Round 2 of the Ulster Cyclo-Cross League 2019

The Far West was calling us yesterday and an early start to make sure we get there before the course opens. We have been invited to do the Master of Ceremonies job from the promoting club Lakeland CC and was gratefully excepted. We have been there before at earlier editions and knew this event is a challenging one…Open grass finish area, dips and climbs in the woods, sandpit and a long drag up at the back of the course..very technical and when mud takes part the pit a very busy place, unfortunately not all riders have a spare bike or a pit crew and a serious handicap in sticky muddy conditions as such. That doesn’t take away the efforts, skills and talent of the podium contenders, and sportive battles to the others.

Sign on and prize ceremonies team of the promoting club Lakeland CC
Thank you for the donation towards the project …keeps us going

A misty morning greeted the Underage races, and the Fun race (Under 6) started off proceedings. Always have been my favourite race, just seeing the smiles on their faces, their screaming mums encouraging, while the dads running along their waines…it a sight you don’t want to miss at any CX!

Come on Daddy….

Next, we had the combined U14-U16 race (M-F) and the Women’s Elite & Junior Race and with the reappearance of Tracey Harkness and Niamh Mc Keverigan at the Ulster scene, we knew this gonna be a cracker..and so it was, in form and leader of the Ulster CU league Rachel Irvine had her work cut out, and had to let go this 2 youngsters in the final laps…Rachel is focusing this season on the CX in Ulster, a 3rd place yesterday strengthened her position, and with Niamh and Darcey also racing International, they will sometimes have to forfeit some races locally…so every point scored is an important one. A great team performance for Niamh and her teammates Stephanie & Annie Roche of the team from Dublin. But one of the performances who caught my eyes was from a slighter older girl…Judith Russell …she could be a mum of any of the 3 girls in front of her..she definitely makes her club Phoenix CC proud with such results

Judith Russell
The Under 14 Girls Podium
All podium photo’s on
Under 16 boy’s battle…
What a show of skills and talent on show yesterday…First-year junior Darren Rafferty (Island Wheelers) made sure the Mc Convey lads had to work for their win

The Men’s A-race was dominated by the strong Mc Convey lads, Thomas away very early, and young Darren Rafferty (Island Wheelers) making sure he was close enough to at least take second, Thomas teammate Graham Boyd kept an eye so to speak as a buffer for any other challenges from the back and a respectable 3rd, as Sean Nolan (Navan RC) was getting closer and soon will be in the mix-up for a win!

One of Mayo’s finest cyclists back in the saddle…Paddy Clark (Ballina CC) beaten by the mud and his effects..his bike refused to go any further…great to meet up again Paddy
The B-race again got the biggest field of the day (approx 80+)

To finish the day we had the B-Race and some of the earlier racer’s of the A-race returned the favour to help out in the pits…great teamwork that portrait the world of our off-road is a big family that spend winters together on a Sunday and encourage and help each other. Here the full results of the day courtesy of Lisa and Martin (timekeepers and commissaires)

Lakeland CC told social media this morning
I would say ‘now that the dust has settled’ but there was no dust juts mud, lots of mud.
On behalf of all at Lakeland CC massive thanks to all of those contributed to Round 2 of the Ulster Cyclocross League in Necarne, Irvinestown, from the competitors to all those who helped set up and organise, helped with sign-on, CAFRE for the permission to use the grounds, the Bawnacre providing some hot food after the prize-givings and to martin and his team for all their hard work keeping track of everything. (And anyone else who helped in any way, apologies if I have forgotten)
It went off a very successful day with some absolutely fantastic racing from the young to the slightly older. The course included some very difficult sections with all sorts of terrain providing a challenge even for the best of the riders, especially when a few showers made it a bit slippery.
We hope to see you all again next year for an even bigger and better event!

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Entries now open for next week Rd 3 of the Ulster league