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Peter climbs to top step to claim John Maxwell Cup

Report by Neil McAlister

Banbridge CC returned to the Castlewellan Road on Wednesday evening for the John Maxwell Cup, but due to weather conditions the time trial event was cut short to a 10 mile TT instead of the normal 20 mile for this race. With wind and heavy rain forecast it was brave men only that signed on. I had my excuse in early this time - I was waiting on a plumber coming so had to miss this one out as the season starts to draw to an end.

There were 9 Banbridge riders and 1 visitor signing on for the TT. First off was the new kid on the block Stephen Fitzimmons. Stevie only joined the club recently, so he’s taking a big step now into the club league. It’s always great to see new members giving it a go. Paul Anderson and Chris Burns were hot on his heels and so it was not going to be easy for his first event with these two experienced riders chasing him down. The headwind out towards McCoy’s was brutal, but at least the rain was holding off. Phil Beattie was next off the line. Phil’s been doing some training over in France, climbing the famous Mont Ventoux. Hopefully the Castlewellan Road won’t be too easy for him now that he’s accustomed to the cols of Europe.  Wayne Graham was out of the blocks next to see if he could slip stream his way to McCoy’s.  Ian Cochrane and Peter McBride were away next and there was just the young guns left of John Buller and Nathan Sturrock. With John putting in a brilliant performance on Sunday taking the win in the U16 MTB National Points Series, these guys were going to be hard to beat.

It was Chris Burns coming home first on the road with a 26:52, closely followed by Phil Beattie just beating Chris with a 26:20.  Stephen Fitzsimmons came home with a great time of 30:51 on his first event - keep it going now Stevie, you have caught the bug! But the fastest man on the night was Peter (the train) McBride with an amazing 25:40 on a standard road bike. Peter has made some great improvements this year, especially now he has made the transition to A4 category open racing.  All his hard work is paying off and it’s great to see him coming up the racing ranks of the club.

Thanks very much to timekeepers and marshals, for it wasn’t a night to be standing outside! Thanks also to Alan Towell for making the call to cut the TT to 10 mile as the weather and light wasn’t on our side - safety first.

Neil

Results:

Peter Mcbride 25:40

John Buller 25:58

Phil Beattie 26:20

Nathan Sturrock 26:26

Ian Cochrane 26:39

Chris Burns 26:52

Wayne Graham 29:11

Stevie Fitzsimmons 30:51

Paul Anderson 31:09

Ray Cochrane 31:50 (visitor)