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OFF-ROAD EVENTS Last Updated: 6 Apr 2018 - 12:06:24 PM

By Andy Potts
8 Jan 2007,

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Robin Seymour yet again confirmed his position of being Irelands best off road cyclist when he took the Irish Cyclo Cross title for the 15th time at Banbridge on Saturday. The main challenge to Seymour came from 2005 Champion Roger Aiken, riding for race organisers Banbridge CC. The County Down club did however have a Champion to celebrate as Sean Downey rode to success in the Junior Class.

The Championship event took place in the picturesque grounds of Banbridge Academy, with a tough and testing course being set out. On race day the weather was superb, however due to the rainfall in the days leading up to the race, some sections of the course proved a real challenge, with almost every rider being caught out.

The Irish Cyclo Cross Championship attracted an entry of 46 riders, with the race taking place over eight laps in front of a large and very vocal crowd of supporters and spectators. What a superb sight it was as the race started with the riders passing the front of the original Academy building, and apt that Academy pupil Alistair McSorley led the field. As the riders tackled the first section of the course, news came back that Roger Aiken had stopped to release his chain which had got stuck between chain rings. As the field came back into view, Ulster Champion Lewis Ferguson (Team BHB) was leading from Robin Seymour.

Lap one ended with Ferguson holding a slim advantage over Seymour, with the chasing pack led by Team Worcs Dave Gill, Alistair McSorley, Joe McCall(Team Worc),Peter McConville (Newry Wheelers), Sean Downey (Banbridge CC), Robbie Lamont (XMTB), Paul OReilly (IMBRC) and Neil Delahaye (Usher RC). Towards the end of the lap Delahaye had been in fourth place, but slid off on a tight left hand turn on a tarmac section. For local hope Aiken, he recovered from rejoining the race in 40th place to end the opening lap in 12th.

By the end of the second circuit Ferguson and Seymour had broken clear of the pack, with Aiken now in third, and McCall in a strong fourth ahead of a five way battle for fifth between Gill, McSorley, Lamont, Downey and McConville. By this stage punctures had brought the retirements of top Junior riders Liam McGreevy (Banbridge CC) and Paul OReilly. The third lap saw Seymour make his expected break, he dropped the challenge from Ferguson, who in turn lost second to Aiken. The end of lap four, half distance, and the partisan supporters raised the noise level as Aiken appeared to be closing in on leader Seymour, 17 seconds the gap. Ferguson by now was in a lone third as McCall, Lamont and Downey disputed fourth.

The atmosphere erupted on lap five as Aiken closed down on Seymour, as the pair set out on the sixth lap only separated by 7 seconds. At this stage McCall was forced into the pits to change a punctured front wheel which enabled Lamont slot into a strong fourth behind Ferguson. McCall rejoined the action in seventh behind McConville and Gill, and now in the company of Downey and Delahaye. With his lead under threat, Seymour responded by launching another attack as both Aiken and himself threaded their way through lapped riders. Delahaye came to grief on the sixth lap at the same place as his opening lap off, yet the Usher rider bravely remounted to continue in eighth place.

At the end of the penultimate lap Seymour had pulled out a 25 seconds advantage over Aiken and barring a last lap disaster the title was his. With the race drawing to a close the finish area was packed with spectators and it was a jubilant Seymour who rode up the main drive way of Banbridge Academy pointing at his race number,15, to seal his 15th Irish Cyclo Cross crown. For Aiken, riding with number 13, it was the silver medal for the second year in succession, 22 seconds down on the winner. Ferguson completed the race in third, the young Holywood rider taking third for the fourth time in a row.

