Banbridge Cycling Club’s Roger Aiken pedalled his way to an impressive 35th placed finish in the An Post Rás.
Also taking to the gruelling trek was former Banbridge Academy pupil Dave Montgomery, who finished a very credible 68th and 21st in the Under 23 category.
Riding for Team3M, Montgomery had got off to a very bright start, even finishing 17th overall in Stage Two from Carlow to Tipperary.
However, disappointing finishes in stage three (127th) and stage five (117th) dragged the promising young rider down the classifications.
Aiken, donning the colours of Louth Team Asea, had to recover from a disappointing 112th placed finish in Stage One from Dunboyne to Carlow to climb his way up the leaderboard.
Despite a highest placed stage finish of 40th in Stage Five from Newport to Ballina, Roger’s overall time of 28h05’16” came in just 27 minutes behind winner Lukas Postlberger and in 35th spot.
Young rider David Montgomery came in with an overall time of 28h30’16” to mark his name as one to keep an eye on.
Having taken up cycling just five years ago, he is already the reigning Irish Elite Men’s CX, U23 XC and British Universities Road Race Champion.
With around 80 days of racing on the UCI Continental Circuit in the season and all of the associated travelling, Dave was glad to return to the emerald isle for his debut at the eight-day Ras.
“The longer races are more suited to me as I recover well day to day,” he said.
“I’m used to training quite hard for a long time.”
Despite being more of an endurance specialist, this was the longest stage race that Dave has completed in his career.
For that, he prepared with some warm weather training. He was out in Spain at a training camp for the Ireland Under 23 team.
Having joined Team3M this year Dave is enjoying the opportunities available to him.
“Team3M has a lot of experienced guys in the team and I have learnt a lot from racing with them,” he said. “The circuit is a great learning curve and I’ve had the opportunity to take part in races that are a step up from ones that I’ve done previously.”