Mark comes out on top at Skelly time trial

Kevin McAlinden, who finished third in the Skelly Cup
Kevin McAlinden, who finished third in the Skelly Cup

This year’s Skelly cup has been extended to put more of a challenge in for the Banbridge CC riders as it’s been made longer and harder than the 14 mile last year.

Twenty-nine riders signed on for this testing course, three of which where visitors.

With the riders off at 7pm it was going to be a hard one to time as the course had never been done before.

With the inclusion of the climbs and the distance it was going to be hard for each cyclist to judge how hard to go at the start and with a tail wind out even worse as it will be so easy to go to hard too quick.

With Paul Anderson off first then Stevie one minute off behind him.

Stevie was panicking to get back early to see Liverpool get beat in the Europa Cup Final, and was first rider home just missing out on beating the 50 minute mark by 17 seconds.

Sara Glover, a class act as normal, has been trying her best every week and getting her times tumbling down did a solid 56:10 on a very hard course.

It was great to see Brian Curran getting back at it again also just missing out on beating the 50 minute mark by 19 seconds.

The running man, Don Travers, is always training hard and was rewarded by getting a great 48:20.

Jon Shepherd, who has really worked so hard this season to improve his cycling ability, has come a long way in a couple of years from turning and heading home half way up the Yellow Road climb outside Hilltown saying “more training required” on his first Banbridge CC Club Sunday run.

Jon came home with a really strong 47:27, hitting all PB’S round the course.

Marty Fitzpatrick was out to shine this week after being upgraded to A3 status last Saturday and did a great 46:33. Again Marty and Wayne Graham were fighting it out to see who would be quickest this week.

Not only did Wayne beat Marty but also got another notch on his belt by besting Peter McBride by two seconds with a brilliant 46 minutes dead.

Phil Beattie was the first man home to beat the 46 minute mark with a 45:58 - that man can ride a bike!

It wasn’t clear what difference there would be between the TT bikes and road bikes on the hilly course but once Phil started catching and passing on the flat, the difference was clear.

Top four shot out, Mark Kendall is really getting the hang of this TT bike but just missed out on a sub 45 minute getting a 45:14.

Next up was Kevin McAlinden, making his Giant bike sing and getting the better of Mark with a brilliant 45 minutes dead. Two riders left Dan Purdy and Mark Stewart to fight out for the fastest rider on the night. Dan was going to be a hard man to beat and came in with a mind blowing 44:32 but Mark was on a mission and came in with the fastest time of the night at 44:11.