More great racing at Day 2 of the National Cyclo-cross Championships
Day 2 of the National Cyclo-cross Championships took place on Sunday on 14 January 2024. Greenmount Cycling Academy had been working closely with the management at Limerick Racecourse to provide a top notch event. The site provided great car parking, easy access from the motorway, showers, toilets, spacious areas for the start/finish and pits as well as onsite features like the off-camber embankment and the sand traps. It was a cold start to the day but not freezing. The sun did shine for most of the day with only a light shower during the final race. The crowds had gathered up to watch with most hanging around the off-camber section.
The first race of the day was for the Masters M40 with an early start for the almost 40 riders lining up for 6 laps of the course. Last year’s champion, Glenn Kinning (Kinning Cycles Cycling Club), lead from start to finish to retain the jersey again. Behind Glenn was a good race between Ronan O’Flynn (Orwell Wheelers Cycling Club) and Marcus Flavin (Dungarvan CC). Ronan managed to get a gap on Marcus towards the final laps to take second place with Marcus having to settle for third. Out on his own for the whole race was Frank McDermott (Oldcastle CC) who finished fourth. Barry Kellett (Dromara Cycling Club) was fifth with Evan Ryan (Team WORC) sixth. The team prize went to Dungarvan Cycling Club when Alan Lyons and John Phelan joined Marcus Flavin at the finish.
Next up were the Junior men with 10 riders blinking into the bright sunshine as they lined up for 5 laps. Leading from the start was Conor Murphy (Team Caldwell Cycles) who crossed the line over one minute ahead of Joseph Mullen (Zappi Racing Team). Michael Collins (Newcastle West Cycling Club) was third with David Gaffney (Villeneuve Cycliste) fourth and Ben O’Keeffe (Spellman-Dublin Port) fifth.
The Women’s race combined Junior and Senior women. They had 5 laps to complete. Starting one minute later were the nine Masters Women who had 4 laps to complete. Junior women lead the Women’s race with Aliyah Rafferty (Tofauti Everyone Active) getting to the front on the first lap and staying there to the finish. Greta Lawless (Team WORC) finished second. Caoimhe May (Orwell Wheelers Cycling Club) was the first Senior woman and finished third overall. Aine Doherty (VC Glendale) was fourth and picked up the first unplaced Junior women’s prize. Last year’s national champion Maria Larkin (Cuttin Crew/Donkey Label) had to settle for fifth. In the Masters women’s race Michelle Geoghegan (Un-Attached Munster) finished ahead of Jean Wilson (Orwell Wheelers Cycling Club) with Melissa Anderson (IMBRC) picking up the third spot on the podium.
The final race of the day was for the Senior men. This was held over 7 laps. Some of the youth riders from Day 1 had brought along a sound system to play the tune “Eric Prydz – Opus” which gets played at the start of the UCI World Cup events, to help build up the excitment for the start of this race. When the whistle was blown, the riders shot off along the start/finish straight. Dean Harvey (Trinity Racing) had won this race last year and had been in great form in the lead up to the race this year. He was expected to retain the title and, at the end of lap 1 ,it was Dean who crossed the line first. Dean kept the lead to the finish line but at no time could he relax as behind him there was a great battle for second place with Kevin McCambridge (Trinity Racing) and Darnell Moore (Team Caldwell Cycles) exchanging positions. Kevin managed to keep ahead of Darnell to take second place with Darnell completing the podium in third. Fourth place went to Travis Harkness (Spellman-Dublin Port) who has really come into form. Travis picked up the first unplaced U23 prize. Jamie Meehan (CC Etupes) was fifth with Tadhg Killeen (Kilcullen Cycling Club Murphy Geospacial) sixth. There weren’t enough teams for a team prize. On the podium, as well as the jersey and medal, all the winners over the weekend were presented with a special bobble hat, courtesy of Barry Rogers (Big Bobble Hat).
With another national championships completed, this year’s has provided great memories and left a great legacy for the sport. A huge thanks to all who helped contribute to its success. A special mention to the two who headed up the organisation from Greenmount Cycling Academy, Vincent Gleeson and Liam Kennedy. Thanks to all the photographers for helping to promote the sport. Thanks to the sponsors for their support. Thanks to Limerick Racecourse for the use of this fantastic venue and thanks to all who came along to cheer on the riders or help them in the pits.
Commissaires: Roddy Keane, Mick Twomey, Anthony Keneally, Loch Miwa and Martin Grimley
Report by Martin Grimley
Sean Rowe – Sportphoto Ireland (Facebook) – here, here, here and here
Toby Watson (Facebook) – tbc
The Belgian Project (Facebook) – here
Michael Buckley Photography (Facebook) – here, here and here