More sunshine for Day 2 of the 2023 UCI C2 Cross Clonmel
Day 2 of the 2023 UCI C2 Cross Clonmel event took place on Sunday 15 October at Powerstown Park Racecourse in Clonmel Co. Tipperary. Temperatures had dropped overnight below zero degrees with ice on the windscreens as the first challenge of the day. The day’s schedule started early, 7:30 am, at the racecourse with the sun rising into a clear blue sky. The race village sprung into life, the music started and the crowd gathered. The day began with support races for the masters which were part of Round 2 of the National Cyclo-cross Series. The first of the masters races was at 9 am for the M50s and M60s. The M60s starting one minute behind the M50s.
Pj Hynes (Cuchulainn CC) was leading the M50s for the first two laps until a mishap put him back to fifth. Fearghal Regan (Kilcullen Cycling Club Murphy Geospacial) took over the lead but had Trevor Woods (All human/VeloRevolution Racing Team) hanging onto his back wheel for laps 3 and 4. In the final lap, as expected, Trevor made his move and took the win. Fearghal finished second, Declan McEntee (Emyvale CC) was third with Don Lapierre (Blarney Cycling Club) fourth. In the M60s race Johnny McCabe (Cuchulainn CC) was out to catch as many M50s as he could. Out of the 25 M50s that were ahead of him at the start, he managed to pass 17 of them to take the win. Micheal Corkery (De Ronde Van Cork CC) was second in the M60s with Anthony Talt (Kilcullen Cycling Club Murphy Geospacial) third, Nigel Burke (Orwell Wheelers Cycling Club) fourth, Derek King (Apollo Cycling Team) fifth (almost missing the start) and Glenn Watson (Galway Bay CC) sixth.
The sun continued to climb into the clear blue sky and the temperature began to climb. Next up were the M40 men. They had 6 laps to complete. Marcus Flavin (Dungarvan CC) set out his stall on the first lap and powered his way to the finish. Patrick Clifford (Killarney Cycling Club) was second with Barry Convery (Newry Wheelers CC) third. Ronan Killeen (Lucan Cycling Road Club) was fourth with Drew McKinley (Newry Wheelers CC) completing the podium with fifth place.
Just after midday the first of the UCI C2 races took place with 17 Junior men lined up at the start line. Out in front were Joseph Mullen (Navan Road Club) and Joel Hurt (Ribble Verge Sport). They remained together for the first four laps. As expected visitor Joel Hunt made his move on the final lap to take the win. Joseph finished second, staying ahead of another visitor, Matthew Bell (Shibden Cycling Club) who finished third. David Gaffney (Dungarvan CC) was fourth with Michael Collins (Newcastle West Cycling Club) taking fifth.
The next UCI race was for the Women. This was a combined race of Junior and Elite women but the event organisers had provided prizes for the top 5 in both categories. It was no surprise when last year’s winner Anna Kay (Cyclo Cross Reds), repeated her performance and took another comfortable win. Junior rider Aine Doherty (VC Glendale) was second overall out on her own for most of the race. The big battle was for third place with four riders challenging, Junior rider Aliyah Rafferty (Island Wheelers), Darcey Harkness (VC Glendale), Kimberley Coleman (Green Mountain CX) from the USA and Roisin Lally (Scott Bright Motor Group). The final sprint for third place came down to just Roisin and Aliyah with Roisin just staying ahead of Aliyah. Darcey finished fifth with Kimberley finishing sixth.
The final race of the day was for the UCI Elite men, with 36 riders on the start line for 8 laps of the course. The sun still shone over Clonmel as the whistle blew. Travis Harkness (Scott Bright Motor Group) lead the riders out onto the grass. At the end of lap 1 Jente Michels (Alpecin Deceuninck) from Belgium was at the front. Jente never looked back. He powered his way to the finish and the chequered flag. The Ribble Verge Sport riders Joe Coukham and Jenson Young from Great Britain picked up second and third place respectively. First Irish rider was Dean Harvey (Trinity Racing) who finished fourth. British rider Oliver Akers (Ribble Verge Sport) was fifth with Darnell Moore (Team Caldwell Cycles) sixth, Jamie Meehan (Spellman-Dublin Port) 7th and Travis Harkness picking up 8th.
A massive thanks to John Dempsey and to all in Clonmel Cycling Club, Slievenamon Cycling Club and to all others who helped to host this successful event. Thanks to the sponsors, photographers, caterers and the Tipperary County Council for the use of the site. We look forward to returning next year.
Round 3 of the National Cyclo-cross Series takes place on Sunday 22 October 2023 in Westport hosted by Westport Covey Wheelers.
Commissaires: Luc Geysen, Anthony Keneally, Richard O’Gorman and Martin Grimley.
Full results from Day 2 here
Race report by Martin Grimley
Sean Rowe – tbc
Toby Watson – tbc
Cycling Ireland – tbc