Race 1: Elite Men (CI National Road Series)
Race 2: A3 Men
Race 3: Women (CI National Road Series)
Race 4: A4 Men
The nature and layout of the John Beggs Memorial circuit lends itself to spectators hoping to witness the action unfold on the road. With various vantage points lending themselves to easy access and opportunity to watch the racing in multiple locations along with the fact that the race is covering laps of a 30km loop means you won’t be waiting long before you see the speeding bunch of Ireland’s elite domestic men and women. We’ve listed our top 6 spots on the circuit that we think are best placed to catch the action;
The climb of Ballykeel Hill is within the first 1km of the main circuit and, while giving way in length to some of the other climbs on the circuit, is likely to cause the riders the most problems due to its steep gradient and is often a favourite for those spectating on the course. It’s also very close to the climb up to Ballykeel crossroads which the race passes through 18km into the circuit so is an ideal spot to jump between two harder sections of the course.
The climb of Ballykeel crossroads is one of the less severe on the circuit, but it’s a wearing down circuit and every rise counts! The views over the Mourne Mountains from the approach to Ballykeel crossroads give the photographers a great chance for some stunning shots of the action with a great backdrop, and with such a great view you can see the groups approach from approx 1km out. This one’s a real crowd favourite.
Kinallen Village is home to one of the longer climbs on the circuit at 1.5km and it’s very possible to catch those riders out with tired legs in the final laps of the race. The steepest section of the climb is on the Skeagh Rd as the riders enter the village, while the crest of the climb will see the riders exit Kinallen in the direction of Dromara.
- If it’s the fast pace action you like to see then Dromara village is the place to be. The long descent into the village means it is one of the fastest sections of the course. Add in the fast twisting corners as the race enters the village at speed and you’re guaranteed to see the race in one long line out. Home to Dromara Cycling Club who are likely to have plenty of local riders competing, there should be a great atmosphere too.
Another fast section of the course is McAdam’s crossroads as the riders descend off the arduous Edentrillick Rd before they hit the climb of Ballykeel Hill. It’s another spot where you can catch the riders twice on the same lap as the Flagpole on Leapoges Rd, where the riders will face a u-turn onto Lagangreen Rd is less than a minute’s dander. At only 3km from the finish circuit it gives you plenty of time to get back in time for the finale as the riders enter their final lap.
We’ve left the obvious one to last. The finish line atop Mount St is on a fairly flat section of road, but the steep 400 meter ramp that the riders face as they enter Mount St, maxing out at 5%, and cresting with only 250 meters to the finish line will be the ideal launch pad for those who have the strength to make it count.
All races start between 12 noon and 12:15 on Mount St. Expected race finish times are listed below;
- Race 4 (A4’s) 14:00 – 14:15
- Race 3 (Women’s National Road Series) 14:45 – 15:10
- Race 2 (A3’s) 14:25 – 15:00
- Race 1 (A1 / A2 Men’s National Road Series) 15:05 – 15:30
Banbridge CC were delighted to get chosen for the Omagh 3 Day Cycling Event as it always an over subscribed event. The A4 team of riders included James MacMahon, Adrian Peake, Peter McBride, Richard McBride and Chris Burns supported by David Lavery, Neil Teggart and Mark Kendall travelled to Omagh for the 9th edition of the Tour of Omagh 3 day stage race over the weekend of 27th - 29th July. The race covers 4 stages with 3 road races and 1 individual time trial.
The first stage was a 43 mile road race with 3 KOH’s. The race was a cagey affair as riders didn’t want to show their hands too early. The Banbridge guys stayed close to the front covering any attempted breaks. The stage eventually finished in a bunch sprint with James following wheels to finish a superb 4th coming after a strong showing at the John Moore memorial the previous weekend where he placed 6th. The rest of the team finished in the bunch all on the same time.
Early next morning the first Banbridge rider off was Adrain with the remainder of the team off at 1min intervals on the 2.5Mile Individual Time Trial. Conditions were fair with light rain compared what was to come in the road race in the afternoon. The guys warmed up under excellent guidance of Neil Taggert and were ready for the start. James was fastest Banbridge rider with an 8th best overall time. Closely followed by Peter and Richard. Adrian and Chris a few seconds further down. A very solid time trial for all the team.
Stage 3 was a 46 mile road race with 2 KOH. This proved to be the toughest stage of the race, the riders had to contend with a challenging undulating route and the recent spell of weather came to an abrupt end with strong winds and heavy rain. The race however started at a frantic pace and was soon split to pieces as riders fought with the conditions and attacking racing. There was a great atmosphere at the first KOH in Carrickmore as spectators lined the climb and cheered on the riders. Going into the latter stage of the race the team had 4 riders in the main group which had whittled down to 30 odd riders from 102 starters, this group was to be diminished further as cross winds took their toll. Peter and Richard were still in the main group as it came down to a bunch sprint. Peter showed his form to take an excellent 6th place on a brutal day. Richard came in 16th on the same time a fantastic result for Richard in his first year of open racing and only his fourth race. The rest of the team fought the conditions to finish strongly.
The 4th Stage was a 44 mile road race with a dreaded CAT 1 climb 10 mile from the finish. The weather had turned to summer again and the team had to give it more more go. The guys stuck to the plan and raced very hard on tired legs. The race stayed compact until it reached the Gortins where the race started to split. The team stayed in the front group with Peter very active. Unfortunately the climb proved too much for Adrain who dropped off the lead group but all credit as he was feeling unwell over the weekend but raced to the end and finished the event. The lead group was coming into the final sprint and Peter went for it with 1K to go eventually to be caught and swamped finishing 15th and taking 10th overall. Richard came in the next group back finishing very strongly.
