NPS Round 4 (2022) Report
Round 4 of the Cross-country Mountain Bike National Point Series (NPS) took place on Sunday 19 June 2022 at Bree Hill, County Wexford. Host club Bree MTB are better known for their enduro and downhill events but were delighted to put on a cross-country race for the first time. And what a great set-up they had. Super trails for all age categories, well signposted, great event village and parking field with camping allowed. The weather was even good to us with dry conditions all day and the sun making an appearance towards the end of the day.
The Under 6s kicked off the racing on a short track area near the event village. Well done to the 3 young riders who zipped around this track. Next up were the Under 8s who started at the bottom of the fire road. They had a short climb before dropping into an established trail on the left hand side. This brought the riders to the edge of the event village. The riders then went through the village and back up the fire road climb. As expected it was Benjamin Cunningham (Orwell Wheelers Cycling Club) who completed 5 laps of this circuit to take the win for the boys. Logan McAreavey (Cuchulainn CC), the current series leader, was second with Nicholas McCarthy (MBCC) taking third. Among the girls it was newcomer to the series, Emilia Tyszecka (MBCC), who took the win. Fiadh Craig (VC Glendale) finished second with series leader Ríonach Campbell (Square Wheels) not far behind her.
The Under 10s started from the same location as the Under 8s but their drop into the left was further up the fire road. The riders had 9 laps to complete. Despite the girls starting around 10 seconds behind the boys it was Aoife Campbell (Square Wheels) who crossed the line first overall, her 4th win of the series. The first boy, Rían Watkins (Un-Attached Munster), was just behind Aoife at the finish. Mia Egan (Un-Attached Leinster) was second girl. The boys’ podium was completed by Jacob Robinson (Bray Wheelers) and Jake McKee (VC Glendale) who finished second and third respectively.
The Under 12s started from the same place as the Under 10s but their turn off was much further up the trail with the riders needing to take a sharp left turn to line up for the descent. Their race was held over 7 laps. Putting on a fine show of racing were Darragh Murphy (Rostrevor Mountain Bike Club), Eunan Campbell (Square Wheels) and James Cunningham (Orwell Wheelers Cycling Club) who kept wheel-to-wheel for most of the race. Darragh managed to hold off the last minute attack from series leader Eunan with James taking third spot on the podium. Aoife Craig (VC Glendale) took the win in the girls’ race, her 4th win from 4, with Kate Macnamara (Un-Attached Leinster) taking second.
After the usual break for podium presentations and course practice, the 12 noon races got underway with the Under 14s, Under 16s, Senior 2 women, Senior 3 women and Senior 4 men. The start line was moved further up the fire road. The Under 14s and Senior 3 women used a reduced section of the main course with all other categories using the full course. For the Under 14 boys it was Curtis McKee (Scott Bright Motor Group) who took his 4th win from 4 rounds. Ryan Daly (Scott Bright Motor Group) finished second with Oliver Hylén O’Shaughnessy (Cuchulainn CC) finishing third. For the Under 14 girls it was Cara Suckling (VC Glendale) who took her 4th win from 4, with Mia Geary (Un-Attached Munster) second and Lacey Aicken-Johnson (North Down CC) third.
For the Under 16 boys’ race, Ryan McCarthy (Verge Sport PI Cycles) took his first win of the series with Ben O’Keeffe (Killarney Cycling Club) taking second and Cillian Cloney (Comeragh CC) third. Greta Lawless (Team WORC) missed Round 3 but was back to her winning ways in the Under 16 girls’ race with Faith Robinson (Bray Wheelers) second having picked up a puncture. For the Senior 3 women it was newcomer to the series, Claire McGeever, who took the win ahead of series leader Kelly Robinson with Aoife Carry taking third. For the Senior 4 men’s race Jason Travers (Dungarvan CC) got his first win. Anthony Watkins (Un-Attached Munster) was second with Kevin Cronin (Bree Mountain Biking) third and series leader Paul Beattie taking fourth. Caroline Martinez (Chain Reaction Cycles) took the win for the Senior 2 women’s race helped by the fact that Tara Brennan (Un-Attached Munster) picked up a puncture before the end of her first lap and ran an entire lap to ensure her second place.
After another break for podium presentations and course practice it was the turn of the Senior 1 men, Senior 2 men, Senior 3 men, Senior 1 women and Junior men.
For the Senior 3 men’s race it was local legend Max Schone (Bree Mountain Biking) who took the win. You knew he was approaching the finish when you could hear the local supporters cheer loudly from the forest. Jason Malone (Cuchulainn CC) finished second over the 4 lap race with David McKee (VC Glendale) taking third, Stephen Doherty (Killarney Cycling Club) fourth and Des Ryan (MBCC) fifth. The Senior 2 men had 5 laps to complete. Mark McGlynn (Killarney Cycling Club) took the win to put him top of the series in this race category. Colm McGarvey (EPIC MTB/Expert Cycles) took second with Eric Downey (Orwell Wheelers Cycling Club) third, John Doris (EPIC MTB/Expert Cycles) fourth and Sean McIntyre (Team Caldwell Cycles) fifth.
The Junior men’s race was held over 4 laps and was won by Jake White (IMBRC) with Scott Gallagher (Northwest MTB) picking up a puncture on his last lap to end his chance of getting onto the podium. Niamh McKiverigan (Scott Bright Motor Group) won the Senior 1 women’s race when she finished ahead of Joanna Bula (Un-Attached Leinster). The Senior 1 men’s race saw the return of the living legend Robin Seymour (Team WORC). Robin had to work hard against the series leader Gareth McKee (Cycleology Racing Team) with the lead changing hands throughout the race. Robin took the chequered flag with Gareth having to settle for second place. Paul McCarter (Spellman-Dublin Port) took third with Lee Clarke (Shelbourne/Orchard CC) fourth and David Conroy (Scott Bright Motor Group) taking fifth, finally breaking his run of bad luck in the series.
Well done to all the competitors. It was a great day of racing with lots of positive comments about the course. A huge thanks to all at Bree MTB for putting on a super event. All eyes are now on the 5th and final round which takes place on Sunday 3 July 2022 at Mullaghmeen, Co. Westmeath hosted by Mullaghmeen Mountain Bike Club. See details on www.irishxcnps.ie
Commissaire: Martin Grimley
Race results: here
Overall league table after 4 rounds: here
Race report by Martin Grimley