Road Racing News

That Was The 10s: Race Of The Decade – 2018 Tandragee 100 Grand Final

I could have selected 100’s of races for the Road Racing News race of the decade accolade, the 2018 Senior TT, 2017 North West 200 feature Superbike race, 2016 Senior Manx Grand Prix, 2017 Southern 100 Solo Championship, 2010 Ulster Grand Prix Superbike Race 2, the list is endless.

In my opinion though the race that showcased pure road racing in it’s most authentic, pure light during the present decade was the enthralling Grand Final race of the 2018 Around A Pound Tandragee 100.

Back in 2018 I wrote an article detailing why this race won by the late but great Dan Kneen gripped, captivated so many.

The article reads as follows:

Arguably the greatest race to ever grace the hugely popular Tandragee course, last May’s Grand Final encounter providing a truly gripping, pulsating battle for feature race honours.

A race long duel between Tyco BMW’s Dan Kneen, Cookstown BE Racing’s Derek Sheils, Derek McGee and Michael Sweeney, saw the leading trio provide spectators with nothing short of world class 1000cc competition.

Photo by Rod Neill

Ultimately, it was Manx star Kneen who made the decisive move on lap six, moving in front of Supersport and Super Twins race winner McGee, to secure a third Tandragee Grand Final title.

Race runner up McGee, only 0.483 behind, was in turn just 0.053 clear of Cookstown BE Racing’s Derek Sheils, who concluded the podium finishers.

Post race the top three finishers had nothing but positive things to say about a race which is regarded by many, as one of the all time great national roads Superbike races.

It’s also a poignant race, cause it showcased and some the undoubted raw talent of the late but great Dan Kneen.

Established amongst the Isle of Man’s greatest ever closed roads exponents, his performance at Tandragee in May will be as with all his previous tumultuous performances, remembered forever.

Words by Stevie Rial

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