Report by Neil McAlister
With the sun shining in Dromore, Banbridge CC were back to the Lurgan Road for a 10 mile TT. Regarded as one of the very hardest courses on Banbridge CC TT calendar the riders are subject to the ascent of Clougher Hill after 6 miles of hard racing. In glorious sun shine 20 club members signed on for the Quinn Cup with 6 guest riders from visiting clubs. It wasn’t going to be an easy night with many tried legs from guys who were busy racing at the weekend. An unusual excuse of lower back pain from Marty Fitz was expected after performing the worm dance moves from the song Foot Loose at the Carrickdale over the weekend, perhaps celebrating his recent open race win. It was going to be entertaining to see who had the best excuse for not getting a good time. Thankfully excuses were not required and the lads had a blinder of a night, with the great weather making all the difference
Paul Anderson was away first, closely followed by young Scott Henderson who rolled home with a great 27:46. Malcolm Jenkins kept thing speeding up with a 27:19. Gareth Rodgers was back out to see how his training was improving, and it definitely was with a great 26:00 averaging over 23mph on this rolling course.
Marty Fitzpatrick was back out to see if he could smash his PB again, and with great form he did; smashing another 50 seconds off his time from a fortnight ago. Wayne Graham wasn’t having any of it however, matching Marty’s time on a road bike with both riders getting 25:46. Nathan Sturrock is starting to hit good form, just beating the two men by a second with 25:45.
As always ‘The Machine’ Mark Stewart, who doesn’t know how to ride easy got an excellent time of 25:29, but Kevin McAlinden is coming back to previous form and got the better of Mark with a 25:18. Mark Kendall appears to be in the form of his life hitting a 25:08, this A3 racing is definitely making this man shift!
It came down to 2 riders in the end; James Curry and John Buller, both young men regularly riding out of their skin at the minute. John was not going to be easy to beat, even after his brilliant 3rd place in the Groucho’s GP at the weekend in horrible conditions but James wasn’t going to be beat tonight and got a mind blowing time of 22:40, besting John's already excellent 23:41 into 2nd place. That has to be one of the fastest TT times on the Lurgan Rd course on a standard road bike. It’s a time you would be proud of on the Castlewellan Road or the Rathfriland Road courses but on this hard course it is absolutely breath taking. Well done James!
Lindsay Watson was the fastest of the guest riders, recording 23:06 and there wasn’t too much between the 3 West Down lads with Brandon beating his team mates with a 24:53.
Thanks to Ivor, Stevie, Anne and Hazel for their time keeping duties at least they had sun this week to deal with and not the rain as they had the last time. Thanks to Alan and his team for keeping things safe as always.
Please remember; appropriate rear RED LIGHT required for these TT’s even in sunny conditions. Cars heading out the Lurgan Rd found it hard to see some riders in the low and strong sun light.
Next Wednesday 18th will see a change to the calendar - it’s the Skelly Cup and not the Quarry road race. First bike away 7pm sharp, Castlewellan Rd.