Step up to U23 is no problem to James

James Curry in action for Banbridge CC.
James Curry in action for Banbridge CC.
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With the Irish Cyclo-Cross season now underway, Banbridge CC riders are once again showing their depth of quality.

That’s thanks to rising star James Curry, who bagged the latest local victory in Irvinestown, by claiming top spot in the U23 race.

John Buller leads Irish Vets Champion on the fast Irvinestown course.

John Buller leads Irish Vets Champion on the fast Irvinestown course.

John Buller backed this up by claiming the first Junior rider prize in the same race.

With Banbridge teenager Curry turning 18 years of age on December 31st, he has now moved up to the under 23 ‘Espoir’ category.

As luck would have it, had he been born 24 hours later and have a birth date of January 1st, he’d have the chance to defend his Irish Junior title on January 10th.

He’s proving more than capable of the move up to the higher grouping however by besting all age categories and taking his first win in only the second race of the Ulster CX Series .

On the day, it was no less than Commonwealth Games competitor Lewis Fergusin of North Down CC who he beat into second place with a six second advantage after 45 minutes of racing.

The pair had been part of a five strong group who had moved clear early in the race to hold an advantage over the remainder of the field for the duration of the event.

Included in that group were Dromara CC’s Barry Kellet, Darnell Moore (Caldwell Cycles), Graham Boyd (XMTB McConvey Cycles). And it was Dromara rider Kellet who completed a fine race to complete the podium.

It was on the final lap that Curry made his move on the most difficult section of the course, showing the form that had led him to the mountain bike World Championships in Andorra only a couple of months ago.

John Buller would come in less than three minutes later as the first Junior. Buller has also stepped up a category.

Representing Banbridge CC in the Women’s race was Ruth Aiken who collected another top 10 placing eighth.

The men’s support race attracted a bumper field with over 60 riders starting. Banbridge were once again well represented with Willie Forsythe, Chris McCann and Ian Cochrane being joined by newcomers Mark Kendall, Allan Black and Peter McBride.

Following an impressive first season on the road, Kendall is showing he can quickly adapt to the mud and grass producing another excellent result in seventh place.

Having introduced his son Ryan to the demands of racing recently by taking out his first racing licence in the under six fun category, Peter McBride decided to leave the offspring at home this time around - perhaps for fear of returning home once again with the second placing in the household.

No doubt McBride Junior will be wanting to return to the racing before too long, however, when he sees how much fun his father has rolling around on the ground.