Club’s crit races move to Banbridge town centre

The streets of Banbridge will be awash with colour when cyclists take to the roads later this month.

Banbridge Cycling Club have announced that their 2013 crit races will be held in the town centre.

Thanks to working with the local PSNI and Banbridge District Council the club have been granted permission to close the roads in a section of the centre of the town specifically to accommodate this year’s crit races, with the finish on Newry Street.

It has been quite a few years since Banbridge CC have held closed circuit crits in the town centre and we are delighted to have the opportunity to bring this exciting racing back to Banbridge.

Three races will be accommodated for, including an over 50’s and ladies race, an A3 race, the final and main race of the evening will see the A1 and A2 riders take to the streets.

Previously advertised as July 5, all races will now take place on the evening of Wednesday July 24.

- With the 100th edition of the world-famous Tour de France getting underway on Saturday past around the shores of Corsica, it was only fair that over 90 members of the Irish cycling community got to have their own stage race.

The Newry Three-Day is famous throughout Ireland for its excellent routes, ranging from flat stages to routes with steep, energy sapping climbs.

Dromara Cycling Club entered a five-man team into the race against some of Ireland’s top A2/A3 riders.

Gavin Magowan, Nathan Mullan, Anthony Quinn, Chris Magowan and Ronnie Smyth started the first stage on Friday night with a 40 mile race taking in three full laps of the Warrenpoint-Newry carriageway before turning onto the Grinnan Road.

Tony Quinn was very active on the night attacking the peleton in an attempt to get a gap. On the night Gavin Magowan finished second on the stage, finishing one second behind winner Ian Inglis of Curran Racing.

Ronnie Smyth finished 10th with Tony Quinn 12th. Nathan Mullan was 60th and Chris Magowan was 68th. With three Dromara riders present in the top 15 this left the team leading the team standings, an excellent start to the weekend.

The second stage was a 2.3 mile time trial starting on Saturday morning beside the Hilltown Co-op.

Fastest Dromara rider on this stage was Gavin in 25th, with brother Chris 2 places behind in 27th. Ronnie was 30th, along with Tony 39th and Nathan 62nd.

The third stage was a 55 mile race taking in three laps of the Hilltown circuit.

Chris placed ninth on the stage, with Gavin 15th, Tony 22nd, Nathan 50th and Chris 79th.

Heading into the final stage Ronnie was well placed in 9th overall, 51 seconds off yellow with Gavin 14th, Tony 23rd, Nathan 53rd and Chris 28th. The team were sitting in 2nd overall in the team standings after the third stage, some 6 seconds off the leaders Phoenix CC.

The final stage was the toughest, a 72 mile hilly route that took in climbs at the Horsehoe bend at Castlewellan, two climbs into Rathriland and one at the Seven Sisters near Rathriland.

On the run into Newry from Rathriland Ronnie got into a chasing group to the leaders, which set him up nicely for him to come in first in his group at the finish in 9th. Tony finished in the same group in 18th. Gavin wasn’t for letting the team prize slip away so he put in one final dig to finish 6 seconds ahead of his group in 37th. Nathan put in a brave effort and rode in placing 64th. Chris however got caught in a crash entering Rathriland for the first time which sadly ended his race after the effort he put in for the previous 3 stages.

Also Ronnie rode a brilliant race to finish 11th overall, only 59 seconds off the yellow jersey. Gavin placed 5th in the Sprints classification.

- Well done to the members of Dromare Cycling Club who competed in the Ulster XC MTB Championships at the weekend.

Notable results came from John Shanks and Adrian Booth in the Masters race, Ben Wilson in the U12s and recent Irish XC NPS winner Barry Van Kellett in the Elite race.

- Dromara Cycling Club had a number of members who competed in the Maracycle over the course of the weekend.

The next round of the club league is this Thursday, a road race on the Dromara circuit. Sign on is from 6:30pm across from Eurospar in Dromara.