Ulster Cycling News

2013 National MTB XC Championships at Garvagh Forest

The 2013 National Mountain Bike Cross-Country Championships took place in Garvagh Forest in the town of Garvagh on Sunday 21 July and was hosted by Carn Wheelers. The timing for the race was perfect after a 2 week heat wave in Northern Ireland which left the trails bone dry and dusty. The club had put in a huge effort in creating the trails with lots of variety, from long fire roads allowing ample overtaking possibilities to fast flowing single track, bomb holes, dual slalom descents and only two notable short climbs. The race village was set up in the abandoned school grounds which had lots of parking for the large attendance (over 250 riders from all across Ireland). The club would like to thank the Northern Ireland Forestry Service for permission to use the site which had been used the previous year as a round of the Ulster XC series.

There was a steady stream of riders arriving to sign on from 9:30 in the morning. The senior championship race categories were pre-entry only which closes one week in advance. Chip timing had been provided by ChampionChip Ireland for Under 14s up to Elite men. The biggest groups on the day were the Masters and Veterans but there were big fields in the Senior 4 mens race and the youth races. The youth races started with the Under 6s fun race which allowed the parents to run alongside their child giving encouragement and an occasional push over any tricky obstacles. The courses for the Under 6s, 8s and 10s were kept close to the school grounds and around the start/finish area which allowed access for the spectators. The start/finish area had lots of pedestrian barriers in place with music playing over the PA to add to the atmosphere. The Under 12s race took in the fire road climb before swinging around and joining the senior course for a blast around the "School Run", one of many named sections. The Under 14s had their own course which was about half of the senior course with all other categories from Under 16s onwards competing on the 4 mile senior course.

There were plenty of marshals on site, a great spread of food laid on with a hard working bunch of caterers handing out much needed cups of tea and coffee. The prize giving happened beside the sign on tent with medals for all the youth categories as well as gifts from North Coast Leisure who were one of the sponsors for the event. The senior categories received stock medals with the winner putting on the national championship jersey.

Congratulations to all the riders who took part in the various race categories and to the supporters for coming along and cheering them on. Well done to Carn Wheelers on putting on an excellent championships. Many thanks to the various sponsors for supporting the race.

The next MTB XC race will take place at Kilbroney Forest, Rostrevor on Saturday 3 August 2013. This will be Round 4 of the Ulster XC series and will form part of the support races for the World Police and Fire Games.

Elite men
1. Robin Seymour (Team Worc)
2. Gareth McKee (ChainReaction Cycles)
3. Roger Aiken (Banbridge CC)

Elite women
1. Ciara MacManus (Unattached)
2. Claire Oakley (WXC World Racing)
3. Gill Smith (Phoenix CC)

Espoir men
1. Matthew Adair (Xmtb McConvey Cycles)
2. Sean Prendiville (Killarey Cycling Club)
3. Sean Feeney (IMBRC)

Junior men
1. David Montgomery (Xmtb McConvey Cycles)
2. Darnell Moore (Caldwell Cycles)
3. Chris Oakley (Xmtb McConvey Cycles)

1. Barry Kellett (Dromara Cycling Club)
2. Alfie Wallace (Epic MTB)
3. Oisin Boydell (MAD Mtb)

1. Vinnie Fitzsimon (Team Worc)
2. Colm McGarvey (Epic MTB)
3. Peter McConville (Newry Wheelers)

Full results and photographs are on UlsterXC.com

Report by Martin Grimley

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