Day 1 of the 2023 UCI C2 Cross Clonmel took place on Saturday 14 October at Powerstown Park Racecourse in Clonmel County Tipperary hosted by Clonmel Cycling Club and Slievenamon Cycling Club. The event is now in its third year and event director John Dempsey has worked with his team to continue to improve this event. This year the course was routed though the paddock and out in front of the grandstands. An impressive view over the equestrian race course provided a great backdrop to the impressive racing we had today. The weather was ideal, blue skies with little wind. There was just an odd passing grey cloud with a little drizzle that quickly moved away. Not enough to spoil a great day.
First up were the Under 6s who had one lap of the second grandstand building. All riders started on the tarmac in front of the main grandstand. The 10 young riders all made it round and were awarded a medal and water bottle.
The Under 8s used the same course but they had 3 laps to complete. In the boys’ race it was James Kavanagh (Lakeland) who crossed the line first ahead of Evan McTavish (Western Lakes CC) with Sean McGahan (Square Wheels) third, Fionn Murphy (O’Leary Stone Kanturk) fourth and Tristan Brew (Clonmel CC) fifth. Marian Mulvaney (Sliabh Luachra Cycling Club) was the first girl to the chequered flag. Grace Kennedy (Clonmel CC) was second with Amelia O’Loughlin (Clonmel CC) third and Emily O’Mahony (Sliabh Luachra Cycling Club) fourth.
The Under 10s course took them out into the main parking area. They still finished in the same place as the Under 8s. They had 4 laps to complete. Jaxon Jennings (Orwell Wheelers Cycling Club) took the win in the boys’ race. Benjamin Cunningham (Orwell Wheelers Cycling Club) had a mechanical in the first lap and had to claw his way back up through the bunch to get to second place. Tadhg Connolly (Orwell Wheelers Cycling Club) was third with Josh Turner (Orwell Wheelers Cycling Club) fourth and Logan McAreavey (Cuchulainn CC) fifth. Molly Turner (Orwell Wheelers Cycling Club) took the flag in the girls’ race. Caroline Collins (Sliabh Luachra Cycling Club) was second with Áine O’Flynn (Clonmel CC) third, Emma Walsh (Carlow RCC) fourth and Holly Ryan (Un-Attached Munster) fifth.
The Under 12s course took in part of the woods and finished on the main tarmac area in front of the grandstand. They had 3 laps to complete. Jack McGahan (Square Wheels) put in a fine performance to take the win the boys’ race. Cullen Murphy (O’Leary Stone Kanturk) was second with Diarmuid O’Sullivan (Greenmount CA) third,
William Sunderland (Lisburn BMX Club) fourth and William Hance (Orwell Wheelers Cycling Club) fifth. Aoife O’Mahony (Sliabh Luachra Cycling Club) won the girls’ race with Aisling Crowley (Clonmel CC) just finishing ahead of Anna Dempsey (Clonmel CC) to take second and third respectively.
The racing then moved to using the full race course. Lining up for the first race on the full circuit was the Under 14 girls and Under 16 girls. Both had 3 laps to complete. The Under 16 girls started first with the Under 14 girls starting one minute later. In the Under 16s Emer Heverin (Kinning Cycles Cycling Club) lead from start to finish. Mia Geary (Fermoy Cycling Club) was second with Aoife O’Donovan (Dungarvan CC) third, Aisha Gannon (Breffni Wheelers) fourth and Ami Flavin (Dungarvan CC) fifth. Katie Turner (Orwell Wheelers Cycling Club) won the Under 14 girls’ race, finishing well up among the Under 16 girls. Ava Baker (Breffni Wheelers) was second with Orla Mulhearne (Panduit Carrick Wheelers) third, Naoise Byrne (Carlow RCC) fourth and Ciara Flavin (Dungarvan CC) fifth.
The next race was for the Under 14 boys and Under 16s boys, the Under 16s starting one minute ahead of the Under 14s. In the Under 16 boys’ race Curtis McKee (Scott Bright Motor Group) had a strong race to finish first. There was an exciting sprint finish between James Armstrong and Caleb McGreevy, both from VC Glendale, with James just getting to the line ahead of Caleb. Hugh Og Mulhearne (Verge Sport PI Cycles) was fourth with Ryan Daly (Scott Bright Motor Group) completing the podium in fifth position. In the Under 14 boys’ race Eoin Davis (Bohermeen CC) had to work hard to get ahead of James Cunningham (Orwell Wheelers Cycling Club) who finished second. Kieran Mulvaney (Sliabh Luachra Cycling Club) was third with Ethan Real (Sliabh Luachra Cycling Club) fourth and Rory McCool (Square Wheels) fifth.
The final race of the day was the support race. The open race riders started first with the women starting one minute later. The race for first place in the open Support race came down to the sprint finish with Marcin Mizgajski (Spin the Bean Power by Coffee) coming out from behind Diarmuid O’Brien (All human/VeloRevolution Racing Team) to take the chequered flag. Race director John Demsey (Verge Sport PI Cycles) finished third, just as he did in the support race last year. David Ennis (Bohermeen CC) was fourth with Declan Hanrahan (Panduit Carrick Wheelers) fifth. Among the women it was Joanne Grogan (BMB Racing) who lead from start to finish. Kimberly Coleman (Green Mountain CX) was second with Jean Wilson (Orwell Wheelers Cycling Club) third, Emma Convey (EPIC MTB/Expert Cycles) fourth and Sinead Rock (Midleton CTC) fifth.
The course was then open for the Day 2 riders to get in some practice laps.
Thanks to all the volunteers from the host clubs and to all others who helped put the event together. We look forward to Day 2 with the Masters races to start, then the Junior Men, Women and Elite men.
Commissaires: Anthony Keneally, Richard O’Gorman, Mick Twomey and Martin Grimley
Race report: Martin Grimley
Toby Watson – tbc
Sean Rowe – tbc
The Belgian Project – tbc