Day 2 of the National Cyclo-cross Championships saw more great racing
The second day of the National Cyclo-cross Championships took place on Sunday 15 January 2023 at the McCrystal Track in County Louth. Today was the turn of the Masters, Seniors and Juniors. Unlike day 1 there was hardly any wind with mild temperatures and beautiful blue skies. With the ‘big’ races on, the event attracted a large number of spectators with the hill lined with encouraging supporters. The course was in great condition and drying throughout the day. There was the TV crew on site who were there to film the Women and Senior men’s races.
It was an early start on course with the first race beginning at 9:30 am. This was for the M50 and M60 men. They had 4 laps to complete. The M50s race saw the biggest field of the day with 51 riders taking to the start line. Despite missing his gridding position, the European Masters Champion, Robin Seymour (Team WORC) got himself to the front of the race by the end of lap 1. He was joined by Colm McGarvey (EPIC MTB/Expert Cycles) and the two were looking set to make it a great tussle until a mechanical issue forced Colm to have to carry his bike back to the pits. Trevor Woods (All human/VeloRevolution Racing Team), who had been lying in third place, moved up to finish second. Jason Henry (Inspired Cycling) was third with Declan McEntee (Emyvale CC) coming from 6th place to take 4th on the final lap. Pierre Kinsella (Breffni Wheelers) finished 5th, Fearghal Regan (Kilcullen Cycling Club Murphy Geospacial) 6th, Des Woods (Inspired Cycling) was 7th. Colm McGarvey, having run for nearly half a lap, still managed to finish 8th.
The M60s race started 2 minutes behind the M50s. Johnny McCabe (Cuchulainn CC) was expected to retain his national champion’s jersey and he did just that. Paul Birchall (Verge Sport PI Cycles) was second with Christopher McCann (Banbridge CC) third.
The next race was for the M40s. This was forecasted to be another battle between Glenn Kinning (Kinning Cycles Cycling Club) and Alan Bingham (Newry Wheelers CC). These two were staying close to each other over the 5 lap race. Both were working hard for every second but it was Glenn who took the win, just 12 seconds ahead of Alan at the end. Third place Ronan O’Flynn (Orwell Wheelers Cycling Club) was over two minutes behind the leading two. Mark Pinfield (Blarney Cycling Club) took 4th, Barry Convery (Newry Wheelers CC) was 5th and Stephen McKenna (Omagh Wheelers Cycling Club) finished 6th. There was a confusion over the winners of the team prize but it did go to Team WORC when Evan Ryan, Peter O’Farrell and Redmond O’Toole crossed the line.
Race 3 of the day was for the Junior men. Liam O’Brien (Fermoy Cycling Club) was crowned Junior champion at the 2022 event and was hot favourite to retain the title after a great season. Liam did not disappoint. He lead from start to finish. Behind Liam there was a hot battle between Joseph Mullen (Navan Road Club) and Oisin Ferrity (Team Caldwell Cycles). Oisin was holding second place for laps 2 and 3 but on lap 4 it was Joseph who came through to take the silver medal. Oisin had to settle for bronze. Curtis Neill (Team Caldwell Cycles), Travis Harkness (Scott Bright Motor Group) and Tadhg Killeen (Kilcullen Cycling Club Murphy Geospacial) were 4th, 5th and 6th respectively.
Race 4 was for the women with the Senior women (combined with Junior women) starting first and then, 2 minutes later, the Masters women. Chicago based Maria Larkin (Cuttin Crew/Donkey Label) was out to get her 3rd consecutive championship title and this is exactly what she did. Maria did have to work hard as Junior rider Hannah McClorey (RFDA) was never far behind. In fact, there was a point during the race when Hannah moved ahead of Maria when Maria had an equipment issue. Maria got back in front and crossed the finish line with a delighted roar! Hannah finished second with Stephanie Roche (Scott Bright Motor Group) third. Darcey Harkness (VC Glendale) was 4th with Michelle Geoghegan (Isorex Cycling Team) 5th. Aine Dohery (VC Glendale) lifted the first unplaced Junior trophy.
In the Women’s masters race all eyes were on Grace Young (All human/VeloRevolution Racing Team) who has had a great season topped off with a third place finish at the World Masters CX Championships in Ipswich in December 2022. Grace finished well clear of the rest of the field to lift her first Masters title. Heather Foley (Yeats Country Cycling Club) was second across the line with Helen White (Stamullen RC) third.
Just before the final race of the day there was a short, heavy hailstorm. Riders and spectators were running for cover. Thankfully it cleared up in time to get the Senior Men onto the start line. They had 6 laps, on a now much slippery course, to content with. The light was fading over the venue, not helped by the lingering heavy clouds. Leading from start to finish, a great pinnacle of an impressive season, was Espoir rider Dean Harvey (Trinity Racing). Behind Dean there was a strong race between Darren Rafferty (Hagens Berman Axeon) and last year’s champion Christopher Dawson (Dawson Racing). Darren was holding onto second place for the first 4 laps but Christopher took over and held onto the finish. Darren finished third. Darnell Moore (Team Caldwell Cycles) was 4th with Jack Bernard Murphy (Kilcullen Cycling Club Murphy Geospacial) 5th and Kevin McCambridge (Trinity Racing) 6th. The team prize went to Spellman-Dublin Port when Jamie Meehan, Lee Harvey and David Montgomery crossed the line.
Well done to all the riders who raced today at the McCrystal Track at the National Cyclo-cross Championships. A huge thanks to Bryan McCrystal, with his merry gang of volunteers, for putting on a great event. Next year’s championships will be held in the province of Munster.
Race results here
Commissaires: Paul Watson, Jim Adams, Henry Whitston, Ronan Fox and Martin Grimley
Report by Martin Grimley
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