There was no backing off the effort for the last leg and final stage of this year’s Tour of the North for the Banbridge CC team. The conditions over the weekend have given the riders a tough event, but they were determined to end the race on a high.
Matthew Adair took the bull by the horns and managed to break clear of the bunch in the large 10 man breakaway that dominated the stage for most of the day, with their advantage stretching out to almost 3 minutes at one point. The final opportunity for stage glory was on everyone’s mind however and a concerted effort from the main bunch would see the breakaways advantage drop quickly as the finish line in Craigantlet loomed. With panic and desperation starting to influence the breakaway riders they began to attack each other, splitting the group. This played into the chasing bunch’s advantage and by the time they reached the foot of the final 2km ascent the race was once again altogether.
It was 19 year old Declan Mulholland of the ASEA Wheelworx team who would win his 2nd stage of the weekend ahead of Glenn Kinning of Kinning Cycles. Kinning’s 2nd place would be enough to secure him the final KOH polka dot jersey as the winner of that competition. Banbridge CC’s Lindsay Watson followed close behind in 9th place, as was James Curry and Gareth McKee in 15th and 26th respectively. This would be enough to see the Banbridge CC team awarded 2nd place on the team stage placings behind North Down CC who have had another excellent race. Matthew Adair’s efforts would see him finish just off the back of main bunch , satisfied with his days’ work at the front of the race.
The 2016 edition of the Tour of the North has been an incredibly difficult race with nature throwing everything it could at the riders over the 4 days but the Banbridge CC team have performed well and on reflections will be pleased at how all the team have performed against the international competition – earning them 5th team overall on General Classification. Special mention should go to Team Manager Neil Teggart and Mechanic Simon Curry, who have worked tirelessly in preparation of the event and all weekend behind the scenes, their efforts make a massive difference to the riders allowing them to focus on the racing and the all-important rest recovery.
Congratulation to all of the team from everyone at Banbridge CC on great weekends racing, you all did the jersey proud!
Stage 5 results in brief;
1 Mulholland, Declan ASEA Wheelworx 3:12:53
2 Kinning, Glenn Kinning Cycles @ST
3 Watson, David North Down CC @ST
9 Watson, Lindsay Banbridge CC @ST
15 Curry, James Banbridge CC @ST
26 MCKee, Gareth Banbridge CC @18s
68 Adair, Matthew Banbridge CC@ 4m55s
Final General Classification;
1 Clements, Ed Spirit Bikes 10:15:39
2 Hales, Jake Spirit Bikes @1m28s
3 Watson, David North Down CC @1m34s
15 Watson, Lindsay Banbridge CC @5m10s
22 McKee, Gareth Banbridge CC @8m20s
29 Curry, James Banbridge CC @10m08s
56 Adair, Matthew Banbridge CC @17m04s
Photos below courtesy of Toby Watson