NPS Round 1 (2024) Report

The first round of the 2024 Cross-country Mountain Bike National Point Series (NPS) took place on Sunday 5 May at Ballinastoe Mountain Bike Centre. This event was part of the first Wicklow Mountain Bike Festival organised by Over the bank holiday weekend there was a “Whip Off”, enduro, cross-country and downhill mountain bike event spanning across the four days ( The cross-country race attracted the largest number of entries with 235 registered. In the race village were food stalls for pizza and burgers, a festival tent with DJ and live music as well as coverage of the downhill World Cup in Fort William. A great atmosphere all weekend. On Sunday the sun shone all day. The spectators had plenty of locations to watch the racing for all riders from the Under 6s to the Seniors.

Starting off the day was a one lap race for the Under 6s with six riders on the line. Well done to all.

The Under 8s used a longer course and had 3 laps to complete. Taking the win for the boys was Bobby Campbell (Orwell Wheelers Cycling Club) with Eoghan Carroll (Un-Attached Leinster) second and Liam O’Shea (Un-Attached Leinster) third. Ríonach Campbell (Square Wheels) won the girls’ race with Marian Mulvaney (Sliabh Luachra Cycling Club) second and Olivia Wallace (EPIC MTB/Expert Cycles) third.

The Under 10s used the same course as the Under 8s but they had 6 laps to complete. Lewis Bell (Shelbourne/Orchard CC) stormed around the course to take the win in the boys’ race. Jaxon Jennings (Orwell Wheelers Cycling Club) was second with Logan McAreavey (Bellurgan Wheelers) third. Ciara McCool (Square Wheels) was the only girl in the race and competed strongly among the boys.

The Under 12s had a longer course with a long draggy climb up the fire road from the start line for four laps. First boy was Benjamin Cunningham (Orwell Wheelers Cycling Club). Rían Watkins (Galway MTB) recovered after a crash just after the race start to get himself up to second place. Fabian Drwal (Un-Attached Connacht) finished third. Aoife Campbell (Square Wheels) won the girls’ race finishing 5th overall. Laoise Crinion (IMBRC) was the second placed girl with Aoife Killeen (Kilcullen Cycling Club Murphy Geospacial) third.

After a break for podium presentations, course practice and time for a cuppa it was the turn of the Under 14s, Under 16s, Senior 2 women, Senior 3 women and the Senior 4 open race to get underway. First off were the Under 16 boys who had 3 laps of the full course to complete, the Under 14s had 3 laps of the reduced course to complete, the Senior 3 women had 2 laps of the reduced course with the Senior 2 women completing 3 laps of the full course and Senior 4 open racers taking on 2 laps of the full course.

In the Under 14 boys’ race Oscar Moran (EPIC MTB/Expert Cycles) took the cheqered flag. James Cunningham (Orwell Wheelers Cycling Club) was second with Kieran Mulvaney (Sliabh Luachra Cycling Club) third. In the Under 14 girls’ race Ava Baker (Breffni Wheelers) finished ahead of Ciara O’Connor (Drogheda Wheelers). The Under 16 boys’ race saw a great battle at the front end of the group with Ryan Daly (Scott Racing IRL) getting the win, Caleb McGreevy (VC Glendale) second and Curtis McKee (Spellman-Dublin Port) third. In the Under 16 girls’ race Mia Geary (Fermoy Cycling Club) crossed the line well ahead of Lacey Aicken-Johnson (North Down CC).

In the Senior 4 open race Ciaran Campbell (Square Wheels) was lying third at the end of lap 1 but managed to get to the front of the race to take the win. David Ryan (Un-Attached Leinster) finished second with John Moran (EPIC MTB/Expert Cycles) completing the podium in third place. In the Senior 3 women’s race Sinead Greenan (Galway MTB) took the win ahead of Hazel Murphy (Yellow Furze Road Club) with Emma Convey (EPIC MTB/Expert Cycles) taking the third step on the podium. For the Senior 2 women’s race Fiona Lally (EPIC MTB/Expert Cycles) was delighted to take the win after having administration issues with her race entry. Jean Wilson (EPIC MTB/Expert Cycles) was second with Aine Maccarthy (Sorrento CC) third and Caroline Martinez (First Tracks), the cross-country co-ordinator for the Off-road Commission, finishing fourth.

The final race of the day took place at 2 pm. Setting off first for 6 laps was the Senior 1 open race, then the Junior men for 4 laps. The Senior 2 open race had 5 laps to complete with the Senior 1 women having 4 laps to do. Finally the Senior 3 open race, with the biggest field (54 riders), had 3 laps. All riders were using the full course.

Taking an impressive win in the Senior 1 open race was Dean Harvey (Trinity Racing). Tadhg Killeen (Kilcullen Cycling Club Murphy Geospacial) was second with Jack Bernard Murphy (Kilcullen Cycling Club Murphy Geospacial) third. Daniel Brickenden (Team WORC) had to settle for fourth with Geoffrey Robinson (Bray Wheelers) fifth and Brian Melia (Team WORC) sixth.

In the Senior 1 women’s race it was Junior rider Greta Lawless (Team WORC) who took the win. Current national champion Caoimhe May (Orwell Wheelers Cycling Club) was second with Ciara Macmanus (Un-Attached Ulster) third. Tara Brennan (Team Giant Dublin) was fourth with another Junior rider, Faith Robinson (Bray Wheelers) finishing fifth. In the Junior men’s race Ben O’Keeffe (Spellman-Dublin Port) had a comfortable lead over Donagh O’Connor (Sliabh Luachra Cycling Club) at the finish.

In the Senior 2 open race had some changes in the lead across the 5 laps. PJ Hynes (Bellurgan Wheelers) lead at the end of lap 1, Sean Feeney (Team WORC) was in the lead for laps 2 and 3 but it was Conor Verbruggen (Bray Wheelers) who took the win. Ronan O’Flynn (Orwell Wheelers Cycling Club) finished second with Sean Feeney taking third. PJ Hynes was fourth with Richard Felle (Team WORC) fifth.

For the Senior 3 open race Colm Bradley (EPIC MTB/Expert Cycles) crossed the line ahead of Isaac Scott (Un-Attached Leinster) with Fergal Power (MTB Assoc of Dublin) third. Stephen Scrivener (MTB Assoc of Dublin) was fourth and David McKee (VC Glendale) picked up fifth place.

Afterwards the riders could sit around the race village, watching downhill racing on the big screen, drinking some free beer and polishing off some hot food. A great way to end a great day of racing. A huge thanks to Niall Davis and his team from for putting on a well organised event. Thanks to Scott Racing for sponsoring the series and providing prizes for the winners. Thanks to Coillte for the use of the forest and to all the spectators for coming along to support the riders. Round 2 of the series will take place at the Leadmines in Dublin on Sunday 19 May 2024 hosted by EPIC MTB.

Commissaire: Martin Grimley

Results – here

Race report by Martin Grimley


Ronan Ryan (FlickR) – here and here
Drone footage from Keith Vergesport Cyclocross : (video) (photos)
More shots via our Round 1 host’s page @wicklowmtbfestival