THE old adage that, whilst form is temporary, class is permanent, comes to mind as Nigel Quigley of Bann Wheelers claimed his first win of the season.
The cumulative effect of old football injuries from his days as a teak tough defender in the Irish League had curtailed Nigel’s form over the last two years. But he showed his undoubted class in the A4 category at the Noel Taggart Memorial Race at Banbridge on Sunday, as he soloed to victory.
He lined up with fellow Bann Wheelers Chris McIntyre, Andrew Torrens, Ronnie Kidd and Michael Thompson. Nigel tends to dictate from the front and did test the mettle of the peleton with a couple of attempts to get away in the early part of the race; these were covered.
Then at the start of the third of four ten mile laps he got across to join two riders who had broken away and the three worked together around the third lap. However, the other two failed to maintain Nigel’s pace up the four mile drag at the end of the lap and the gap opened
“At that stage I wasn’t sure whether or not to keep the two boys on so that we could work together on the final lap but the legs felt good so I just went for it from there and thankfully it worked out for me,” said a delighted Nigel after the race.
In fact he blew the field away, finishing 49 seconds ahead of his nearest challenger, and moving up to A3 status as a result.
Nigel was grateful for the effort of his team mates in the race, but was particularly thankful for all the support and understanding he has received over the years from wife Stephanie and his five children.
His team mate Chris McIntyre made a sensational debut in open racing finishing in fifth and showing that he too won’t remain long in the A4 category. Andrew, Ronnie and Michael also finished well in the bunch, and no doubt will claim A4 points as the season goes on.