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Shane Stokes
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OFF-ROAD EVENTS : Shane Stokes Last Updated: 2 Apr 2018 - 8:45:17 PM

LACK OF A CLEAR FAVOURITE THROWS CROSS CHAMPS WIDE OPEN
By Shane Stokes
6 Feb 2010,

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Tomorrow’s national cyclo-cross championships are wide open, following the news that the event’s previous winners will not be taking part.



Defending champion Robin Seymour has decided to pass up the chance of netting what would be a stunning 17 titles. He has scaled back on his racing, although he does plan to compete abroad. “I won’t be at the championships but I do still intend to ride/race this year. I’ll be taking a lower-key view to it,” he told Irishcycling.com “I’m looking at racing in the British series again, and maybe some other European races.”

2005 and 2008 victor Roger Aiken will also be absent from Sunday’s contest in St. Anne’s Park, Raheny. He rode the world championships last weekend, placing 53rd, but has pre-booked training commitments abroad.

The Irish champs were originally due to be held in January but were postponed due to the bad weather conditions at the time. This has led to the date clash for Aiken.

For many, Connor McConvey would have been the one to watch on Sunday. He was the runner-up last year and went on to win the national mountainbike championships. However McConvey is focussing primarily on road racing this year and his current participation in the Tour de Bessèges race with the An Post Grant Thornton Sean Kelly team means he will miss out on the chance to take gold.

In their absence, race organiser Greg May pinpoints Joe McCall, Ryan Sherlock and Neil Delahaye as possible victors. With no real favourite, a big battle is likely and May is looking forward to what should be a very interesting event.

“The course is a mixture of fast tarmac sections, wooded mulch, and rutted mud sections,” he said this week. “The main obstacles will be the tight sections within the woods, and the only proper run-up in the country of 36 steps. The race has a different course to last year’s contest; we are aiming to make it even faster and better for group racing.”

The seniors will cover ten laps of just over three kilometres each, while the juniors and women will race over seven. There will also be races for mountainbike competitors and underage riders.

“There is a different lap for the underage race, which takes out the steep descent and most of the big run up,” said May.

Sign on opens at 10.30. The first races start at 11.30, with the main event getting underway at 1 pm. Spectators are welcome.

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