It was an early start on Saturday morning for a few of Banbridge Cycling Club’s Time Trial riders as they headed off to County Wicklow for the third round of Cycling Ireland’s Time Trial National Series. Seven riders from the club took part including overall series leader Marcus Christie. The event hosted by Orwell Wheelers Cycling Club utilised the same 21 mile course used for the National Championships in 2021. A rolling technical course consisting of long straights, punctuated by some technical roundabout sections. Perfect weather conditions made for some very fast times.
First of the Banbridge riders on the road was Philip Loughlin and he completed the course in a tremendous time of 49.49. Next to go was Martin Duffy who recorded a time of 57.10. Bad luck continues for Nigel McCullough, who was looking to get a good ride ahead of next weekend’s Ulster Championships 25-mile event to be held in Ballymena. Unfortunately, he suffered a hamstring injury very early into his ride and did not finish. Hopefully, it will heal quickly. Trevor Wright is finding some late season form and he was delighted with his time of 54.28. He will be looking to carry this into next week’s Ulster Championship event in Ballymena also.
Richard Nicholl, treating the event as part of a couple of days touring, arrived home in a time of 1.03.41. This does not tell the full story though; Richard got the train down to Dublin yesterday and then caught the regional train to Wicklow. From there he cycled to his overnight accommodation. What Richard did not realise though was he had to cycle 15 miles over the Wicklow hills to get to the venue this morning. At least he was well warmed up!
As is the way with these series events, the big hitters tend to be the later starters. Erwin McKee, the M40 category leader, continued his fine form with a time of 46.03. This was good enough for second place in his category on the day and unofficially sees him clinch the series M40 title. The last rider to set off was Marcus Christie. Having won rounds 1 and 2 Marcus was aiming to make it a treble. And that he did as he romped home in an astonishing time of 41.49. Over a minute quicker than this nearest challenger. With one round to go Marcus has clinched overall in the series and with it the title of Cycling Ireland’s Time Trial National Series Champion.
Such was the strength and depth of the Banbridge CC riders in attendance they also clinched the team event – with the times of Marcus, Erwin, Philip and Trevor all counting.
The club would like to thank the very talented crew from Orwell Wheelers Cycling Club for hosting an excellent, well run, safe event. It was very much enjoyed by the Banbridge CC contingent.
All photos courtesy of Sean Rowe / Sportsphoto Ireland.