Last Wednesday evening 21 riders at Banbridge Cycling Club signed on for the third and final race of the popular Gilchrist Cup series.
Previous races were held on the Annaclone and Gilford courses but on Wednesday it was the turn of the lumpy Quarry Road circuit with four laps totalling 25 miles facing the competitors.
Five groups started over a period of 10 minutes and it was the scratch group containing two very strong “visitors” in Davy McKnight (TVR) and Matty Teggart (Nicholas Roach Dev Team) as well as James Curry, Kevin Wilson and Gareth Hillen which made the early “catch” overtaking group 4 after a lap and a half.
This group included Kevin McAlinden and Simon Curry both returning after a short break from racing and usual members Nathan Sturroch, Chris Burns, Ewan Anderson and Paul McGuckin. Stephen Teggart also made a welcome appearance.
Some of this group were able to latch on to a hard riding scratch though by the end of the second lap only Kevin McAlinden, Simon Curry, Nathan Sturrock and Paul McGuckin were still there as the riders from the three groups in front were hunted down. With a lap to go riders from groups 2 and 3 were swept up with some making valiant efforts to stay on the wheels.
It was not until Garvaghy post office with less than half a lap to go that Shenna McKiverigan, James Gillespie and Paul Anderson were finally caught.
Gaps started to open up in the run to the line with James Curry getting the better of Nathan Sturrock for another fine win. James’ dad Simon was 3rd Banbridge CC rider home while Paul McGuckin held on for fourth. Stephen Teggart followed closely behind for an excellent result while Brian Curran completed the top 6.
Paul’s fourth place completed a impressive run of results - 2nd and 3rd in the previous two races in the series – and this consistently high placing was enough for the veteran to win the 2014 Gilchrist Cup.