Banbridge CC’s Masters 50+ team continued their stunning start to the 2014 season with their third win in as many weeks, Phil Beattie the man first over the line this time out.
His win came in Maghera, where Carn Wheelers promoted the ever popular Carn Classic event. The 14 mile circuit is undulating with a couple of serious drags on the early sections.
It was Phil’s return to club racing after his spell out with an injury. He partnered Ian Cochrane and Paul McGuckin in search of that hat-trick of victories for the on-fire Banbridge Over 50s squad.
The race started on a sour note with Ian Cochrane given no chance of avoiding a crash directly in front of him half way through the first of two laps. Happily Ian managed to escape serious injury but a broken front wheel forced his immediate retirement from the race.
Between them, Phil and Paul managed to keep the pace high with both riders driving forward at the front of the group but unable to break away from it. Approaching the finish, Phil kept calm using his strength to claim a superb victory on a tough headwind finish into Maghera, giving Banbridge CC the much sought after third win in a row in this keenly contested series.
Paul McGuckin rolled in at the back of the bunch having wasted his kick, and himself, in a premature bid for the line.
In the Ladies race, one of Banbridge CC’s star Junior riders, Shenna McKiverigan once again showed her class in this Senior event with a fighting fifth place. Her season is going from strength to strength and this finish was again despite the ever present handicap of having to use junior gearing on a course which was very fast in places. Shenna continues to build on the form shown at Newry and Dungiven.
In the A3 category, Kevin McAlinden had support from recently recruited Nathan Sturroch in a full field of 80 riders. Both performed extremely well with Kevin finishing in 15th place and Nathan getting home safely in the bunch on his first outing in a very fast race, averaging over 23 mph, in the windy conditions and rolling terrain.