Photo’s courtesy of Gareth Gibbons and John Hammer as indicated, report Martin Grimley with thanks.
Round 3 of the Irish Cross-country mountain bike National Point Series (NPS) was held on Sunday 2 June 2019 and it was a welcome return to Ticknock Forest, last used in 2017. The host club, Mountainbike Association of Dublin (MAD), is very familiar with this venue and had designed a challenging course for both youth and adult riders. The weather over the weekend was dry with sunshine on race day. The only issue was the gusting wind coming across the valley which was whipping dust into the eyes of riders and spectators and causing havoc to gazebos and podium backdrops. The race village was the hub of activity all day looking after the needs of those attending which included 200 riders. The youth courses (Under 6s to Under 12s) were located in their own section of the forest. The first race of the day was for the Under 6s which had attracted 12 young riders to the start line for their 1 lap race. Well done to the riders and the accompanying adults for completing the tricky course. The Under 8s used the same course as the Under 6s but had 3 laps to complete. Taking the win in the boys’ race was Cian Walsh (IMBRC) with Darragh O’Shea (IMBRC) second and Rory McCool (Square Wheels) third. Sean Heverin (Kinning Cycles) just missing out on a podium place. In the girls’ race Laoise Crinion (IMBRC) took the flag as she finished ahead of Hanna Ryan (Biking Dirty) with Cassie Rocks (Island Wheelers) completing the podium. The Under 10s course was longer and trickier than the Under 8s one. Kevin Randall (Scott Orwell Wheelers Cycling Club) crossed the line first in this 3 lap race. He was followed by Fionn Crinion (IMBRC) with Adam Leczycki (Scott Eurocycles.com) third. Emer Heverin (Kinning Cycles) had a crash during practice but managed to compose herself to take the win in the U10 girls’ race. Sarah Jane Rocks (Island Wheelers) finished second with Maeve McCool (Square Wheels) third. The course designers had also created an extended version of the Under 10s course for the Under 12s. The course was described as tough, very different to trail centre design, more roots and natural forest. Oisin May (Scott Orwell Wheelers Cycling Club) was leading the race from the start with no-one near him. He was all set to take the win but a mechanical on the final lap allowed Curtis McKee (Maryland Wheelers) to pass him. Oisin bravely ran to the finish line carrying his bike to retain second place. Ben Fitzsimon (Team WORC) completed the podium for the U12 boys’. In the girls’ race, Faith Robinson (Bray Wheelers) made it 3 wins out of 3 rounds. Maria O’Shea (IMBRC) was lying in second place until the final lap when Greta Lawless (Team WORC) slipped past to leave Maria third.After the podium presentations, the racing then moved to the main course. Lined up were the Under 14s, Under 16s, Senior 2 women and Senior 4 men. Under 14s had a reduced course to complete. Shane Scullion (Island Wheelers) took the win in the 2 lap U14 boys’ race with Travis Harkness (Carn Wheelers) second and Oscar McCarthy (Killarney Cycling Club) third. The Under 14 girls’ started 5 minutes behind the boys but Aine Doherty (VC Glendale) managed to catch up with the boys to take an impressive win in the girls’ race. Katie Reilly (Scott Orwell Wheelers Cycling Club) finished second
Dean Harvey (VC Glendale) was expected to do well in the 3 laps Under 16 boys’ race and didn’t disappoint as he got his third win out of three races. Ruairi Coghlan (Killarney Cycling Club) was second with Aaron Finnerty (Ballina Cycling Club) third. Caoimhe May (Scott Orwell Wheelers Cycling Club) was also expected to do well in the U16 girls’ race and did just that, taking the win well ahead of Erin Creighton (McConvey Cycles) with current series leader Annie Roche (Scott Orwell Wheelers Cycling Club) finishing third.
The Senior 4 men took on 2 laps of the full course. Piotr Rutecki had finished second at Round 2 in Killarney but improved on that result to take first place at this Round. Kevin Cartledge (MAD Mtb) finished second with Liam Hutchinson (Newry Wheelers CC) third. In the Senior 2 women’s race Junior rider, Stephanie Roche (Scott Orwell Wheelers Cycling Club) made it 3 wins out of 3 with another Junior rider, Miriam Draper (MBCC), taking a second. Third place went to Caroline Martinez (Inspired Cycling) with Sinead Ryan (ML Syndicate) fourth. Andra Hamilton (Dromara Cycling Club) had been lying third until a mechanical on the final lap dropped her down to 5th place. After another round of podium presentations and course practice the final races lined up at the start line, which was towards the end of the fire road. At the front were the Senior 1 men, followed by the Junior men, Senior 2 men, Senior 1 women and then the Senior 3 men – almost 100 riders out on course at the same time. The Senior 3 men’s race was held over 3 laps. David McKee (Maryland Wheelers) had been leading the first two laps but it was another David, David Carroll (South Dublin CC) who took the win leaving McKee with second place. Ronan Balfe (MAD MTB) had finished first at Killarney but had to settle for third. Ciaran Cassidy (South Dublin CC) was fourth with Dromara Cycling Club riders Paul Hamilton and Graham Smyth taking 5th and 6th respectively. Sean Daly (Cuchulainn CC) took a nasty tumble and had to receive medical attention. Many thanks to all the spectators, marshals, riders and medical staff for looking after Sean. In the Senior 2 men’s race Paul McCarter (Donegal Bay Cycling Club) took his second win of the series as he leads the 4 lap race from start to finish. Series leader Geoffrey Robinson (Bray Wheelers) finished second with Peter Davison (Dromara Cycling Club) finishing third. Scott Maitland (Killinchy Cycling Club) was fourth with Rob Henry (MAD MTB) fifth and David O’Neill (Inspired Cycling) sixth.
There were only two entries in the Junior men’s race with Lee Harvey (VC Glendale) and Adam McGarr (Biking.ie) neck and neck for most of the 4 lap race. Lee managed to get a gap at the end to take the win.
In the 3 laps Senior 1 women’s race Klaudia Bajolek (Scott Eurocycles.com) took the win with series leader Niamh McKiverigan (Powerhouse Sport) finishing second. Leah McCarthy (Team Giant Dublin) had been third for the first two laps but Joanna Bula (Scott Eurocycles.com) took the eventual third-place slot on the podium leaving Leah with fourth.
The Senior 1 men’s race was a fast-paced battle between Richard Felle (Team WORC), David Montgomery (Unattached), Graham Boyd (McConvey Cycles), Robin Seymour (Team WORC) and Brian Melia (Team WORC). As the racing moved on it became a race between Montgomery and current World Master Seymour. In the end, it was the younger man, Montgomery, who had the legs to take the chequered flag with the Master just 5 seconds behind him. Richard Felle had a superb 3rd place with Graham Boyd suffering a mechanical and having to run back to the pits to leave him in 12th position. Fourth place went to Brian Melia with Chris Mollaghan (Team WORC) getting fifth and veteran of the sport, John Doris (EPIC MTB / Expert Cycles) finishing 6th.
When all the racing was over the riders were able to get a bite to eat from the mobile caterers on site. Many thanks to all the team at MAD Mtb for hosting the event. An army of volunteers on site. Top job. Round 4 of the 2019 NPS will take place on Sunday 23 June 2019 hosted by Banbridge Cycling Club. The event organisers are in final discussions about the location of the event with details coming soon on www.irishxcnps.ie. Report by: Martin Grimley Results here
Series results after 3 rounds here