The 2012 National Champs brought us to a new venue in South county Tipperary. At first there was alot of negativity towards the venue and track but with a much improved helmet camera video from 3 of Irelands top elites many minds were changed and nearly 200 riders signed on to the race in Clonmel. The IDMS crew really stepped up their game for this event and thats for sure, 2 brand new 40 bikes trailers were bought specially for the event which made the uplifts amazing!
The track too was pretty good too, it began with a small fireroad sprint before sending you into a flat out corner and little stepdown filled section. Next up were the dark woods packed with some tricky corners and many roots that caught out even the best of riders. Vision was limited in some parts as you flew into them, sometimes it was a case of steer and hope for the best. Towards the end it opened back up again with some fast off camber sections and some big berms, a table top jump and a sprint to the final fly away jump and over the line. All in all, it was a pretty enjoyable track alright.
Heres how the racers got on:
As the famous David Brown used to say, the Under 14ers are the most important class at our races, the future prospects and so on. In 3rd place was the youngest of the 3 Cornforth brothers Olly who luckily got to race on board a Nukeproof Scalp instead of his hardtail for this weekend. Obviously keeping it pinned for 3rd place and posting a time of 2.54 just 1 second of 2nd place finisher riding for Weldon Suspension Jack Crowley. Just pipping him for the top spot this weekend was Killarney hero Tommy O Sullivan who posted a time of 2.49 for his first season win.
A huge turnout of 33 riders in the Under 16 category this week, a really good sign for the future. In 3rd place was Green Bikes rider Luc Hanna who crossed the line at the 2.40 mark. A clear 14 seconds ahead of Luc though was first place qualifier and 2nd place finisher riding for MBW Jacob Dickson who couldn’t quite catch his fellow MBW teammate Luke Cornforth who took the win by 1.5 seconds with a time of 2.25 and 10th fastest time of the day.
The heroes of our sport the supervets signed up in a bigger number than usual with 8 taking on the course in Clonmel this weekend. In 3rd place was Team Ballyhoura rider Joe Bergn who posted a time of 3.21 to earn himself a podium spot. In 2nd place 3 seconds ahead of Joe was Banbridge legend Victor McMinn who stopped the clock at the 3.18 mark but no one could stop Nukeproof’s mighty Tom Sheridan who added to his clean streak to take the National title and 1st place of course.
A disappointing turnout in the Veteran class this weekend with only 9 signing on. yet it didn’t stop some good racing between those 9. Crossing the line at the 2.41 mark was PLUSH MTB rider Stephen Graham which was good enough for Stephen to clinch 3rd place. 3 seconds ahead of Stephen was Joe Ward riding for Potato Bred. Joes time of 2.38 was enough to secure 2nd place and another podium for Joe in 2012. Taking another win and the most important win of the year was Nukeproof/CRC rider Ian Mccintyre and taking the win in style with a clear 4 second lead.
As expected another big turnout in the Sport class with 30 riders signing on for the event. Keeping her lit for 3rd place on the day was EPIC DH rider Darragh O Connor with a time of 2.48. Just a second ahead which was good enough for 2nd place was Matthew Walshe but a clear winner with a 3 second advantage on board his mighty Kona was Gerard O Boyle with a time of 2.44 on the dot. We will see these 3 in Seniors next year.
A small turnout of only 4 riders took on the challenge of the mighty Clonmel. The absence of Silvia to the Mega Avalance and Erika to recover from a broken wrist was noticeable. Hopefully we see an improved turnout at the next round in Bree. Anyway heres how they got on. In 3rd place was Tara O Boyle who crossed the line at the 3.50 mark. A clear 15 seconds ahead were Abigail Hogg and Miriam Haskins who both posted times of 3.35. Miriam managed to deny Abigail the National title and just pipped her by 0.1 of a second. Congratulations to Miriam.
Another big turnout this weekend in Seniors with 23 riders signing on. Taking 3rd place on the day was CIT rider Paul Lenihan who actually had a pretty bad mechanical in his run but still managed to post a time of 2.34 and earn 3rd place. Maybe it was the time he spent in Morzine before hand! In 2nd place was Northerner Robin Peile who just beat Paul by 0.1 of a second with a 2.34.6 just enough for 2nd place. Taking the win and also just returning from the mighty Morzine was Kelan Grant who took the win by a clear 4 seconds with a 2.30.3 – Welcome to Elite in 2013 Kelan.
Masters may aswell be Elites, the speed and times these guys post are up there with Elites and sure why not. In 3rd place was Tomek Panszcyk, Tomek completed the course in 2.35 which was good enough to get him on the podium. 9 seconds ahead though were Glyn O Brien and Damien ‘ The Princess’ Daly. Glyn took 2nd spot with a 2.26.7 and Damien posted a 2.26.3 to earn himself the 2012 Master National Champion jersey.
In 3rd place was Cork bai Cameron Cornforth with a time of 2.24 which was good enough for 7th fastest time of the day and crucial UCI points. 6 seconds ahead of him was Nukeproof rider Dan Sheridan who posted the 3rd fastest time of the day with a 2.18.223 which earned him 2nd place but just edging ahead of Dan with a 2.18.179 was teammate and fellow Nukeproof rider and new Junior National Champion Christopher Mcglinchey. All 3 riders usually race Elite but due to UCI rules they must race the class on there race licence, just if anyone was wondering.
Riding for Rosco Lines/ IN Touch was Colin Ross who posted a time of 2.20 which was good enough for 3rd place on race day, all his work must have counted for something. In 2nd place was Pivot Bikes/ OC Tuning rider Greg Callaghan who posted a time of 2.19 after a disastrous qualifier on Satuday. A clear 3 seconds ahead and our new 2012 Elite National Champion and well deserved at that is Ewan Doherty who crossed the line at the 2.16 mark.
Well done to all racers involved, a huge shoutout to Dave, Rory, Kevin and the rest of his IDMS crew for holding a brilliant event. Also a huge thanks is in order to all uplift drivers, caterers, marshalls, Natalie O Carroll for making rules count and of course the medical crew who were kept more than busy over the weekend. Get well soons are in order to Ben Kennedy with a broken collarbone, Rob Davies with a fractured ankle, Eoin Grant with a broken kneecap and Jamie Turkey Mccollough with a broken wrist. Also while at the world cup in Val D’Isere our new Junior Champ Christopher took a huge spill breaking his back and wrist and will be in a brace for 12 weeks so a big get well soon is due there.
The next IDMS Race brings us to the famous Bree, a personal favourite of mine and it looks like its going to be a great race towards the end of August Till then keep er lit.
Check out the Bree preview here