Sunday June 30 saw Ray O’Shaughnessy travel up to Omagh to race in the 2013 Ulster Mountain Bike Cross-Country Championships, Elite Category. The race was held in Gortin Glen Forest Park, located 10km north of Omagh.
The hosting club (Caldwell Cycles) worked hard to create a challenging trail through the forest using the fire road climbs and plenty of natural forest single track.
The course on the Saturday before the race was in super condition with plenty of grip under the tyres however, come race day, there were some very heavy showers which affected certain parts of the course forcing some of the riders to dismount and run through certain sections.
All races began on the public road which was closed for the period of the races. This provided a great long sprint start to the first corner of forest.
Ray led the race from the start, after lap having a comfortable lead of 29 seconds and by the end of the six lap race finished 3 minutes 6 seconds ahead of 2nd placed rider Graham Boyd from XMTB Cycles.
Ironically, having won the race, Ray didn’t qualify for the Ulster title as he neither lives in Ulster, or is a member of an Ulster cycling club, so the title of Ulster XC Champion Elite Category went to 2nd placed rider Graham Boyd.
The National MTB XC championships will take place in Garvagh Forest on July 21.