Stevie takes first club win

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Stevie takes first club win thumbnailGilchrist Cup winner, Stephen Fitzsimmons

WEDNESDAY, 7 June was round two of the Gilchrist Cup.

This time Banbridge Cycling Club was taking on the very popular Gilford/Scarva circuit.

With 29 riders signed on for the club event, it was a great turn out on a damp, dark June evening.

Guests attended from TVR, Apollo, Cookstown CT and Rotherham Wheelers.

The five-mile circuit with a few short hills makes this one of the most popular circuits on the club calendar. With the riders split up into five groups, it's not an easy circuit to stay away on.

Sara Glover, Paul Hannigan, Leslie Creighton and BCC club debutant Peter Bell set off in the first group to try and stay away as long as they could.

With a tail wind to Gilford it was a great start to the race for the first group. The second group had still over three minutes to close at the end of the first lap.

All riders were away and it wasn't long to the scratch group of Dan Purdy, John Buller and Tim Beattie caught the fourth group on the road at Gilford on the first lap.

These guys were on a mission but it wasn't until the start of the fourth lap that the scratch caught the lead group on the road.

They hit the front with all hell breaking loose as they turned left onto the Gilford Road and with the short climb, it was time for young John to put the hammer down.

With bodies everywhere on the Gilford Road Simon, John and Dan were too strong for almost the rest of the field, drilling it down into Gilford.

At one point it was a John Buller steam train with at least eight riders in one big long, straight line behind him trying to stay on his wheel.

The fourth lap was fast but the last lap was a lot worse.

With Dan putting the pressure on at the start of the lap, it was going to be fast. And so it was, with the Strava lap record being smashed in the process.

Entering the last corner Simon was first to light up the afterburners and blew the field wide open except for Stevie Fitzsimmons, who managed to hang onto his wheel and passed him to take his first Banbridge CC race win.

Simon enjoyed a brilliant ride for second and Brian Hannon was third, never far away from the top spot.


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