Rostrevor Mountainbike Festival in Association with Newry and Mourne District Council
Chain Reaction Cycles Irish Downhill Mountainbike Series #1
The 2nd annual Rostrevor Mountainbike Festival went down a storm on the 8/9th March in Kilbroney Park, Rostrevor. Almost 500 competitors from all over the country turned up to sample some of the finest cross country and downhill tracks on offer.
The weekend consisted of practice on Saturday for round 1 of the Ulster Cross Country Series and round 1 of the Irish Downhill Mountainbike Series followed by racing on Sunday. For results of the cross country event please visit www.ulsterxc.com and report www.dromaracc.co.uk
Riders started arriving on Friday afternoon in anticipation of amendments to last year’s track. Lots of riders took to walking the track before Saturdays practice and to everyone delight the track had the perfect mix of gnarly natural trail and the best sections of trail centre. On Saturday practice got underway and with the smooth running of the uplift most riders got upwards of 8 practice runs. It was evident from the atmosphere in the finish arena that Rostrevor had hit the nail on the head when it comes to riders needs at an event of this scale.
Early Sunday morning riders took to the slopes of Slievebane for the last practice session putting the finishing touches to what they hope would be a perfect run. A timed seeding run was next so that riders would have a good idea how fast they need to go in the final and give themselves a better chance not to catch slower riders. This is how the final panned out for each category.
The future stars of our sport in the juvenile category were out of the start gate first. Patrick Creane secured 3rd place with Liam Wolfe in runner up position and Joseph O’Boyle taking top honours.
Youth riders were up next and the top 3 were Eddie Byrne, Jack Crowley in 2nd with Conor Bate taking the win by almost 13 seconds!
Hats off to all 8 of our super vet riders (50+) who tackled the course in some style and putting riders half their age to shame. Victor McMinn crossed the line in 3rd place with Joe Bergin in 2nd but Stephen Graham from Plush put in a solid performance to take the win.
The gentlemen of our sport battled it out in the vet category with John Glover taking a well deserved 3rd place. Chain Reaction Cycles rider Ian McIntyre finished in 2nd place with Potato Bred’s Joe Ward taking the bragging rights in first place.
One of the largest category’s is the sports and competition is always hotly contested. Victor Bell smashed his way into 3rd place for team Moco with Martin Mullan in 2nd but no one could better Christopher McMullan who’s time would have placed him 7th in the senior category.
The tightest racing of the day was in the senior category with only 5 seconds splitting the top 3. Ryan Hurson of team Moco rocked into 3rd place with Team mate Laurence Farrington in 2nd only 0.015 off eventual winner Calum Mackie.
4 women entered IDMS #1 but only 2 managed to finish due to mechanical difficulties. Tara O’Boyle had 2 consistent runs that got her a 2nd place but she couldn’t make up the time difference that local rider Sacha Bickerstaff put in to take the top step of the podium.
Some say its the most competitive category of all but the lads in the masters category had their work cut out with Chain Reaction rider Dale McMullan putting in a solid sub 3 minute run. Only riders to get close were his team mate Steve Jamison in 2nd and Dublin man Dave Egan.
Junior riders are some of the fastest in the country. 3rd place went to Matthew McGlinchey with Alan Connolly in 2nd just slipping under the 3 minute barrier. But in true form and a time that would have put him into 3rd place in elites Dirt/Orange team rider Jacob Dickson smoked the opposition by almost 13 seconds to start of his 2014 campaign.
The big guns were out next. Elite riders were last down the hill and unfortunately for them the weather had started to close in. Thrills n spills was the name of the day. Firsttracksmtb.com team rider James MacFerran had qualified 3rd but only to get a bit throttle happy on his final run and laying in down twice so it wasnt meant to be. Local man and team Green Bikes rider Thomas McCoy had also put in a solid performance in seeding but unfortunately a mechanical on the top section meant he had to freewheel through the thousands of adoring fans and into 8th place. The top 3 in reverse order was Dublin man and Nukeproof rider Greg Callaghan. 2nd place went to a well deserved Stephen McCormack and 1st place went to our current national Champion and Redbull Foxhunt winner Colin Ross.
A massive thanks to all the riders who made the journey, Newry and Mourne District Council, Chain Reaction Cycles club, Dromara Cycling Club, Well Fit cafe, Erdinger, Kafe Krem, marshals, St Johns, Malones ice cream, Rodger for the timing, Nukeproof, Mourne Heritage Trust, MountainBikeNI.com, Forest Service NI and the PSNI. See you all again next year!!
Glyn & Cato
See you all at Round TWO in Mallow on the 19th & 20th of April.