him the vital few seconds gap he needed to attack Robin and open a lead. This left Roger going into the last lap with a slim lead of 13 seconds which through sheer strength and determination he held on to.

Robin was only able to claw back two seconds, leaving Roger first across the line, saluting with both arms in the air.

Don Travers competed hard throughout the race to finish with a well-deserved 14th after a hard ride, with Dan Purdy, who was competing in his first CX race was extremely pleased to finish a very respectable 26th - he is looking forward to next season already.

A big shout has to go out to the support shown for the racers by the BCC members who turned up. With over 30 members watching and helping in the pits it was clear to all that they meant business, especially when the generator and power washer were set up in the pit area other support teams where in awe.

BCC would like to thank their members for their support and a big congratulations to Roger and David for putting on such a show and well done on their victories.