CYCLING: Charlie ‘Wright’ up there

Bann Wheelers’ Charlie Wright was pipped at the post in the latest Inter Club Race organised by Carn Wheelers around the Tobermore/Desertmartin Road Circuit.

In an exciting finish Charlie was leading hometown favourite Dean Lockhart but was narrowly beaten as the photo shows.

In his first year of racing Shane McDonald has also come on leaps and bounds. Following a superb Time Trial two days earlier on the Ballybogey Course, Shane came in hot on Charlie’s heels on fifth place with supervet Paul Boyle also claiming a top ten finish in eighth.

On a superb night for racing which was efficiently marshalled by Carn Wheelers the starter lined up approximately seventy riders, twenty five in each of the first two groups and two further groups of ten. Such was the quality in the first group that the first of four seven mile laps was completed in an average 25 mph. The high pace was maintained by a potent mixture of youthful and experienced campaigners, driven on not least by the Bann Wheelers trio. As it became clear by the middle of the last lap that the first group would stay away the pace slackened entering the final roundabout at Tobermore. Shane McDonald went early just into the main street but Dean Lockhart refused to let go of his wheel and a break of five riders which included Charlie Wright got free three hundred yards from the finish. Shane was overtaken towards the top of the hill where Charlie took it up but Carn Wheeler . However, the indefatigable Dean was still in touch and just ousted Charlie on the line. A great finish and a first win for Charlie surely just around the corner.

Other Bann Wheelers Damien Hazlett, Bobbie Kane, Michael Thompson and Carl Russell also featured but were out of the top ten. The final race in this Inter Club Series takes place on Thursday 16 August on a circuit around Kilrea organised by Bann Valley.