Banbridge CC have taken the disappointing and frustrating decision to cancel the 2023 Banbridge Crit, scheduled for Friday 12th May.
Despite having secured the entry of some very strong riders for the feature Elite & Junior race, the overall response and uptake of entries has been significantly below the forecasted numbers; less than half of our lowest entry from previous years.
The club has been working closely with the local council authorities, traffic management companies and the PSNI to secure a fully closed town centre circuit for the event at significant cost and effort. As per previous years, the club had forecasted and agreed to cover a significant financial loss for the benefit of the event, and in order to maintain an event of this nature on the Cycling Ireland calendar. We cannot however, with good conscience, justifiably close a town centre to public traffic for an event with such low participation numbers.
We fully understand the disappointment this may cause those who have entered to participate and no doubt were looking forward to another exciting evening’s racing in Banbridge, particularly the youth riders who were scheduled to take part this year in an exciting change to the format.
As a club, and as cycling volunteers, we share that disappointment. This is an event we thoroughly enjoy and have been very proud to promote. Following a number of other significant event cancellations on the Cycling Ireland calendar, we would welcome a review of events to support a strongly structured national calendar, which attracts and supports our various cycling categories and disciplines.
The Banbridge Crit has enjoyed great success in previous years, having hosted the Irish National and Ulster Provincial Championships and made a welcome return in 2022 following a 2-year hiatus due to the Covid pandemic. We thoroughly hope to see it return in future years, and be a showpiece for cycling to the local cycling supporters and wider general public.