After trying and testing many different routes for the VC Iveagh Aussie Pursuit it was decided upon a course that was testing yet fast. The club had been scouting local roads since last year, looking for a course that would best suit the timed gaps between the novices and scratch riders and what better option than to use part of our Iveagh 50 Sportive route that we all know so well. The race would start from the Wall Road in Gilford taking in Scarva, Loughbrickland and swinging left on the outskirts of Rathfriland before powering home to a finish on the A1 flyover at the Creamery in Banbridge.
I really don’t know what it is but this year the VC Iveagh races have been blessed with good weather and this was the case once more for the 6th event in our VC Iveagh Race League. On a sunny Thursday evening we had a total of 43 riders enter our Aussie Pursuit from 6 different clubs. With the numbers involved we divided the riders into 5 groups and set each group off at handicapped intervals with ‘scratch’ being last off and this year containing some very fast riders indeed.
Group 2: 4mins
Group 3: 4mins
Group 4: 2mins
Scratch: 2.5mins (12min 30secs total handicap)
The individual groups held place and were still separated after several miles at Loughbrickland but it was evident the times between each were closing. When the first riders came into view at the Lissize Road with 49 minutes on the clock and 14 miles into the race the riders had split into two large groups, the damage had been done on the Grovehill Road heading for Rathfriland. With the final blast along the Rathfriland Road into Banbridge, the scratch riders came to the fore for a final sprint to the line in what proved to be an exciting finish, with Lindsay Watson taking the win from Luke Hylands in second and our very own Dan Gordon taking an amazing third. The race finished at 1:05:58 with the winning time on the night 53:28.
A massive thank you to all the riders and marshals involved on the night, feedback was amazing and I think this is most certainly a course for the future. Results can be found below:
VC Iveagh Aussie Pursuit Results: (all scratch group placings)
Lindsay Watson: Plush MTB
Luke Hylands: Keevan CC
Dan Gordon: VCI
Gary Crory: VC Glendale
Roger Aiken: ASEA Wheelworx
Davy McKnight: TVR
John Heverin: Clann Eireann
Rodney Stewart: U/A