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Sturrock climbs to fastest time in Dennison Hilly TT

Report by Neil McAllister / Photos by Paul & Toni Hannigan

Wednesday 22nd July saw the tough Dennison Cup 10 mile Hilly TT at Moneyslane, up and over the Boiling Well climb and back again. With over 1000ft of climbing on a 10 mile course it wasn’t going to be easy. With just 14 riders and 2 guest riders signed up for tough TT, rumours where floating about of some lame excuses why riders hadn’t showed; from working late, ‘till locked out of the house.

With Maurice Mayne, Ivor Park and Brian Curran on time keeping duties, (by the way Brian should be doing this course, as his time from last year was a blinder!) the first riders was set off at 19.00.  Paul Anderson was off first and 1 minute behind was Chris Burns.

The first part of this hilly TT on the Rathfriland Road climb is a real killer, its only 1.6miles long but at the top it reaches an 8% grade.  It’s a ferociously hard way to start any TT.  Stevie Curran was at the half way point and boy was I glad to see him telling us to turn and head back down to Moneyslane because you knew that the hills you had climbed up were going down this time. With the maximum speed peaking just over 50mph at one point on the way down; that’s what I’m built for!

 There are a lot of good climbers in the club now which this course would suit. Tonight would see a great battle between the 2 Marks to see who would win. It came down to Mark Kendall with a time of 29:11, just beating Mark Stewart who recorded 29:29 by 18sec.  Peter McBride recorded 30:16 and was knocking on the door of a sub 30min - all his hard training is paying off big time.

The fastest club man on the night was young Nathan Sturrock with a brilliant time of 28:13. Man he can go, and the form appears to coming just in time to let it rip at the Noel Teggart Memorial road race this Sunday. We also had a guest appearance from Sean Downey, it was great to see how the An Post rider would show us amateurs how it’s done, and boy he did: 26:07!

I think if I tried to come down the boiling well like that Paul would need a crow bar to get me off the bike at the finish!

Thanks again to Stevie Curran, Gerry Beggs and Paul Hannigan for getting all points covered on marshalling duties. Maurice, Brian and Ivor for time keeping; all very important people without which there would be no fun for us.

Thanks to Toni for some unreal photos, even one of me on my slim side. Not an easy job with riders flying past at over 40mph.

Look forward to next week when it’s back to the Gilford Circuit road race. 6.30pm sign on.