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Mixed bag of results for Irish MTBers in British National XC Round 2 - Dalby Forest
By Mel Spath
21 Apr 2011,

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A contingent of 7 Irish riders took part in the 2nd round of the British National MTB Series, held in Dalby Forest last weekend. In the women�s Elite race, the Irish National XC Champion Cait Elliott (WXC World Racing), Ciara MacManus (Summit Mountainbiking) and Mel Spath (Cycleways) took part. Multiple Irish National Champion Robin Seymour (Team WORC) was joined by club mate Evan Ryan in the Elite mens� race, Claire Oakley (WXC Mountainbike Team UK) racing in the Junior Female category with her brother Chris Oakley (XMTB McConvey Cycles) competing in the Youth Male category.

With the race being a Class 1 event and the course the same as the XC World Cup held there later in May this year, the race attracted a fair number of international competitors, such as the Canadian National Champion Geoff Kabush in the Elite men�s race and the French National Champion Julie Bresset in the Elite women�s race as well as UK�s fastest woman Annie Last (U23 vice-world Champion).

Cait Elliott

It looked like a mixed bag of results for the Irish racers, with each competitor battling a different set of issues: Cait Elliott raced with the onset of a severe stomach bug, battling shooting stomach pains rather than the other riders and thus was way off her pace, but still managed to finish in a good 9th position:

Ciara MacManus
�The day before the race I started feeling the effects of a stomach bug which got worse overnight. I didn�t feel like racing at all but I�d flown over from Spain specially so had to try. The course is cool with some nice technical features so I was able distract myself from the pain at times, but on every climb I had shooting stomach pains that got worse the harder I tried. I had a few battles with different riders but couldn�t hit the extra gear needed to attack and fight for positions so it was just a case of suffering and hoping I could survive until the end. Not an enjoyable race for me but glad to finish under the circumstances.�

Ciara MacManus, boosted by a great result in the Irish NPS a week earlier, was battling over night with her inner ghosts about one of the very intimidating and super-technical descents, starting the race sleep deprived. Nonetheless, she rode a very strong race, finishing with a great 7th place, which is somewhat off her pace but a good indicator of her great form this year.

Finally, Melanie showed consistency by again finishing in 5th place as in the first round, thus taking the last podium spot, albeit missing her call-up during gridding and thus starting in last position.

Elite women�s results:
1 Julie Bresset (Fra) 1:39:57
2 Annie Last (GBR) 0:00:13
3 Lily Matthews (GBR) 0:09:03
4 Lee Craigie (GBR) 0:09:42
5 Melanie Spath (Ger) 0:10:59
6 Melanie Alexander (GBR) 0:15:32
7 Ciara MacManus (Irl) 0:16:44
8 Maxine Filby (GBR) 0:17:42
9 Elliot Caitlin (Irl) 0:18:06
10 Lesley Ingram (GBR) 0:22:30

Mel Spath

In the Elite men�s race, Robin Seymour was going into the race with stale legs, with work commitments inhibiting ideal race preparation in the preceding week. Nonetheless, he had a strong start, staying with the front group for the first few laps, battling for 9th position as the race went on. However, the intensity of the race started to take its toll with Robin opting out after the 4th lap. Unfortunately club mate Evan Ryan had a bad day as well, and dropped out after the first lap.

Elite men�s results:
1 Geoff Kabush (Can) 1:40:46
2 Oliver Beckingsdale (GBR) 0:00:18
3 Maxime Marotte (Fra) 0:02:01
4 Ole Christian Fagerli (Nor) 0:02:56
5 David Joao Serralheiro Rosa (Por) 0:05:16

DNF Robin Seymour (Irl)
DNF Evan Ryan (Irl)

In the Junior Female Category, Claire Oakley was hoping for a good result following her 4th place in the 1st round of the British National Series in Sherwood Pines in March. In her own words:

�Dalby was the 2nd round of the British Mountainbike series and form my 4th place at Sherwood Pines I was gridded on the front row. I had been looking forward to this as I knew from previously racing here that the course suited me.

I wasn't feeling to great as I had thrown up before the race, however, I got a good start and entered the singletrack in 3rd. I stayed in contact with 1st and 2nd for about a third of the 1st lap and then as soon as we hit the first climb, I had nothing in my legs and was struggling to breathe, I then got passed and was now in 4th. Going down medusas drop I then very nearly crashed as a rider in front of me decided to run down it instead of taking the chicken run. I then couldn't get going up the hill so I decided to ride back round to the feed some and pull out even though I was sitting in 4th, so I dnf'd.�

In the highly competitive Youth Male Category Chris Oakley showed a strong ride, finishing in 32nd position.
Pictures courtesy of Conor MacManus and Cait Elliott's parents.



The second round of the National cross country mountain bike series took place last weekend, hosted by the mountain bike club cork in the rugged Nagle mountains near Fermoy.

Elite Results

1. Niall Davis,
2. T. Michalski, XMTB
3. D. O'Neil, Team WORC
4. L. Manning, IMBRC
5. M. Slattery, Killarney cc
6. O. Boydell, KTM
7. A. Newman, Team Worc
8. V. Fitzsimons, Team Worc
9. D. O'Brien, The Edge Sports Shop
10. C. Byrne, DU CC

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