Banbridge CC’s road men have once again been in the thick of the action on only the second weekend of the Irish road racing season. Junior riders Cameron McIntyre and James Curry made it into an exclusive breakaway of a dozen riders at the John Moore Memorial, hosted by Castlereagh CC in Carryduff. Mixing it with the in-form Elite category riders who have claimed victories in the opening races of the season both McIntyre and Curry were keen to show that their own form was worth note. After a testing 88km it was Curry who would narrowly miss out on a podium spot after once again showing his sprinting skills are hard to match – leading home what was left of a diminished chase group after 3 riders clipped clear in the closing miles. McIntyre would hang on to finish just outside the top 10 and should be delighted with this performance in only his 2nd weekend racing at this level.
Banbridge CC was also represented by Dan Purdy and Nathan Sturrock who had the misfortune to come down in a collision, he was fit enough to bounce back the next day for the closing round of the MTB Spring League however so can add it to his growing bank of experience.
Further abroad Dromore man Sean Downey was trading blows with the world’s elite in the European Classic opener Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne. Competing for his trade team, An Post-Chain Reaction Cycles, Sean’s focus has very much been on the track so far this year with the aim of collecting precious Olympic qualifying points. K-B-K would appear a world away from the smooth wooden track with its short sharp climbs and famous cobbled roads! This didn’t deter Downey who finished on the wheel of 2005 World Champion and Belgian Classics legend Tom Boonen in the top 30. The winner of the race was Britain’s 2011 World Champion and Tour de France Green Jersey winner Mark Cavendish, showing the level of talent Downey is now competing against.
Further south again at the Criterium du Printemps in France, Matthew Teggart started his season with his new AC Bisontine squad. In what would turn out to be a bitterly cold and wet affair Matthew finished the day in 9th place. His new management will be delighted with a top 10 place in his first outing in what Matthew described as “ the hardest conditions I’ve ever rode in!”.
Banbridge CC would like to wish both Sean and Matthew the best of luck in the season ahead, however if the weekend’s performances are anything to go by the lads are making their own good luck!