Sports

Road racing ‘alive and kicking’ in Tandragee

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Road racing ‘alive and kicking’ in Tandragee thumbnailON STARTER’S ORDERS...Action from the starting grid at last year’s Tandragee 100.

TANDRAGEE 100 Clerk of the Course Anne Forsythe has admitted that the organisers have been overwhelmed by the support of local business and riders from across the world ahead of this weekend's 57th Around-a-Pound Tandragee 100.

“We have had an absolutely fantastic response from riders and sponsors.

“This year we have 43 newcomers to the meeting and we were delighted to attract a number of new sponsors, which helps us to deal with the spiralling insurance costs associated with an event like the Tandragee 100.

“We have a fantastic line-up with some of the top names in the sport coming to Armagh, such as the likes of Guy Martin, William Dunlop, Derek Sheils, Derek McGee and Micko Sweeney.

“We also have some of our stars of tomorrow coming like Paul Jordan and Adam McLean and we have a top class field of entrants."

With more and more races across the island of Ireland struggling to attract entrants, financial support and sponsors, Anne admitted that it was fantastic to see such a strong field assembled ahead of this weekend's meeting.

“We have 350 entries in total and seven competitors from outside Great Britain and Ireland. We have two Czech riders, two from Germany, two from Italy and a Chinese rider coming along this year and especially in the current climate it is further evidence that road racing is alive and kicking in the hills of County Armagh."

With the weather forecast looking favourable for this weekend's event, Anne said she hopes that all the marshals, spectators and riders stay safe and they have an incident free weekend.

“Our priority is to keep everyone safe and all we can ask is that spectators obey the instructions of the marshals and anyone who has children with them, please keep them close and make sure everyone stays safe.

“We are appealing for the local community to come out and support the event, whether that is through purchasing the official club programme or making a donation into one of the buckets.

“The programme is one of our main revenue streams and we are urging people to support us in whatever way they can."

A prize fund of £10,000 is on offer this year and as well as all of the usual races, the parade lap will have a special feature with Talan Skeels-Piggins, the founder of the Bike Experience Charity leading the parade lap.

Talan is paralysed from the chest down and he has had a specially adapted bike built to allow him to ride competitively.

The roads around the circuit close on Friday, April 21 at 3pm to 9pm to allow for practice sessions and to allow the new entrants a chance to acquaint themselves with the circuit.

Race day is Saturday, April 22 and the roads close at 10am sharp and will reopen at 10pm.

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