Last week saw the first visit to the fast Gilford Scarva circuit for Banbridge CC’s Gilchrist Cup.
Stevie Curran spilt the riders into five handicap groups. The first group away had a three minute head start on the next group and so on. With the Gilford road having been re-dressed last week, riders were forced to take it easy on the corners where loose stone was still lying.
The first group did a sterling job, staying away until the third lap of five when they were caught. There was now a large combined leading group of 11 riders which would be very hard to catch if they worked well together. With a tail wind on the Gilford Road and a slight headwind on Cargans Road (start-finish), it was going to be exciting racing to see if they could be caught. The gaps between the groups were getting closer as it entered the final lap.
The third group had the leaders in the sight now, but with a 30 second lead and the stiff cross wind on the Tandragee Road, the chasers couldn’t close the gap.
Peter McBride, Charlie Glover and Marty Fitzpatrick saw their chance to up the pace and make a charge for the final corner. Peter took the bull by the horns just after the last corner in a bid to glory, but with Marty and Charlie tight to his wheel.
Pete wasn’t looking back, he was going all out for the win. Little did he realise, he was towing Marty along into the head wind.
Once Marty saw the chequered flag blowing in the wind, it was his time to go. Out he popped to sprint for the line and beat poor Pete by a couple of bike lengths. That’s road racing.
Marty Fitzpatrick has taken his first win as a Banbridge CC member. Pete McBride with second place earned his best result to date and learnt a lesson.
Rounding out the podium was the very impressive and ever improving Charlie Glover in third place - well done lads great riding together.
Young Stevie O’Hagan led the third group home, crossing the line a few seconds behind to witness poor Pete McBride in the hedge trying not to be sick after giving his all in the sprint finish.
It wasn’t long before the rest of the riders arrived and jostled for the points on offer and most importantly everyone was home safe and sound.