WEDNESDAY 16 May saw Banbridge Cycling Club host race four in this year’s individual club race series on the Lurgan Road, Dromore.
This was the first of two 10 mile time trial races for the Quinn Cup with the second and concluding race to be held on the Rathfriland Road on September 5. In a day of scattered showers, near perfect conditions were to greet those turning out for the event, with the evening staying dry for the event, a temperature of around 9c and only a light northerly breeze to contend with.
Twenty-one riders turned out on the evening, with 19 of those club members, locked in an ongoing battle for this year’s individual club league title.
The remaining two riders, both welcome friends of the club, were Rodney Stewart and Davey McKnight both riding with TVR. Using impressive machinery and ability, both posted blistering and commendable times of 23:15, (25.8mph) and 24:16, (24.72mp respectively and were in fact the quickest two times on the evening.
However with the focus of the evening the continued internal battle within the club, 14 of the 19 riders posted timings below their individual targets, with seven of those enjoying personal bests, Paul Carlisle, Dan Purdy, Neil Beattie, Ian Cochrane, Steven Hillen, Chris McCann and Jude Sands. With each of those previously mentioned having excelled personally, one rider, Jude Sands, surpassed the other fine performances to produce a best time of 27:21 (21.93mph) and a first club win in this his first season in only his third race. Previously Jude posted 29:10 and, although maybe under more benign conditions, arguably this is the hardest of three routes commonly used by BCC.
The top five placings on the night after applying club handicapping were therefore: Jude Sands, second Neil Beattie another new young club rider 29.04 (20.6mph), third equal Paul Carlisle 26.41 (26.48mph) and Ciaran Magill 28.43 (20.89mph) and fifth Steven Hillen 30.06 (19.93 mph).
Within the club league, 44 riders have now taken part in the four races to date, with the leadership changing for the fourth time in as many weeks. Paul Carlisle now holds the lead with 136 points followed by Paul McGuckin 131, Dan Purdy 127, Ciaran Magill 126 and finishing out the top - 5 Kevin McAlinden on 118.
The next club event to be held is a road race on the Quarry Road circuit starting sharp at 7pm on Wednesday 23 May. Once again, I would like to remind those attending to assist those organising the race by being there early for pre-race sign up. In addition all club members are asked to assist were possible with voluntary marshalling, as this has reached critical levels.
Matty and Shenna Win Titles at North Down GP - One of Banbridge CC’s brightest prospects Matthew Teggart retained his Northern Ireland U16 Youth Championship with a fine win at the North Down GP on Sunday.
Having broken away on the second lap with three other riders this group stayed away for the remaining two laps of the race. The last mile saw a game of cat and mouse being played out until Matthew took the initiative with 200 yards to go and decisively outsprinted his breakaway companions to win by a good ten bike lengths. Matthew’s progress continues unabated.
Matthew’s young team mate in the Olympic Youth Development Squad – Shenna McKiverigan made it a wonderful double for Banbridge CC by clinching the Under 14 Girls Championship at the same event.
Over 50’s Team on Form - Banbridge CC’s veteran riders filled three of the top six placings at the North Down GP over 50’s race on Sunday.
In a field of 27 riders the team of Ian Cochrane, Phil Beattie and Paul McGuckin withstood sustained pressure from the larger Phoenix and North Down teams to record their best performance of the season so far. Ian enjoyed his highest placing to date with an excellent second spot in a bunch sprint just in front of Phil in third while Paul helped to secure the team prize with a sixth place 25 metres adrift.
Next Saturday the action moves to the West Down GP at Katesbridge where hopefully local knowledge will assist tactics.