2014 Irish BMX National Series – Round 4
Two years in the making and worth every single minute. Round 4 of the 2014 Irish National Series rolled into Lucan BMX on the 28th & 29th of June bringing with it gazebo’s, VIP tents, camper vans, information booths, catering, banners, flags, DJ’s, raffles, prize money, UK elite riders, a World number one, a newly discovered commentating talent and the sun. Yes, the sun even played ball, the first National of 2014 to be fully drenched in sun! Not just a race … an event, a marker for the future.
To open the track we went straight to the top, Ireland’s Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Leo Varadkar TD did the honours with the help of track designer and current World Number 1, Kelvin Batey. By all accounts the Minister was very impressed with the facility, we’re sure it won’t be the last BMX track he gets to cut the ribbon at. Cycling Ireland’s CEO, Geoff Liffey and President, Denis Toomey where also on hand to witness the track opening and the thrilling racing to follow.
The real star of the show was the new world class Lucan track, which had been pruned to perfection for the event by the Lucan BMX Club. It not hard to see where all those long days and late nights went.
The event kicked off on Saturday morning with a coaching session by Get Racing’s Kelvin Batey who was also here to race for the first time since Irelands first new school BMX race in November 2011. The difference being, this time Kelvin had serious competition in Stay Strong’s Paddy Sharrock and Haro’s Cal Strickland. Also in the Haro UK travelling party were Abbie Taylor and Lauren Smith who gave an excellent coaching session on Saturday evening.
Sunday morning and the racing started a little earlier than usual as we needed time for speeches, photo shoots and flights home. The racing did not disappoint …
Aaron Larkin came out nowhere to win his first National race, not dropping a lap all day in the Under 6 Boys class, a future star. He was followed home by Alex Waller with Callum Dunleavy in third. None of whom had any issues with the new track.
Corey Waller emulated Aaron Larking by not losing a race in the 7-8 Boys category. Lucan BMX’s Callum Clancy took the second step on the podium with Charlie Jackson taking the third. Charlie is quickly becoming one of the raddest (he’s already the maddest) young talents we have, keep a close eye on him.
One of the most hotly contested classes is the 9-10 Boys with Niall Davis, Ryan Quinn, Calvin Dunne and Lee O’Sullivan all in the mix. This one ended with Ryan, Niall and Calvin on the podium in that order but the winner of National number 5 is totally up for grabs.
At this point we should mention the one and only Chad Gilmer, our newly found commentator. He is what we have been missing until now. Atmosphere has arrived at Irish BMX racing! The most commonly asked question of the day … who is the American guy on the mic? Brilliant!
Daniel Barker from Unit 8 Haro won the 11-12 Boys by quite the distance followed by the returning to form Cian O’Sullivan who looked impressive all day. Morgan Kearney had to battle his way from the back of the pack all the way to third after a slip on the first straight, impressive stuff.
Kings – N – Leon star Leon Curley was on fire taking the win in the 13-14 years boys class. Only the fast improving Matthew Campbell of Team Reconcile was able to get close to Leon, he did manage to beat the overall winner in one moto. A brewing battle here! Lee Byrne grabbed the third podium spot for the day.
The 15+ guys had Haro’s Elite rider Abbie Taylor to contend with. She sat in behind Eoin Corrigan and Adam Davis all afternoon until exploding into action in the final, taking the win. Route 55′s Eoin had to settle for second with Adam Davis riding up an age group in third. Tactically, Abbie may just have taught a valuable lesson here …
The biggest crowd reaction came for KT O’Neill in the 15+ B Final, very close race with the lead changing more than once.
The 30+ Vets class was on a bit of a comeback, Geoff Lynch from the East Coast Raiders was on flying form in his first National of 2014 but couldn’t reel in the new kid Joey O’Neill who took first despite his new facial hair. Tom Campbell from Team Reconcile took the third spot on those 24″ wheels. Brian Smyth was in the mix all day too. Ian Hamilton had to sit it out after a crash in practice on Saturday and instead turned his skills to finish line marshal.