The old man of XMTB, Robbie Lamont finished fourth which gave him the Vets award, though he only had eight seconds to spare over fellow Vet, Newrys Peter McConville. Joe McCall produced a strong final lap to overtake fellow WORC rider Dave Gill to snatch sixth, while a battered and bruised Neil Delahaye, the last rider not to be lapped by the leaders, crossed the line a very brave eighth. Banbridge CCs Sean Downey finished ninth, taking the Junior title and adding to his growing collection of Champions jerseys! James McCluskey (Team Worc) completed the top ten with initial leader Alistair McSorley in 11th and Newrys Conor Campbell taking 12th. Banbridge rider Don Travers, once a contender to Seymours crown, though in the past couple of years having successfully switched to the sport of fell running, made his once a year cyclo cross outing to finish in 13th. Barry Monaghan (Newry Wheelers) finished 14th as Team WORCs French exile Yvain Sugno took 15th. The Team Award was won by the WORC Team of Seymour, McCall and Gill.

Taking the silver medal in the Junior class was XMTB rider Graham Boyd, 16th overall, with the bronze medal going to Ushers Francis Newton,38th. Behind Lamont and McConville, Banbridge CC rider Jon Runciman was third in the Vets class in 25th place. Tarja Owens (Team WORC) won the Ladies title, finishing 26th, this after arriving in Bangor instead of Banbridge!!!!. Ciara McManus (XMTB) was Ladies runner up, 39th overall, with Dromara CCs Caroline Patterson third, 40th overall.

The Cyclo Cross event was preceded by a full programme of support races with Banbridge CC riders victorious in all five races. Paul Anderson was a runaway winner of the Mountain Bike race, held over five laps of the Cyclo Cross course. At the finish Anderson had a winning margin of four minutes over North Downs Andy Rea who just edged out Apollo rider Campbell Armstrong in a sprint to the line. The Ladies Class was won by Banbridge CCs Nicola Oldham, her first ever success, with fellow Bann riders Joanne McCallum and Harriet Mayne second and third.

The U-8 race was an all Banbridge dominated affair, John Buller winning from his sister Shannon, with Stuart Dunlop just winning the race to the line for third from another Bann rider Shenna McKiverigan. James Curry was a convincing winner in the U-10 event, with Dromara CCs Zak Hanna a strong second ahead of Banbridges Joseph Baird. Mark Downey took the honours in the U-12 race with XMTB rider Chris Oakley runner up from Emyvales Colin Hughes. Banbridge scored another clean sweep of the awards in the U-14 class with Michael Runciman victorious ahead of Matthew Adair and Andy Wilson.

Well done to Banbridge CC on a great event, and to the Ladies who served refreshments after racing, and many thanks to the Headmaster of Banbridge Academy and his staff for their help in staging the race.

( would like to thank Andy for sending this report)


Irish Cyclo-cross Championships, Banbridge Academy (6 Jan):

Position, name; category (club)

1, Robin Seymour; 1 (Team WORC) 8 laps in 52 mins 59 secs
2, Roger Aiken; 1 (Banbridge CC) at 22 secs
3, Lewis Ferguson; 1 (Team BHB) at 3 mins 42 secs
4, Robert Lamont; 1st vet (XMTB) at 6 mins 37 secs
5, Peter McConville; 2nd vet (Newry Wheelers) at 6 mins 44 secs
6, Joe McCall; 2 (Team WORC) at 6 mins 53 secs
7, Dave Gill; 2 (Team WORC) at 7 mins 2 secs
8, Neil Delahaye; 1 (Usher IRC) at 7 mins 14 secs
9, Sean Downey; 1st Junior (Banbridge CC) at 1 lap
10, James McCluskey; 1 (Team WORC)
11, Alisdair McSorley; 3 (Apollo CT)
12, Conor Campbell; 2 (Newry Wheelers)
13, Don Travers; 1 (Banbridge CC)
14, B.Monagan; 2 (Newry Wheelers)
15, Y. Sugno; 2 (Team WORC)
16, Graham Boyd; 2nd Junior (XMTB)
17, P. O'Farrell; 3 (unattached)
18, K. Meghen; 2 (Team WORC)
19, E. Ryan; 3 (Team WORC)
20, G. Henning; 3 (Newry Wheelers)
21, B. Minnock; 3 (unattached)
22, N. Quinlan; 2 (
23, P. Roche; 2 (Team WORC)
24, M.Cowan; 3 (Plush)
25, Jon Runciman; 3rd vet (Banbridge CC)
26, Tarja Owens; 1st woman (Team WORC)
27, B. Donnelly; 2 (Kilcullen)
28, C. Keogh; 2 (Kilcullen)
29, J. McAuley; 3 (Apollo CT)
30, M. Hamilton; 3 (North Down)
31, Fred McSorley; 4th vet (Apollo CT)
32, L. Manning; 3 (IMBRC)
33, D. O'Brien; 3 (IMBRC) all at 1 lap
34, D. McKnight; 3 (Dromara CC) at 2 laps
35, W. Forsythe; 5th vet (Banbridge CC)
36, L. Baxter; 3 (Newry Wheelers)
37, J. Walter; 3 (Kilcullen)
38, Francis Newton; 3rd junior (Usher IRC)
39, Ciara McManus; 2nd woman (XMTB) all at 2 laps
40, C. Patterson; 3rd woman (Dromara CC) at 3 laps
41, G. Quinn; 6th vet (Banbridge CC) same


