Banbridge CC finish in second in Tour of Ulster

Banbridge lead break on Stage Two.
Banbridge lead break on Stage Two.

Banbridge Cycling Club put in a strong performance AmberGreen Energy Tour of Ulster, finishing second overall in general classification.

Regarded as the toughest stage race in the north of Ireland, the competitors would face three stages covering more than 270 miles.

The field contained the strongest of Irish domestic riders in peak for as they prepare for the seven day An Post Ras.

Banbridge CC’s team consisted of Gareth McKee, Matthew Adair, James Curry and Lindsay Watson, who all perofrmed well throughout.

Lindsay Watson rode a tremendous race all weekend and finished in 5th place on the overall standings with James Curry and Gareth McKee also placing highly in 10th & 11th respectively; a massive result for first year under 23 rider Curry.

Comeback man Matthew Adair should also be pleased with a strong showing, and be confident that the fast long race miles will be rewarded with strong form for his next big goals of the season.

Stage 1 was held over undulating Co Tyrone roads, starting and finishing in the Moy covering 96 miles and taking in the tough climb of Sion Finn.

The team performed well with McKee in the thick of the action on the earlier climbs and picking up some King of the Hills points.

Stage 2 could almost have been considered a ‘home stage’ for the Banbridge CC lads, covering 94 miles and passing through Armagh, Newry, Mayobridge, Hilltown, Rathfriland, Moneyslane, Katesbridge, Banbridge and Gilford before once again return to Moy.

Banbridge managed to infiltrate the break away group with three riders; McKee, Watson and Curry.

McKee was once again in the driving seat for the King of the Hills prime in Rathfriland, giving him enough of a points tally to take the lead in that competition at the end of the day.

Banbridge CC won the best team competition in Stage 2 in addition to McKee being presented with the Blue Jersey for the leader of the King of the Hills competition - a remarkable result for a young club team.

The team put up a hard fight in Stage 3 but ultimately finished in third place for that stage.