Banbridge’s racing cyclists racked up a number of top results over the weekend on a bumper weekend of racing. Many of the racing members were absent due to a training week in Majorca ahead of the Easter stage racing, and while those remaining may not have been enjoying the warm weather miles, they made the home miles count!
On Saturday Banbridge’s Matthew Teggart (Wiv Sungod) made it two from two, winning the 2nd round of the Cycling Ireland National Road Race series in Limerick. Outnumbered by the Irish Continental professional EvoPro Racing team, Teggart outpower all his competitors to once again win solo and take maximum points from the first 2 rounds in the National Road Series.
Closer to home on Saturday, Banbridge CC’s Paul-Antoine Hagan, Johnny McRoberts, Richard McBride and Aaron Parks all lined up at the Wallace Caldwell Memorial in Ballymena. Paul-Antoine Hagan made the cut in the main 15 rider break of the day which continued to whittle down in the cold and wet conditions that included hailstorms to test the riders. Reducing to 4 riders on the last lap Paul-Antoine continued to push the pace but lost out to a strong Team Caldwell Cycles duo in the finale who had the advantage in numbers along with fellow Banbridge native Lindsay Watson of Powerhouse Sports. Richard McBride was next of the Banbridge CC riders home, finishing as 2nd A3 rider on the day.
On Sunday the time-triallists were in the spotlight with the opening round of the Cycling Ireland National TT series, hosted in Dunganon and attracting the country’s top time trialling cyclists. Catching the attention of all was Banbridge CC’s latest signing, Marcus Christie, a renowned international TT rider having competed at the World Championships and winning a bronze medal at the National Elite Championships in 2021. Christie wasted little time in securing his first victory for Banbridge CC and clocked the fastest time of the day, 50:37, ahead of EvoPro Racing professional Conn McDunphy who was 27 seconds adrift over the 25 miles. Lindsay Watson was in 3rd place for the second day in a row a further 48 seconds down.
Erwin McKee picked up where he left off in 2021, being fastest of the Master 40’s ahead of Sean Featherstone of Newry CC who was subject to a Banbridge CC sandwich with Richard McBride in 3rd place, completing a fantastic weekend’s racing. Philip Loughlin completed the hattrick for Banbridge CC at the event, winning the Masters 50 category by almost 1 minute, with Richard Nicholl in 5th place.
Further afield Banbridge man John Buller was competing for his French team AC Bisontine at the 155km Chazal Classic in Dijon, France. Buller finished an excellent 4th place from a large breakaway group. This is sure to boost the morale of the Irish National U23 Champion who will now look forward to the coming races with a clear sight of building on his current form.