Top class mountain biking at Bellurgan Park

ANOTHER weekend, another top class race hosted by Dundalk’s Cuchulainn Cycling Club.

ANOTHER weekend, another top class race hosted by Dundalk’s Cuchulainn Cycling Club.

The mountain bikers put on the first round of the National Points Series, staged at the club’s custom built mountain bike circuit at Bellurgan Park. The circuit is without a doubt the best off road racing circuit in Ireland and was built in conjunction with Bellurgan Park by the members of Cuchulainn.

With well over 200 riders competing throughout the day, all commented on the excellent facilities and organisation. Many a Saturday, Sunday and midweek evening was spent by cyclists in the forest with tools in hand mapping out the circuit under the watchful eye of Tony Kelly. While not building the course the same riders were training on it and their results speak for themselves in the first round of the series.

In the Senior Three race it was complete club domination with five riders inside the top 10 of the large field. Gary Shiels took his second win of the year, edging out clubmate John Grace with only a second between them. Stephen Kellegher was in 4th, David Dollard in 9th and Daire McCaughley in 10th.

The main event, the Senior One race, was won by Dublin’s double Olympian Robin Seymour. The club’s Aidan McDonald was less than a minute off the podium in fourth. Irish Cyclocross Vet Champion Gerry McCabe was unlucky to crash out on the last lap.

In the Senior Two race Alan Bingham suffered a similar fate, but good riding by Johnny McCabe saw him capture 4th spot . In the Senior Four race there was another podium for the club newcomer, Niall O’Flaherty taking an impressive 2nd position, with Chris Quinn back in 5th.

In the ladies club competition Sandra O`Hagan had a fine performance, finishing well up the field. Finally at underage level Aaron McCann netted another 3rd position for himself.

Meanwhile on the road racing scene Dermot Keelan made his way to Balbriggan on both Saturday and Sunday, coming home with prizes on both days. On Saturday Dermot was the first A4 rider home in the handicapped race, while on Sunday in the sprint for the line Dermot was second rider home.

Also in attendance on Sunday was Sean Loughran and in the same race came 5th. Dermot is now only a few points off upgrading to an A3 rider, a feat he has completed in less than two months of open racing.

Last Monday night at Oriel Park the club kicked off it’s underage programme for 2011. Over 25 riders, from ages 12 and younger were in attendance under the watchful eyes of club coaches Sé Weston and Mary Laverty. The course will run for 10 weeks, in conjunction with Cycling Ireland’s “Spocket Rocket” programme and see the riders learn many bike handling skills.

The club’s next event is hosting a round of the Irish IVCA Road Race on Sunday April 10, this race starts from Felda at 10pm. The veteran section of road racing has seen a lot of growth the last couple of year’s and the club’s Sé Weston and Martin Grey have both been successful, picking up national medals.

Also the FPM Summer Cycling League will be kicking off on Thursday April14, rider’s should go to www.dundalkcycling.com to register for the event.