NPS Round 4 (2023) Report

Round 4 of the 2023 Cross-country National Point Series took us to a new venue in Tonygarrow, County Wicklow. Host club Team WORC had been busy carving out a course in the forest on this private land. The forest was filled with rocks large and small which provided a technical course, the most challenging of the season. Arriving on site we were greeted by some very excited swarms of flies. They were as keen to see mountain bike racing at this location as we were! Parking and the event village were in the same field. Paul Joyce was back on the speakers providing the race commentary. There was a great smell of coffee from the catering van. The sun shone. There were terrific views of the Wicklow mountains. There was a great turnout of riders. All was set for an exciting day of racing.

First up were the Under 6s with two laps of their course. As always, it is great to see these young ones (8 riders for this race) taking part and enjoying their racing.

The Under 8s then lined up for 5 laps of the same course. Conor McGahan (Square Wheels) lead the boys’ race for the first 4 laps but it was Jaxon Jennings (Orwell Wheelers Cycling Club) who came through on the final lap to take the win. Conor finished second with Finn McTavish (Western Lakes CC) taking third place. In the girls’ race there was no such drama as Ríonach Campbell (Square Wheels) crossed the line to take her fourth win of the series. Ciara McCool (Square Wheels) was second with Marian Mulvaney (Sliabh Luachra Cycling Club) third.

The Under 10s course was longer and they had 5 laps to complete. Benjamin Cunningham (Orwell Wheelers Cycling Club) lead the boys’ race from start to finish to collect his third win of the series. Jack McGahan (Square Wheels) finished second with Fabian Drwal (Un-Attached Connacht) completing the podium. Aoife Campbell (Square Wheels) finished just behind the top 3 boys to take the win in the girls’ race, her fourth of the series. Georgie Wallace (EPIC MTB/Expert Cycles) was second, Lara Burton (Un-Attached Leinster) third and Etaoin Gordon (Un-Attached Leinster) fourth.

The Under 12s used the same course as the Under 10s but they had 9 laps to complete. James Cunningham (Orwell Wheelers Cycling Club) picked up his fourth win of the series. Eunan Campbell (Square Wheels) finished second. Rory McCool (Square Wheels) had to battle hard with Cian Walsh (IMBRC) but managed to cross the line ahead of Cian. Laoise Crinion (IMBRC) lead the girls for the first two laps but Ava Baker (Breffni Wheelers) came through on lap 3 to take the win, her third of the series. Laoise finished second with Ciara O’Connor (Drogheda Wheelers) picking up third place.

After the usual break for podium presentations and course practice, the Under 14s, Under 16s, Senior 4 men, Senior 2 and Senior 3 women lined up. The Under 14s and Senior 3 women had a reduced lap compared to the other riders.

In the Under 14 boys’ race series leader Caleb McGreevy (VC Glendale) picked up another win, his fourth. Fionn Crinion (IMBRC) was second with Rian McCrystal (Bellurgan Wheelers) third. In the Under 14 girls’ race Emer Heverin (Kinning Cycles Cycling Club) made her first appearance at the series and took the win. Maeve McCool (Square Wheels) finished second with Lacey Aicken-Johnson (North Down CC) third.

In the Under 16s boys’ race Conor Murphy (Rostrevor Mountain Bike Club) was putting in some quick laps to take the win. Curtis McKee (Scott Bright Motor Group) was second with Ryan Daly (Scott Bright Motor Group) third. In the girls’ race Greta Lawless (Team WORC) finished well clear of Faith Robinson (Bray Wheelers) with Mia Geary (Fermoy Cycling Club) picking up the bronze medal.

The Senior 4 men’s race was held over 3 laps. Patrick Fox (Bray Wheelers) and Karl Ryan (Bray Wheelers) were well out in front at the end of lap 1 but Karl pulled away to take the win ahead of Patrick. Eoin Stephens (Team Giant Dublin) completed the podium with his third place. Series leader Anthony Watkins had to retire from the race during lap 1.

There were two starters in the Senior 3 women’s race but only Fiona Lally (Un-Attached Leinster) made it to the finish line. With series leader Tara Brennan absent for this round there was going to be a new winner in the Senior 2 women’s race. Melissa Anderson (IMBRC) crossed the line first after 3 laps with Niamh Stephens (Team Giant Dublin) second and Aine Mac Carthy (Sorrento CC) third. Series co-ordinator Caroline Martinez (Chain Reaction Cycles) had a big crash which broke her helmet and left her with a bruised face. This didn’t stop her running about sorting out medals and taking pictures and videos!!

After another break for podium presentations and course practice it was the turn of the Senior 1, Senior 2 and Senior 3 men, Junior men and Senior 1 women to race.

In the Senior 3 men’s race Colm O’Byrne (IVCA Cycling Club) got himself to the front of the pack by the end of lap 2 and held on for the win at the end of the 5 laps. Des Ryan (MBCC) was second with Michael Gordon (Un-Attached Ulster) third. Jean Sergio Cambruzzi (Team WORC) finished fourth but remains as leader of the series. Milos Hajek (IMBRC) was fifth.

Similar to the Senior 3 men’s race, in the Senior 2 men’s race Colm McGarvey (EPIC MTB/Expert Cycles) got himself to the front at the end of lap 2 and crossed the line first after 6 laps. Series leader Dominik Drwal (Un-Attached Connacht) finished second with Alfie Wallace (EPIC MTB/Expert Cycles) picking up third on his first appearance in the series. Michael Burton was fourth with Oisin Boydell (EPIC MTB/Expert Cycles) fifth.

There were just 2 starters in the Junior men’s race but only one finisher, Jake White (IMBRC) after 4 laps. It wasn’t to be for series leader Donagh O’Connor (Sliabh Luachra Cycling Club).

The Senior 1 women’s race started off with 5 riders but only 3 remained after 3 laps. Ciara Macmanus (Un-Attached Ulster) went on to win the 5 lap race with Joanna Bula (Team WORC) second and Leah McCarthy (K Capital Rocky Mountain) third. Joanna remains top of the series to date.

The Senior 1 men’s race was held over 7 laps. At the end of lap 1 Daniel Brickenden (Team WORC), Robin Seymour (Team WORC) and David Montgomery (Spellman-Dublin Port) came across the line together. However, at the end of lap 2 Robin was on his own. Robin stayed out front for the remaining of the race and took a well deserved win, especially as he was the main course designer and one of the main event organisers. This leaves Robin leading the series. David Montgomery was making his first appearance in the series and took a great second place. Gareth McKee (Cycleology Racing Team) made his way up to third place after a poor start. Daniel Brickenden had been holding onto one of the podium spots valiantly but had to settle for fourth. Robert McKenna (Bray Wheelers) put on another fine display to take fifth place.

Many thanks to all those in Team WORC who helped to put on the event. A challenging course for the riders but also a big challenge for the organisers as this was a new venue. Thanks to the landowner for the use of the site and to Scott Cycles for sponsoring the series and providing prizes for the winners. The final round of the series will take place at Bree Hill on Sunday 2 July 2023. Hosted by Bree MTB this will be the second time for them hosting a cross-country race at that venue. Details can be found on

Commissaire: Martin Grimley

Results – here
Series table after four rounds – here

Race report by Martin Grimley

Cycling Ireland (Facebook) – here and here
Gareth Gibbons (own site) – here