Report by Neil McAlister
This year Banbridge CC’s Skelly Cup had to be moved to a new circuit due to surface dressing on the normal circuit. Alan Towell worked hard to find a new circuit, and he found a difficult one!
The circuit started on the Castlewellan Road out to McCoy’s, turned left up Castlevennon road, then right up Knockgorm Road (Catlehill), onto the Waringsford road and finally left onto the Drumneath road for a fast finish.
There were 20 riders and 1 visitor signed on. It was a wet and windy Wednesday night which seems to be the normal on Wednesday nights this year, much to the disgust of the Banbridge riders! Sara Glover was off first, and being the only lady rider she was definitely being brave on such a hard course. Booming home in a head wind with a 38:50. Great going Sara that’s that box ticked. Gerald Byrne was 2nd off and nearly wasn’t when he heard the course involved Catlehill, but fair play he completed the course in a windy 37:06.
The TT specialists in the club where out to beat the 30min mark with the 2 Kevin’s – Wilson & McAlinden, Andy Beattie and Dan Purdy all beating the 30min mark. Phil Beattie was just outside with a 30:30. Mark Stewart must have been on a mission with a 30:38, a brilliant ride in his first season (will have to find out his secret), closely followed by Nathan Sturrock (30:39) and the hard to beat Dave Lavery just outside with 31:50. The quickest on the night was the very impressive Lindsay Watson (Guest) 28:16 he definitely can shift for a mountain biker. The first BCC rider home on the night was our king of the turbo trainer Kevin Wilson with 28.16.
With Toni taking great pictures at the top of Catlehill there were some faces on show under pressure, none more so than me! All I can say it was one of the hardest courses I have taken part in but a likeable one; there was all the road can throw at you in the 11.5mile circuit.
Thanks to all the timekeepers and Alan and his team for keeping us safe on the way road. Also welcome back to Stevie Curran, nice to hear his voice again putting the cyclist back in there place.