Sunday success for Buller and McKee

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Sunday success for Buller and McKee thumbnailGareth McKee on the winners podium for the Senior Race.

SUNDAY, 19 March saw Dromara Cycling Club host the first round of the Ulster XC league in Tollymore Forest Park.

The wet, sticky conditions would challenge all present including Banbridge CC's very own Irish National Elite Champion riding under the new colours of Cycleology - Gareth McKee and World Masters XC champion riding in his rainbow strips - Robin Seymour from Bike Worx, Dublin.

It was the early races which saw six-year-old Ryan McBride take to the under 8 race with a strong race, finishing well up in the field.

Next up was Mark Aiken, making a debut in the colours of Banbridge CC with his first ever race. Hoping to gain experience and an insight to XC mountain bike racing, Mark rode very well to complete the four-lap race.

Ruth Aiken was strong in the women's race, battling to the very last and out-sprinting two fellow competitors on the finishing climb to cross the line and securing her a very promising third place to kick off her 2017 racing season, hoping for more podium positions to come.

The last races to kick off on the day saw Gareth McKee in the S1/elite category, John Buller in the Junior category, Simon Curry and Johnny McRoberts in the S2 and Willy Forsythe in S3.

Gareth McKee rode off the front from the very start, exiting the field with a few seconds to spare ahead of the rest of the field. Battling with Robyn Seymour throughout the five laps, McKee got the better of the Masters World Champion, to finish on the top step.

Gareth was also road racing on Saturday and finished an impressive seventh place at the Wallace Caldwell Memorial Race in Ballymena, what a weekend for Gareth.

John Buller rode well throughout his race, mixing up well within the top five elite/S1 riders to cover his four-lap race untouched by his opponents. John was very focused and remained strong on every lap, enjoying the course and claiming the third podium and second gold medal for Banbridge Cycling Club on the day.

Simon and Johnny rode a hard-fought race considering the challenging conditions, both finishing comfortably in the top 10 positions in their category. Willy also rode a good race, challenging his rivals to the very last lap, completing the first race on the Cycling Ulster MTB calendar for 2017.

A massive thanks to the support from the club and pit crews on the day making the day such a success for Banbridge Cycling Club.


Derrymacash GP

ON Saturday, Clann Eireann Cycling Club hosted the Derrymacash GP and weather conditions were mixed, with more rain than sun.

Peter McBride, Davy Lavery and Stephen Fitzsimmons were racing in the A4s. It was a 45-mile course and there was a huge climb on each lap, with the A4s starting and the A3s one minute and 30 seconds behind.

Davy Lavery was having a very strong race but unfortunately was involved in a crash which left him hospitalised. Peter and Stephen continued to ride well until they were caught by the A3s group on the last lap.

Mark Kendall, who was riding in the A3 group along with 14 other riders, was chasing approximately 40 A4 riders and it took the A3s almost seven out of the eight laps to catch the A4s.

Mark rode a very strong race and finished in the top 15, while Peter McBride finished in the group not far behind Mark, and Stephen dropped off a little just on the climb.

Banbridge Cycling Club would like to wish Davy a speedy recovery after his accident on Saturday, get well soon Davy.


Carn Classic

The Carn Classic took place on Sunday promoted by Carn Wheelers.

A few of the Banbridge riders braved the wet conditions to take part in this race, which consisted of 42 miles for the A4s and 56 miles for A3 category.

Martin Fitzpatrick, Nathan Sturrock and Dan Purdy rode in the A3 race. It was a great race from all three guys finishing very strong in the bunch at the finish.

Wayne Graham was going well in the A4s but was involved in a crash close to the finish but thankfully is okay.

Brain Hannon had another superb race, finishing in second place in the Masters. Brian has been very consistent since the start of the season and it's great to see him with another deserving win.




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