McCann Cup success for Banbridge’s Paul McGuckin

Banbridge’s Paul McGuckin was victorious in Omagh Wheelers’ prestigious McCann Cup Road Race meeting on the rolling Seskinore course last weekend.

His was the first race of the day, the 30 mile Masters 50+. He represented Banbridge CC along with Ian Cochrane, competing in the 25 strong field over three laps. Helped by the efforts of Ian in keeping the pace high in the early laps, Paul had enough left at the end of the race to find the narrowest of gaps along the nearside verge and slip through to take an excellent win in a fiercely contested final sprint to the line. Ian crossed the line just short of a podium place but was very content with his race contribution nonetheless.

In the A3 race, next off, Kevin McAlinden and Dan Purdy teamed up for Banbridge CC and fought hard in the early stages to run down escapees and set themselves up for potential breaks as they developed.

The gruelling pace discouraged early activists but at the start of the final lap of this 50 mile race, Kevin managed to get himself into a break of six riders who built up a half mile lead and at one stage looked as if it might stay away.

However, despite his efforts and the assistance of West Down’s Paul Wilkinson, the inexplicable lack of commitment from some of the others in the group resulted in them being caught by the peloton with less than five miles to the finish. Both Kevin and Dan rode in with the main group a short distance behind the final breakaway of four riders. This was a strong ride by both Banbridge CC men in a most competitive category.

The last race of the day, the A4s, featured Marty Winters in Banbridge CC colours but unfortunately it came to a premature end for Marty who was unfortunate to get caught up in a multi-rider crash at the start of the second lap. Happily he was not seriously hurt and is already looking forward to his next outing.