Banbridge CC are delighted to be in a position to see the return of the Banbridge Criterium for 2022 on Friday 13th May. Unfortunately, with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic we have not held this event since June 2019, so to have it back on the streets of Banbridge streets will be a welcome sight.
Following the success of the event in previous years, including 2019 when it hosted the Ulster Championships and 2016 with the Irish National Championships, the club have confirmed that the event will use the same popular fully closed 1km circuit, starting and finishing on Banbridge town’s main high street – Newry St – keeping the fast paced action of crit racing in the accessible town centre where it belongs.
Two races will be promoted on the evening: a support race for A3 and Junior category riders starting at 7pm. This race will last for just over 30 mins with a hot spot prime sprint after 15 mins.
The main feature race of the evening will start at 8pm for the Elite men, with 2 hot spot prime sprints at 15 and 30 minutes and lasting approx. 1 hour. Already confirmed for the event are the top 3 ranked Cycling Ireland riders including Irish National Criterium Champ, Connor Murnane, of UCD Cycling. The Dublin man will be keen to show off his National Champions jersey with pride, but he will be pushed hard on the evening. Fresh off his victory in the Shay Elliot Classic in Wicklow, Dean Harvey of Spellman Dublin Port has been having a fantastic season so far and will enjoy this nature of racing on a short circuit.
Cavan’s Luke Smith of Moynalty Cycling Club is always fast in a gallop and the fast action of the Crit will also suit his aggressive riding. Another Dublin man, Mark Dowling has been building his form lately and is always a favourite on the Banbridge circuit having won here 3 times previously, including the National Championships in 2016. The last time the event was run in 2016 was the Ulster Championships and the victor from that evening, Darnell Moore of Caldwell Cycles Omagh also returns. Moore has been consistently racking up wins on local roads over the last number of seasons and will start as one of the favourites again this year. PowerHouse Sports Lindsay Watson has been one of the most consistent riders in Ireland for a number of years and always perform well on the Banbridge circuit. He will be looking to step on to the top step of the podium in what is his home town.
The local men always perform well in front of their home crowd and this year there is plenty of local interest in both races. Two Banbridge riders racing abroad in recent years, John Buller and Matthew Teggart, are both due to be home for the event. Buller has won the event previously and if he gets a clear shot at the finish line there are few in the country who can match his finishing speed. It will be his first time competing at home this year so will be motivated to impress. Making his debut at the event is Matthew Teggart, who will be excited to race in his home town and keen to continue his winning streak. Banbridge CC’s Paul Antoine Hagan will be determined to show off the Banbridge jersey and has a habit of making the cut when it matters and is always in the thick of the action.
Whoever tastes victory on the evening, the spectators could well be the winners with such a high quality field lining up for their entertainment. The short 1km town centre circuit ensures the action is continuous with riders completing each lap approximately every 90 seconds.
To facilitate the evening’s activities and provide a safe event a number of roads will be closed between the hours of 17:30 & 21:30 on Friday, including;
Newry Street (Dir. Newry side only)
Rathfriland Rd (B10), from Newry Street to first roundabout with Kenlis Street / Tesco’s access.
Park View / Kenlis Court
Old Kenlis St
Bridge Street E
Those travelling should allow for extra time and increased traffic. Everyone is encouraged to come out and enjoy the evening’s event, but are asked to take extra care if having to cross roads for access during the times of closure and avoid parking vehicles on the main race circuit.
Should you have further queries regarding the evening’s events Race Director, Aaron Wallace, can be contacted at email@example.com .