Summit Racing’s Chloe Byrne was all over the Under 7 Girls taking the win followed by Skyla Nally and Chloe Steacy. Ava Quinn was right in the battle making light work of the track.
Shauna Byrne won every lap in the 8-10 girls with Moto Maniacs Jade Gaffney in second. Aoife Murtagh took the third place trophy home.
GHP’s Abby Steacy was cruising around in first all day followed by Kate Larkin and Caitlin Gaffney, both getting faster.
The Ladies 15+ saw Haro’s former W3, Lauren Smith coaxed out of retirement for the day and taking the win. Alison Murphy from iPLANiT Racing took second place followed by Alex Malone.
The Superclass was stacked with world class talent. Batey, Sharrock and Strickland where always going to be the three fighting it out for Ireland’s biggest BMX cash payout to date courtesy of Principle Environmental, Congress Print and iPLANiT. While Paddy and Cal swapped some places in the moto’s, Kelvin took first in all three. In the final Kelvin didn’t get the best of gates leaving him half a bike length behind by the bottom of the 5m hill but by the midpoint of the first straight he had powered into the lead and was gone. Sharrock dove under Strickland in the first berm securing second with Cal finishing third. Joe Presswood, also travelling from the UK, was the only rider to get close to the first three all day. He finish 4th with Aaron Edwards in 5th. Matthew Malone, Sam Murphy and John Ward split the rest of the prize money.
The Ambulance crew expended the least amount of energy all day with thankfully nothing to do, with the exception of maybe one plaster. They did enjoy the racing though.
Thanks to the crew who turned the race into a brilliant event, Simon, Eamonn, Kevin, Owen, Paula, Miriam, Aidan, Eugene, Karl, Brian, Jane, Grace, Wayne, John, Janice, Michael, Tom, the two Suzanne’s, Eamon O’Boyle, Callan, Euan, Mathew and Scott, most of you know their surnames. Liam and Chris for hiding away in the office most of the day doing the hard work. All of these people were whipped into shape by the unstoppable Nathalie Lawlor. Thanks!
A huge amount of effort has gone into getting this fantastic new track from a hope to a reality. Countless hours of work from Eamonn Wyer of the Cycling Ireland BMX Commission on everything to do with everything, Kelvin Batey on design, Tom Campbell working on the gate with Pro Start, and Shay McNally, who as usual is never far away.
Fingal County Council with Hans Visser had the vision to push ahead and believe in BMX. There would be no track without Mr. Visser. Funding was provided by Philomena Moore & Co at the Fingal Leader Partnership along with fundraisers in the BMX community and Mr. PJ Gallagher, you have all made a huge investment in the youth of the area and our sport.
The Laragchon Residents Association have also been very supportive of the project with some of their members coming on board for the day to day track operation. Not forgetting the track builders, Euroservices Ltd., who have invested a lot of time and manpower into the facility, treating it more like an art project than a construction one.
Lucan BMX have a large amount of sponsors, please support the people who support our sport (click on thier links below to visit thier sites).
Congress Print Principal Enviromental Swift Fine Foods Bike WorX Reconcile Engineering DID Electrical Brennans Bread Erdinger Non-Alcoholic Stagg Cycles iPLANiT Digital Agency Stay Strong CCM Racing SuperValu Leixlip Flynn Signs RyeTec Euroservices Ltd. Cycling Leinster.
Video footage from TwentyInch.ie
Round 5 of the Irish BMX Series is to be held on the 20th July at a yet undecided location as the planned track is no longer an option. As soon as the details are finalised we will spread the word. Stay tuned!
As usual, thanks to the people who make us look good in their photographs. It takes a huge amount of work to take the shots, edit the shots and then upload them all. Click their names below to go check out all the images.