A great event organised by Omagh Wheelers and a successful event for Banbridge CC with 3 top 10 stage placings and 4th Overall in the Team Classification and 10th in the GC. The team would like to thank all the club members who travelled to support the team on the road it is very much appreciated.
The John Beggs Memorial is back for 2018 and once again looks set be a highlight of the Irish cycling calendar on Saturday 11th August. Using the same course as in 2017, which proved to be popular with riders and spectators alike, the event will play host to the 5th round of the Cycling Ireland National Road Series and is sure to attract the best of Ireland’s elite men and women.
The 30km circuit takes the riders out of Dromore, winding and rolling through the villages of Kinallen and Dromara with the Mourne mountains as a backdrop, making their way toward Hillsborough before they turn back once again in the direction of Dromore. With the climbs of Ballykeel Hill, Kinallen and Ballykeel scattered around the circuit, mass bunch finishes are an unlikely outcome for most races. All races will exit the circuit for the final run into Dromore town before the final climb to the finish line atop Mount St.
There will be 4 races hosted on the day; The Men’s A1/A2 race and the Women’s race will both be part of the National Road Series and will be supported by two separate races accommodating the A3 & A4 category riders.
The A1/A2 men will complete 4 laps to give them approx. 128km of racing, while the Women and A3 races will both cover 3 laps for total race distance of 98km. The A4 race will complete 2 laps, giving them 68km.
We’ve been delighted to see the continued rise in standard of the Women’s field competing in the National Series events and, subject to a minimum entry or 30 riders, will be rewarding both the men and women’s National Series races with an equal and generous prize pot of over £750 cash each covering the top 8 riders, with both winners pocketing £200 for their efforts.
Winner of the 2017 John Beggs Memeorial, Adam Stenson, has went on to become a regular on the Irish National U23 team and currently is based with Swiss Elite National Team Speeder Cycling Team, while the winner of the 2017 women’ race, Eve McCrystal, has since added to her already lengthy and impressive palmarès and is a current reigning World, Paralympic and National Champion.
All races will be pre-entry and will open for registration on Monday 30th July on the Cycling Ireland Azolve website at a cost of £15. Riders are asked to pre-enter to assist with event administration and management including the live race updates which will be available via the Banbridge CC Twitter stream. Entry on the day, subject to availability, will be at a cost of £20 per rider.
All races will start at 12 noon and will roll out from the new Event HQ at Dromore High School
Further detail of the event, including the Race Information Manual, will be made available via the Banbridge CC social media on both Facebook and Twitter in the coming days and weeks in the run up to the registration window and the event itself
All photos thanks to The Belgian Project
Updated League Table with Stevie Fitzsimmons having never missed an event sitting at the top,with still 7 events to go there is all to cycle for.
Under 16 Race
Under 14 Race
Banbridge CC are pleased to once again promote the Banbridge Criterium for 2018 on Friday 6th July. Following the success of the event in previous years, including 2016 when it hosted the Irish National Championships, the club have confirmed that the event will use the same popular 1km circuit, starting and finishing on Banbridge town’s main high street – Newry St – to bring the fast paced action of crit racing to the town centre where it belongs.
Also confirmed are the inclusion of two support youth races catering for the Under 16 and Under 14 categories. The youth races will be supported by the David McCall Foundation, Maneely Mc Cann Accountants and Rodgers Stoves Rathfriland who are kindly providing prizes for these events.
The main feature senior race will cater for A1, A2 & A3 categories.
Pre entry to the event will open on Wednesday 27th June via the Cycling Ireland website. The senior race will be limited to 60 riders with pre-entry closing on Wednesday 4th July, or once all places have been bought. Entries to the youth races will be accepted on the night. Entry to the senior race will be £15 with youth entries priced at £5.
Always a very popular event, early entry is advised for all senior riders. A budget has been reserved to accommodate prizes for the first 6 riders overall with hot spot prime laps and unplaced rider prizes also available for A2’s & Juniors.
While at first glance the circuit may look flat and relatively straight forward, a sharp descent, fast and tight corners, and a drag onto the start/finishing straight that will sap the legs has proven to provide both competitors and spectators some exciting racing over the years.
Racing for the youth will kick off at 18:45 with the under 14’s facing a 20 minute race, and the under 16’s will follow at 19:15 and will race for approx. 30 minutes. The main senior feature race will start at 20:00, with the race being started officially by Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, Councillor Julie Flaherty. The feature race will last for approx. 50 minutes, featuring 2 x prime laps.
Sign on for all races will open at 17:45 in the Downshire Arms Hotel, closing 15 mins sharp before each race.
Banbridge CC are once again holding a Tour de France sweep stake for 2018. The sweep has always proved very popular with tickets selling out very quickly so a quick purchase is advised to avoid missing out on a winning rider!
Tickets are now available from a number of club officials - further details of which can be advised by Neil Teggart.
One ticket will be sold representing each of the rider numbers as entered in the race.
Tickets will be priced at £10 each.
1st Overall £150
2nd Overall £100
3rd Overall £50
Points winner £50
Mountains winner £50
Stage winner £20 (x20)*
Random prize £10 (x20), 105th place on each stage*
*please note no prizes will be awarded on stage 3, the Team Time Trial.
Overall prize fund £1000
All prizes will be paid upon the completion of the race.
Cover Photo courtesy of Toby Watson