22 April 2008

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Another Podium Place for Laverty

‘I’m attacking on the first hill,’ was the confident remark of Alan Laverty before the Seamus McGreevy race in Dromore, on Saturday last. True to his word, on one of the most difficult circuits in the country, the strong Helen’s Bay rider did just as he had predicted, and in the company of training partner, Liam Curran, he established what turned out to be the winning move in this prestigious event.

By the end of lap one of the five lap race, the break had established a gap of almost a minute on a chasing group, which was marshaled by two other North Down riders, Sam Craig and Stuart Henry. As the race progressed this lead gradually opened and going into the last lap young Sean Downey, from the promoting Banbridge club, made his move.

Downey is a rider who has a fine pedigree, spending most of this year racing in Switzerland, France and Italy, where he has had a number of notable successes. It is a measure of the progress that Laverty has made that in the closing miles he was the only real threat to Downey’s win. In the end, however, Alan had to settle for second this time, but next time…who knows?

It’s great to see young Sam Craig in such great form. As the break entered the final miles, and he knew that Alan’s position wasn’t in jeopardy, he launched several audacious attacks, eventually coming home on his own in ninth position.

Seamus McGreevy Cup

1.Sean Downey Banbridge CC
2.Alan Lavery North Down CC
3.Tommy Wilson Ballymena/Scotts
4.Seamus Kelly Usher IRC
5.Dave Malone Usher IRC
6.Phillip Bremner Ballymena/Scotts

In the under-16 event North Down’s Nathan McLeer had his best performance of the year coming home in a fine 6th position.

Bann Valley Classic

The following day Stuart Henry traveled to Portglenone to take part in the BannValley Classic. With a view to preparing for up-coming stage races, Henry opted to ride the A event and, as with Laverty the previous day, the pink and black was to the fore right from the start with Henry in virtually every move. By the half-way mark he was in what turned out to be the winning break of ten and he was pleased to come home a very creditable 6th.

Emmerdale Extravaganza

Club members, and their friends who intend taking part in the Emmerdale Extravaganza on the 7th June are now asked to register their entry. It is envisaged that on that morning, many of our regular Saturday morning cyclists might want to cycle to the Folk Park instead of down the Peninsula and take part in this prestigious event. This event will certainly be of interest to the recreational cyclists and those who follow the ‘soaps’ and it is an excellent opportunity to raise much needed funds for The Anthony Nolan Trust.

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