NPS Round 2 (2018) Report
On Sunday 3 June the second round of the 2018 Irish National Cross-country Mountain Bike Series took place at Slade Valley in County Dublin. Host club IMBRC use this venue regularly for their club league events as well as hosting similar size events in the past. The venue, like many across Ireland, had benefitted from the last few weeks of dry weather however it was raining on site on Saturday, the day before the race. Race day, however, was dry and warm with outbreaks of strong sunshine. The main race village was located on a fire road junction which had a wide vista of the flat Dublin countryside below. A super location.
First race of the day was for the Under 6s who had a short circuit down near the road side. The young riders, many on stroller bikes, enjoyed their two laps before crossing the line and getting a medal for their effort.
Starting half way up the fire road climb, the Under 8s lined up for their 3 lap race. Leading from the whistle Darragh Murphy (Rostrevor Mountain Bike Club) went on to take the win. Second was John McCann Jnr (Unattached) with Adam Daly (Scott Eurocycles.com) third. Aoife Craig (VC Glendale) won the girls’ race and managed to finish 5th overall. Second girl was Emily O’Brien.
The Under 10s started further down the fire road giving them a longer climb before the single track sections. Curtis McKee (Maryland Wheelers) continued his great form this season to take the flag after 4 laps with Elliot Maitland (Killinchy Cycling Club) a strong second and Ryan Daly (Scott Eurocycles.com) third. Cara Suckling (Maryland Wheelers) repeated his first round success with another win in the girls’ U10 race. From the host club Maria O’Shea and Anna Cobbe finished second and third respectively.
The Under 12s started from the same location as the Under 10s but had a longer course with more climbing to do and 6 laps to complete. Reuben Maitland (Killinchy Cycling Club) crossed the line first after lap 1 but it was the ever impressive Aine Doherty (VC Glendale) who took over the head of the race for the remaining 5 laps. Reuben finished as first boy with Oisin May (Orwell) second and Conor Murphy (Rostrevor Mountain Bike Club) third. Faith Robinson (Bray Wheelers) was second girl with Aine Reilly (Orwell) third.
After a break for podiums, coffee and practice time the next races started at noon from the bottom of the other long fireroad climb. First away were the Under 16 boys, then the Under 14 boys, Senior 4 men, Under 16 girls and Under 14 girls. All had 2 laps to complete but the Under 14s and Senior 3 women both used the shorter course.
The Under 14 boys were the first to pass the timing tent with Luke Murphy (Killarney Cycling Club) showing some serious pace. Luke went on to take the win with Travis Harkness (Carn Wheelers) second and Oisin Ferrity (Island Wheelers) third. There was only one entry in the Under 14 girls’ race with Katie Reilly (Orwell Wheelers) getting faster on her second lap.
In the Under 16 boys’ race Dean Harvey (Kinning Cycles) pulled away on the second lap to finish comfortably ahead of Ruairi Coghlan (Killarney Cycling Club) with Ben Wilson (Dromara Cycling Club) third. In the Under 16 girls’ race Caoimhe May (Scott Orwell Wheelers Cycling Club) put on another excellent performance to take the win ahead of Darcey Harkness (Carn Wheelers), nursing some injuries from her practice laps, with Stephanie Roche (Scott Orwell Wheelers Cycling Club) third.
Among the Senior 3 women it was Michelle Dunne who was the strongest with Caroline Martinez (Velo Club Balrothery) second and Ciara Nolan (Team Giant Dublin) third. Robert Magee (Bray Wheelers) took the win in the Senior 4 mens’ race with Philip Hayden (Bray Wheelers) second and Jason Griffin from the host club finishing third.
After another break for podiums, more coffee and practice time the final races of the day took place at 2 pm. Starting from the same location were the Senior 1 men who had 5 laps to do, Junior men and Senior 2 men who both had 4 laps to complete, Senior 1 women and Senior 3 men who had 3 laps to complete and finally the Senior 2 women who had 2 laps.
Leah McCarthy (Team Giant Dublin) had her second win of the series in the Senior 2 women’s race with Wannita Broome (Dromara Cycling Club) second and junior rider Amanda Draper (MBCC) third.
In the Senior 3 men’s race Tomas Novak lead from the start to take the win. Alan Cullen (Park Wheelers) made his way up to second place with Paddy Daly (Scott Eurocycles.com) finishing third just like both his sons in earlier races. Michael Jordan (Team Cycle SuperStore) was the popular winner in the Senior 2 men’s race with Johnny McRoberts (Banbridge CC) finishing a strong second. Ronan O’Sullivan (Team Giant Dublin) had been in third place until a mechanical forced him to miss the last lap leaving David O’Neill (Velo Club Balrothery) to take third. The Junior men put on an impressive show of strength with Lee Harvey (Kinning Cycles) taking first, Harry Byrne (EPIC MTB / Expert Cycles) second and Nathan Kurensky (Cunga CC) third. Klaudia Bajolek (Scott Eurocycles.com) lead the Senior 1 women’s race from the start, her second win of the series. Tarja Owens (Biking.ie) was second with junior rider Niamh McKiverigan (Powerhouse Sport) third. The Senior 1 men’s race always lives up to expectation with some exciting and fast paced racing. Gareth McKee (Banbridge CC) had to keep pushing to keep off veteran rider and World Master Champion Robin Seymour (Team WORC). Newcomer to the series David Duggan (DEVINCI / Freeborn) put in a fine performance to take third ahead of Niall Davis (Biking.ie) with Graham Boyd (McConvey Cycles) fifth and Tomasz Michalski (McConvey Cycles) sixth.
Many thanks to all the volunteers from IMBRC who pulled together to put on a great event in a great location. The next round of the National Point Series (NPS) takes place on Sunday 17 June at Lady Dixon Park in Belfast hosted by Xmtb.
Commissaire: Martin Grimley
Report by: Martin Grimley