Prizes for Banbridge CC youngsters at Sports Awards

BANBRIDGE District Sports Awards - Congratulations are in order for two ofBanbridge CC’s promising cycling stars who picked up well merited awards at this recent event, writes ‘The Crank’.

Mark Downey was delighted to accept an useful bursary as well as a “highly commended” citation in the Male Youth of the Year category of the awards.

Shenna McKiverigan picked up third position in the Female Youth of the Year category. Both riders deserved their recognition following a very successful season at Ulster and Irish representative level – well done to both.

Great Win for David - Banbridge CC’s David Montgomery has taken the opening ‘B Race’ in the Fixx Coffeehouse Supercross Cup at Grange Castle, Clondalkin, Dublin.

David was businesslike from the start. By the end of the first lap he was 11 seconds up on Newry veteran Des Woods.

However, Woods was determined to make the most of his trip south and on the second lap he caught and briefly passed Montgomery. On the third of the six laps Montgomery got his nose in front again but it was nip and tuck all the way, with just a second or two separating the pair the whole way around.

A big dig on the final lap by eventual winner Montgomery put eight seconds of daylight between himself and Woods, who was second.

From the Shetlands to the Alpes - September sees the end of the competitive season for road cyclists but for some keen Banbridge riders it presents the opportunity to pursue their addiction in unusual surroundings.

For Phil Beattie – a long time tourer before starting racing this year, the destination was the windswept Shetland Islands where he had worked many years ago.

Talking to Phil the other day , he reminded me that these Islands were not that accessible ,the journey involving a 12 hour ferry from Aberdeen.

He was lucky with the weather given what we have been used to at home but it was windy as usual, had no trees whatsoever but enjoyed a quiet solitude that is unique to such remote locations .

Phil cycled to the northernmost Unst island with the help of cheap local ferries and had the pleasure of meeting up with acquaintances of old. A journey for the experienced I should think.

Heading in the opposite direction – to the French Alpes - were Mal McGreevy, Kevin McAlinden and Paul McGuckin who have taken to arranging a week’s mountain climbing on their bikes in September as a means of relaxation after the stresses and strains of the racing season.

Last September it was Mont Ventoux in Provence , this year the target was some of the big cols in the Alpes lying east of Grenoble.

A plane to Lyon, a coach transfer to Grenoble and local bus to Bourg D’Oisans saw the trio ensconced in their rented house by the end of the first day.

Over the next five days the riders managed to get themselves to the top of Alpe D’huez, Col du Glandon, Col de Telegraph, Col de Croix de la Fer, and the monster Col de Galibier at 2642metres.

All the cycling was graced with stunning weather which rendered the scenery unforgettable. By the end of the fifth day with routes involving more than 30,000 feet of climbing completed it was certainly time to go home!

While not a trip for the beginner, its successful completion shows how cycling can open up a whole new world of active holiday opportunities.

Why not join a cycling club as a first step along the road to exciting travels – now is the ideal time with winter approaching and the long slow weekend club cycle runs about to start.