‘Three leaders sprinted for a checkered flag in transit from the car to the line,’ – 1994 club stage race
August 3, 2014 – Stakes were high, back in 1994. The Club Hill Climb TT winner Andre Engemann, the Rockbrook Climb champ Dylan Rafter and the Sandyford Criterium star Stefan Engemann were to clash with Club Road Race champion Gareth Carlin in a two-day stage race.
It was the sixth annual club stage race and 15 riders were signed on to tackle the likes of the Pine Forest hill, Calary and the infamous Sandyford Industrial Estate course in the race for the jerseys.
Let’s look back at what went down. See below for the original yearbook report.
STAGE ONE: Rockbrook Climb
FOR the first time the race was run as a handicap event with the first group getting a three and a half minute lead over the scratch group.
This group started to break up when Dylan Rafter sprinted for the first King of the Hulls prime and pulled Rick Hogan, Shane Stokes and Andre Engemann away from the others.
Rafter attacked again at Pine Forest and Hogan was dropped. By the time the three riders got to Killakee they had caught all those that ware given a head start. From then on it was start-stop racing all the way to the line where Rafter won a three-up sprint. Ger Miley took fourth, 1’02” behind the leaders.
Race organiser Vincent Supple with video camera operator Keith Bannan in the boot of his car was not punctual in arriving at the end and the three leaders sprinted for a checkered flag that was in transit from the car to the finish line.
STAGE TWO: Calary Hill TT
THE second stage comp rider of a hill climb time trial from the base of the Calary climb to Glendarregh Golf Course.
Only five riders turned up due to the bad weather and Andre won by 21 seconds from Stokes, with Bannan in third place at 2’06”. Stefan Engemann retained his lead in the King of the Hills competition by finishing fourth.
Alan Lane finished last for the second stage in a row and Rafter, the general classification leader, was unable to ride because he had a hangover from the night before. Andre took over the yellow jersey with Stokes in second and Stefan in third.
STAGE THREE: Sandyford Criterium
ANOTHER handicap with the younger/weaker riders getting a three-lap lead on the main field. Bannan attacked from the line and quickly built up a 30-second gap on the chasing field.
Nobody wanted to chase Bannan; He was 16 minutes down on GC and Andre and Stokes were watching each other with just 21 seconds between them in general classification. So Bannan’s lead continued to grow and Andre continued to chase down Stoke’s repeated attacks.
Lane was finding his shoddy rear tyre was not giving him much grip on the corners and decided to take a lap out to ditch his inferior wheel for a glistening spare. Upon rejoining the race and angry growl came from the pack. “Oi! That’s my wheel,” shouted Andre.
Bannan drew away for a 55-second win over Andre, who out-sprinted Stokes and Eamon Peregrine, Lane last for the third time.
In the same stage last year, Stefan threw away his water bottle in the closing stages. However, the bottle hit a bus stop and bounced back at him. This year Vincent Supple got skulled by Stefan’s flying bottle.
ANDRE maintained his early lead on Stokes to win by 21 seconds with his brother Stefan nine minutes behind in third. The Engemann shared the other jerseys too, Stefan taking the mountains and sprints by thee points from Stokes and Gareth Enright and Andre landing the points jersey by three points from Stokes (again).