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Downey in White following double stage day at Tour of the North

It’s been another productive day for the Banbridge CC team at the Tour of the North.  Starting the day enthused from the stage 1 win by Gareth McKee and 3rd place of Mark Downey who was also wearer of the top under 23 white jersey the team had an early start with a short Time Trial.  All riders put in solid rides, but the stand out ride was surely that of yellow jersey McKee who was only 12.47 seconds off the winning time in 8th place, leaving him within 1 second of the lead.  Mark Downey also put in a great ride for 14th and 15 seconds off the winner and 14 seconds off the white jersey of best under 23 rider.

The team had a fantastic afternoon road stage, riding as a unit and marking all the main moves. Lyndsey Watson could be seen constantly watching the wheel of new race leader Chris McGlinchey, while James Curry was never far from Gareth McKee’s side assisting him wen needed and closing down gaps as the endless attacks came, often accompanying him in attempts to break free of the bunch.  Cameron McIntyre had obviously recovered from his crash in stage 1 well and put in some heroic team work for Mark Downey in defence of his U23 hopes.

In the closing stages a significant break made it clear of the bunch without yellow jersey McGlinchey.  Mark Downey managed to make the cut, while Gareth put in several attempts to bridge but was ultimately unsuccessful such was the horsepower up front.  In the gallop for the line Downey was right in the mix and crossed the line in 5th place - enough to elevate him as the new leading Under 23 rider in the race.  All other Banbridge CC riders would cross the line just over 30 seconds later with what would remain of the main bunch, leaving McKee still in the mix at 15 seconds on General Classification.  The team are also 3rd in the Team General Classification.

There was great support from club members and supporters on the roadside today, cheering on the team.  The final stage of the rave should provide more entertainment for those following.  When asked the plan for tomorrow’s stage, there was little hesitation – “attack, try to win the race!”

 Photo courtesy of Marian Lamb, www.cyclingulster.com

Photo courtesy of Marian Lamb, www.cyclingulster.com

Stage 2 Results

8 - McKee,Gareth (Banbridge CC) 5m 09.53s @ 12.47s

14 - Downey,Mark (Banbridge CC) 5m 12.08s @ 15.02s

56 - Curry,James (Banbridge CC) 5m 28.25s @ 31.19s

66 - Watson,Lindsay (Banbridge CC) 5m 30.09s @ 33.03s

93 - McIntyre,Cameron (Banbridge CC) 5m 40.07s @ 43.01s

Stage 3 Results

5 - Downey,Mark (Banbridge CC) 2h 21m 36s @ 12s

43 - Watson,Lindsay (Banbridge CC) 2h 21m 57s @ 33s

46 - McKee,Gareth (Banbridge CC) 2h 21m 57s @ s/t

58 -  Curry,James (Banbridge CC) 2h 21m 57s @ s/t

61 -  McIntyre,Cameron (Banbridge CC) 2h 21m 57s @ s/t

General Classification

6 - Downey,Mark (Banbridge CC) 4h 57m 50s @ 7 s

12 - McKee,Gareth (Banbridge CC) 4h 57m 58s @ 15s

37 - Curry,James (Banbridge CC) 4h 58m 28s @ 45s

40 - Watson,Lindsay (Banbridge CC) 4h 58m 30s @ 47s

68 - McIntyre,Cameron (Banbridge CC) 5h 12m 46s @ 15m 03s