Thursday evening saw the first of this years club road races held on a five mile loop around Gilford and Scarva using the hilly Scarva drag and Loughbricland Rd to complete the circuit. Weather wise it was ideal for racing; a warm, breezy & moist evening. On a night with several other local race events, 5 local clubs were represented (VCI, TVR, SMCC, BCC, Clann Erann), To even up ability as much as possible 13 riders were split into 3 groups with a total handicap of 4.30minutes separating them.
First away was Davy Cartmill, Brian Halliday & SMCC duo of Colin & Gordan. The group rode well & were coming through to take their turns in the attempt to repeat Ronnie Massey’s great escape last year, however the rolling circuit took its toll and towards the end of the second lap; Junior Burns, Simon Keery, Charley Glover & John Davison had closed the 2minute gap and immediately increased the tempo on the 3rd time up the Scarva drag. Simon, Junior, Charlie & JD were able to open up a gap before the turn onto the Loughbrickland Road & then Simon & Junior rode off the front as the drag continued. By the time Simon & Junior reached Gilford they had significantly increased their lead & were working well together. Onto the final lap & last time up the drag, Junior maintained his tempo & Simon was unable to stay with him.
Junior got in TT mode and powered his way to the finish & marked his first victory of the season; however, the scratch group almost spoiled the party, crossing the line only 15 seconds after him with Scott Daly & Charlie Glover taking the podium places. Thanks to all for their support.