Maryland mountain-bikers turned in some peak performances in competitive action at Sligo recently.
They were no strangers to the podium during Round Four of the southern centre mountain-bike race series.
Lisburn’s Maryland Cycling Club sent a full squad to contend in each of the senior races and found the course competitive, with an 800m climb on each lap, complemented by a technical and testing downhill section.
In the S3 race three laps of the course were covered and initially hopes seemed dashed for local rider David McKee, who collided with another competitor and was lucky not to sustain damage to himself or his bike. However, he recovered well and took charge of the race, only to fall again in the second lap.
David wasn’t so lucky this time, damaging his gear lever, but he showed a steely determination and and went on - stuck in a single gear - to win the race by over two minutes . - a fantastic result. The S4 race started with an intense sprint start, as riders jostled for position going into the technical sections of the circuit.
Stuart Suckling got into second place and teammate Colin McKee settled into ninth position.
As the race continued, Stuart pulled into the lead, going on to win, with Colin also negotiating his way through the field to finish third.
This was a brilliant result for these two riders who are improving week by week.
Meanwhile, the clocks going forward signalled the start of the club road-racing calendar on Tuesday nights.
The first race of the season was over the ever-popular Ballinderry circuit, which finishes on a steep little climb in the village.
Riders such as Colin McElderry, David McKee, Bobby Millar and Campbell Stewart showed great form, but it was comeback man Mark Little who rolled back the years and took the sprint.
The closeness of the riders at the finish of the race highlighted that the prospect of much competition this year for the various club trophies.