NPS Round 3 (2023) Report
The third round of the Irish Cross-country Mountain Bike Series took place in the grounds of Killarney International Youth Hostel in Fossa on Sunday 4 June 2023. Hosted by Killarney Cycling Club it was great to get back to this super venue after the successful race in the same location last May. This year the whole field had been cut down so that there was more parking and a wider start/finish area. The weather in the lead up to the race had been warm and dry and race day was no different with temperatures in the low to mid twenties and cloudless skies all day. It was a day for shorts, suncream, hats, dust in the eyes and finding some shade. The event field was well set up with lots of white pedestrian barriers in place as well as Cycling Ireland and Scott banners and flags. No coffee van for this event, due to restrictions from the landowner, but lots of water provided for the riders. Killarney itself was buzzing with the Ireland Bikefest (motorbikes) event on over the bank holiday weekend.
The first race of the day was for the Under 6s. After a discussion the course for these young riders was changed to include the downhill and uphill sections of the field. There was a big turnout of 18 young riders completing the two laps. All were presented with a goodie bag and a large trophy!
The Under 8s then lined up for their race. They had just one lap of the youth course which went into the trees beside the field. Completing his hat-trick of wins in the boys’ race was Conor McGahan (Square Wheels) with Adam Moynihan (Un-Attached Munster) second and Fionn McCarthy (Killarney Cycling Club) third. Ríonach Campbell (Square Wheels) also completed her hat-trick of wins in the girls’ race. Ciara McCool (Square Wheels) was second with Marian Mulvaney (Sliabh Luachra Cycling Club) third and Thao Kelleher (Sliabh Luachra Cycling Club) fourth.
The Under 10s used the same course but they had 3 laps to complete. After his mishap at Round 2 Benjamin Cunningham (Orwell Wheelers Cycling Club) was back to his winning ways in the boys’ race with Jack McGahan (Square Wheels) second and Fabian Drwal (Un-Attached Connacht) third. Aoife Campbell (Square Wheels) completed her hat-trick of wins in the series as she stormed around the course. Julia Piorek (Limerick Mountain Biking Club) was second with Grace Kennedy (Cork BMX Club) third.
The Under 12s race used the same course but they had 5 laps to complete. James Cunningham (Orwell Wheelers Cycling Club) lead the race from start to finish to complete his hat-trick. Behind him was a great battle for second place in the boys’ race between Eunan Campbell (Square Wheels), Rory McCool (Square Wheels) and Oscar Moran (EPIC MTB/Expert Cycles). Eunan finished second, Rory third and Oscar fourth. In the girls’ race Ciara O’Connor (Drogheda Wheelers) lead the race for the first 4 laps but a surge on the final lap gave Ava Baker (Breffni Wheelers) the win. Ciara had to settle for second with Eire McCrystal (Bellurgan Wheelers) finishing third.
After the usual break for podium presentations and course practice, the Under 14s, Under 16s, Senior 2 women, Senior 3 women and Senior 4 men got lined up for their races. They all used the same course.
In the Under 14 boys’ race Caleb McGreevy (VC Glendale) put on another fine display of racing to complete his hat-trick of wins this season. Rian McCrystal (Bellurgan Wheelers) was second with Fionn Crinion (IMBRC) third. Aoife Craig (VC Glendale) was the only entry for the Under 14 girls. In the Under 16 boys’ race Curtis McKee (Scott Bright Motor Group) finished comfortably ahead of James Armstrong (VC Glendale) with Ben O’Keeffe (Killarney Cycling Club) completing the podium. In the Under 16 girl’s race Mia Geary (Fermoy Cycling Club) crossed the line first with Faith Robinson (Bray Wheelers) and Cara Suckling (VC Glendale) taking second and third in their 3 lap race.
Junior rider Tara Brennan (Team Giant Dublin) has been having a great season in the Senior 2 women’s race taking her third win after 4 laps. Niamh Denny (EPIC MTB/Expert Cycles) finished second with Catherine Kiely (Killarney Cycling Club) third. Despite 3 entries for the Senior 3 women’s race only one, Fiona Lally (Un-Attached Leinster), turned up at the start line. The Senior 4 men’s race was held over 3 laps. Shane Spellman (Killarney Cycling Club) and winner from Round 2, Ciaran Campbell (Square Wheels), were leading after lap 1 but both dropped out. Brian McCarthy (MBCC) stepped up to first place with Anthony Watkins (Un-Attached Munster) second and John Roche (MBCC) third.
After another break for podiums and practice it was the turn of the Senior 1 men, Senior 1 women, Senior 2 men and Senior 3 men to race.
The Senior 3 men’s race was held over 4 laps with David Culloty (All human/VeloRevolution Racing Team) taking the win. Jean Sergio Cambruzzi (Team WORC) was second which puts him at the top of the series table after 3 rounds. Third place went to Frank Doherty (Killarney Cycling Club) with Keith Lyne (Killarney Cycling Club) fourth, Des Ryan (MBCC) fifth and Stephen Scrivener (MTB Assoc of Dublin) sixth.
The Senior 2 men’s race was held over 5 laps. Winner from Round 2, Dominik Drwal (Un-Attached Connacht), won again at Round 3. Eric Downey (Orwell Wheelers Cycling Club) was second with Fionn Desmond (MBCC) third. Patrick Clifford (Killarney Cycling Club) was fourth with Kevin Moran (EPIC MTB/Expert Cycles) fifth. Dominik now leads the series.
There were 3 riders in the Junior men’s race. Adam Murphy (Killarney Cycling Club) took the win ahead of Donagh O’Connor (Sliabh Luachra Cycling Club) with Aaron Buckley (Killarney Cycling Club) finishing third after the 5 laps.
Caoimhe May (Orwell Wheelers Cycling Club) took her second win of the series in the Senior 1 women’s race which was held over 5 laps. Returning to racing was the experienced Ciara Macmanus (Un-Attached Ulster) who finished second. Joanna Bula (Team WORC) was third with Leah McCarthy (K Capital Rocky Mountain) fourth.
Dean Harvey (Trinity Racing) was making his first appearance to the series this year after a very successful cyclo-cross and road racing season. Dean was expected to impress in the Senior 1 men’s race and he did, taking the chequered flag after 7 laps. Nathan Kurensky (Spin11 – Chain Reaction Racing Team) finished second at Round 1 and got another excellent second place at Round 3. Robert McKenna (Bray Wheelers) continues to have a great season picking up third place. Lee Clarke (Shelbourne/Orchard CC) just missed out on the podium finishing fourth. Graham Boyd (McConvey Cycles) was fifth with Gareth McKee (Cycleology Racing Team) finishing a disappointing sixth. Gareth had been expected on the podium but a first lap puncture meant a long cycle back to the pits for a replacement wheel which left him in last place at the end of lap 1.
A huge thanks to all the crew from Killarney Cycling Club for putting on a great race. Thanks to the landowner for the use of the site and to Scott Cycles for sponsoring the series and providing prizes for the winners. A big thanks to all the riders for travelling down to Killarney. A long drive for many. The next round will be held on a private site in County Dublin by Team WORC on Sunday 18 June 2023. Details on www.irishxcnps.ie
Commissaire: Martin Grimley
Race report by Martin Grimley
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