Report by Neil McAllister
Wednesday evening seen the 3rd and final round of the Banbridge CC Mac Up 2-Up TT competition. In an attempt to further improve safety there was a change to the usual Banbridge-Gilford- Scarva-Banbrigde circuit, eliminating the busy Gilford village. Rider instead took on a testing 15 mile circuit starting on the Rathfriland Road and passing through Anaclone, Mays Corner, Katesbridge and back in the Castlewellan road to once again finish in Banbridge. Again, the Weather was not in our favour but at least the rain had stopped for the 34 riders who had signed up to fight it out in the final round of the Mac Cup.
With John Fegan and Martin Fitzpatrick off in one of the early groups it was up the them to catch the two other teams in front of them. They set the benchmark with a great time of 40:50, one that would remain until the 10th rider pairing; Phil Beattie and Joe Penny beat the 40min mark with a 39:47. Jon Sheppard and Stevie Fitzimmons just missed out on a sub 42 min time as a result ofStevie missing a gear up Anaclone climb losing contact with Jon at a crucial point or the race. Team Hannon/Graham where home next with a blinding time of 39:02, the two men working well together in the final round. Was team Kendall/Graham going to be fastest this week again? Almost, but they couldn’t quite keep setting the fastest time every week and it was team Stewart/McBride who beat them by a slender 20 seconds with a 38:10.
Many predicted that would be the fastest time of the night, but there were still two very strong teams to come in; McKee/Buller and McRoberts/Watson.
McKee/Buller set a new fastest time of 37.06, shaving more than a minute off the benchmark, but were quickly knocked off the top spot by McRoberts/Watson who flew in with a remarkable 36.08 for the hilly 15 miles.
Thanks to the Marshals and time keeping team again for such great help and keeping things safe.
Next week is the start of individual 10TT on the Rathfriland Road. First rider off 7pm sharp
Riders remember rear light please or no racing.