NPS Round 3 (2024) Report

Round 3 of the 2024 Cross-country National Point Series (NPS) took place at Dunmore Mountain, County Down hosted by Banbridge Cycling Club. This venue was last used in 2012 for cross-country racing. It has recently been set up as a motorbike trials centre – Dunmore Off-road Activity Centre. This is an open mountain site with a steep hill overlooking the start/finish field. The main course traversed the hill making for a tough hilly circuit with few locations to rest or take a drink. The weather in the lead up to the event was dry which made the trails run really well with some fast descents. The weather on race day was also dry and warm. The event field featured all the youth races. The hill provided a great spectator area with superb views of the Mourne mountains.  Paul Joyce was on the microphone providing race commentary.

The first race of the day was for the Under 6s. There were 11 young riders on the start line for two laps of a course which went around the back of the race village. Part of the course had some BMX style ramps on it – just for fun. Well done to all these young ones.

The Under 8s race headed up the start/finish slope before turning sharply right and heading back down the slope over a series of humps. They had 5 laps to complete. Taking the win in the Under 8 boys’ race was Evan McTavish (Western Lakes CC). Scottie Lockhart (Un-Attached Leinster) finished second with Liam O’Shea (Un-Attached Leinster) third. Ríonach Campbell (Square Wheels) won the girls’ race, her third win from three rounds this year. Marian Mulvaney (Sliabh Luachra Cycling Club) was second with Elisa Tyszecka (Un-Attached Munster) just getting ahead of Zara Aiken (Banbridge CC) to take third.

The Under 10s course was longer than the Under 8s and included the long drag up past the pits. They had 6 laps to complete. Lewis Bell (Shelbourne/Orchard CC) completed his hattrick of wins in the boys’ race. Logan McAreavey (Bellurgan Wheelers) was second with George Cleverley (Sliabh Luachra Cycling Club) third. Emilia Tyszecka (MBCC) won the girls’ race, finishing ahead of Ciara McCool (Square Wheels) with Emily Jennings (Un-Attached Ulster) completing the podium.

The Under 12s course went to the far side of the field, down the tricky descent and then back along the drag up past the pits to the finish. They had 8 laps to complete. Out on his own in the boys’ race was Rían Watkins (Galway MTB). He finished over a minute ahead of Darragh Jackson (IMBRC). Billy Lord (Breffni Wheelers) was third with William Sunderland (Lisburn BMX Club) fourth. Aoife Campbell (Square Wheels) was again on the top step of the podium in the girls’ race – her third win from three rounds. Laoise Crinion (IMBRC) was second with Aoife Killeen (Kilcullen Cycling Club Murphy Geospacial) third and Amelia Finnegan (Square Wheels) fourth.

After the usual break for podium presentations and course practice it was the turn of the Under 14s, Under 16s, Senior 1 women, Senior 2 women, Senior 3 women and the Senior 4 open race. In the Under 14 boys’ race Oscar Moran (EPIC MTB/Expert Cycles) got his third win of the series when he crossed the line after 3 laps of the reduced course. Kieran Mulvaney (Sliabh Luachra Cycling Club) won the race for second place with Darragh Murphy (Rostrevor Mountain Bike Club). Aoife Craig (VC Glendale) won the Under 14 girls’ race with Ciara O’Connor (Drogheda Wheelers) finishing second.

The Under 16 boys had four laps of the full course. Early leader Curtis McKee (Spellman-Dublin Port) crashed on lap 3 and had to retire. Caleb McGreevy (VC Glendale) went on to win the race with James Armstrong (VC Glendale) second and Fionn Killeen (Kilcullen Cycling Club Murphy Geospacial) third. There were no starters for the Under 16 girls race.

The Senior 1 women had 5 laps to complete. Ciara Macmanus (Un-Attached Ulster) put on a strong performance to take the win. Ciara won at this venue back in 2012. Joanna Bula (Team WORC) was second with junior rider Faith Robinson (Bray Wheelers) taking third. The Senior 2 women’s race was held over 3 laps. Jean Wilson (EPIC MTB/Expert Cycles) crossed the line in first place. Fiona Lally (EPIC MTB/Expert Cycles) finished second keeping her at the top of the series. Catriona Wheeler (Agivey Cycling Club) had a great race to finish third. The Senior 3 women had 3 laps of the reduced course. Sinead Greenan (Galway MTB) took the chequered flag when she finished ahead of Hazel Murphy (Yellow Furze Road Club). Emma Convey (EPIC MTB/Expert Cycles) was third with Luiza Ieremie (Galway MTB) fourth. In the 3 lap Senior 4 open race early leader Doruk Balkan (EPIC MTB/Expert Cycles) had to retire after his first lap. Barry Toland (Sperrin Mountain Bike Club) went on to take the win. William Rock (South-East Road Club) was second with Sam McLoughlin (EPIC MTB/Expert Cycles) third.

After another break for podium presentations, course practice and refreshments from Last Lap Café, it was time for the Senior 1 open, Senior 2 open, Senior 3 open and Junior men’s races.

Taking a break from his international racing, Christopher Dawson (Dawson Racing), took on the mighty Dunmore mountain and conquered it, putting on a stunning display of bike racing over 8 laps, lapping all the other riders in the Senior 1 open category. The first ‘regular’ rider, Daniel Brickenden (Team WORC), finished second and remains at the top of the series table. Conor Verbruggen (Bray Wheelers) made his way up to third place, Graham Boyd (McConvey Cycles) was fourth with Geoffrey Robinson (Bray Wheelers) fifth.

In the 6 lap Senior 2 open race series leader Pj Hynes (Bellurgan Wheelers) lead from start to finish, keeping up with the Senior 1 open riders, making this his second win in a row. Sean Feeney (Team WORC) was second with John Doris (EPIC MTB/Expert Cycles) third, Francis Yates (DU Cycling Club) fourth and Conor Campbell (Cuchulainn CC) fifth.

The Senior 3 open race was held over 4 laps. Emil Tyszecki (MBCC) was leading at the end of lap 1 but Fergal Power (MTB Assoc of Dublin) took over the lead by the end of lap 2 and held this to the finish. Emil finished second with Harry Rochford (Orwell Wheelers Cycling Club) third. Hyrox competitors Dariusz Buchowicz (Team Caldwell Cycles) and Paul Beattie (Un-Attached Ulster) finished fourth and fifth respectively.

There was only one entry in the Junior mens’ race, Ben O’Keeffe (Spellman-Dublin Port), who had to retire after two laps.

A huge thanks to all at Banbridge Cycling Club for putting on a great event. Thanks to the landowner and to Dunmore Off-road Activity Centre. Thanks to Scott Cycles for sponsoring the series and providing prizes for the winners. The next round of the NPS will take place on Sunday 16 June 2024 at Glensheskin Wood, Kilworth Co. Cork hosted by Fermoy Cycling Club. There will also be the first ever Cross-country short track race on Saturday 15 June. Details on Closing date for entries will be Friday 14 June at 8 pm.

Commissaire: Martin Grimley

Results – here

Series table after three rounds – here

Race report by Martin Grimley

Banbridge Cycling Club (Facebook) – here

Paul Byrne (Facebook) – here

Fran Hollywood (Facebook) – here