It was the closest run Banbridge CC race league to date, with only a couple of points separating leader Marty Fitzpatrick from a hard chasing Mark Stewart with only 1 event remaining. 3rd to 6th place in the league was also only separated by less than 10 points.
With it all to play for, motivation was high among the club riders. As the last club race of the season was incorporated into the Thomas White 10 mile TT open event the club riders were lining up alongside many of the best Time Trial riders in the country including multiple national champions and the very best para-cyclists in the country, including multiple World Champions.
Two club competitions were up for the taking; the Jack Carson Cup for best veteran (over 40 yrs) and the Lutton Cup which would be calculated on handicap.
If the competition for the league was tight, the winning margin of the Jack Carson Cup was even tighter. Mark Stewart put in another storming ride to record 23:01 over the 10 miles, the same time recorded for Brian Hannon and so the timekeepers had to refer to the hundredths of seconds on the stopwatches to split the two riders. 0.08 was the difference with Mark Stewart getting the verdict.
In the Lutton Cup Martin Duffy looked have victory in the bag, recording 25:51 – more than 3 minutes under his target time. However International Para-cyclist Chris Burns was a late runner and with form running high ahead of next month’s World Championships he recorded a time of 25:21 – 3:14 below his target and enough to beat Duffy by 7 seconds.
Mark Stewart’s handicap time in the Jack Carson was enough to improve his league points and overhaul Marty Fitzptrick at the final hurdle. Both riders have had a tremendous season and are known for being honest riders who give their all every time they pin on a number. Sunday was no exception.
As the 2019 racing season comes to a close, gratitude goes out to all those who stepped forward to assist with and manage the planning & running of all events, over 20 in total; the Event Organisers, Timekeepers, Marshals, Lead Car drivers and Outriders, Safety Assessors, Photo-Finish Judges, Sign-On Teams, Photographers, Results Co-ordinators, Press Report Writers, those who made tea, coffee and buns. It’s a long list of volunteers who can take pride in another successful race season for Banbridge CC.