L.McGreevey; 4th junior (Banbridge CC)
W. Mulligan; 7th vet (Banbridge CC)
P.O'Reilly; 5th junior (IMBRC)
D. Barry; 3 (IMBRC)
S. Downey; 3 (M.A.D.)

Team: WORC

Other categories:


1, Sean Downey (Banbridge CC)
2, Graham Boyd (XMTB)
3, Francis Newton (Usher IRC)


1, Tarja Owens (Team WORC)
2, Ciara McManus (XMTB)
3, C. Patterson (Dromara CC)


1, Robert Lamont (XMTB)
2, Peter McConville (Newry Wheelers)
3, Jon Runciman (Banbridge CC)
4, Fred McSorley (Apollo CT)
5, W. Forsythe (Banbridge CC)
6, G. Quinn (Banbridge CC)
7, W. Mulligan (Banbridge CC)

Support races:

Mountain bike race (5 laps):

1, P. Anderson (Banbridge CC) 41 mins 14 secs
2, A. Rea (North Down) at 4 mins 2 secs
3, C. Armstrong (Apollo CT) at 4 mins 3 secs
4, D. Hanna (Dromara CC) at 5 mins 41 secs
5, D. McMullan (Chain Reaction) at 6 mins 24 secs
6, S. Prentice (Banbridge CC) at 6 mins 51 secs
7, R. Ogilby (unattached) at 1 lap
8, N. Oldham (Banbridge CC) 1st woman
9, J. McCallum (Banbridge CC) 2nd woman
10, H. Mayne (Banbridge CC) all same 3rd woman

Under 14 (2 laps):

1, M. Runciman (Banbridge CC) 16 mins 53 secs
2, M. Adair (Banbridge CC) at 35 secs
3, A. Wilson (Banbridge CC) at 1 min 13 secs
4, R. Lamont (XMTB) at 1 min 15 secs
5, N. McAree (Emyvale) at 2 mins 43 secs

Under 12 (1 lap):

1, M. Downey (Banbridge CC) 9 mins 51 secs
2, C. Oakley (XMTB) at 47 secs
3, C. Hughes (Emyvale) at 1 min
4, D. Runciman (Banbridge CC) at 1 min 10 secs
5, D.Colhoun (Dromara CC) at 1 min 17 secs
6, W. Heslip (Banbridge CC) at 2 mins 28 secs
7, T. Mackness (Team Madigan) at 4 mins 45 secs
8, A. Ogilby (XMTB) at 4 mins 46 secs

Under 10 (small loop):

1, J. Curry (Banbridge CC) 6 mins 15 secs
2, Z. Hanna (Dromara CC) at 49 secs
3, J. Baird (Banbridge CC) at 1 min 11 secs
4, R. Mayne (Banbridge CC) at 1 min 12 secs

Under 8 (small loop):

1, J. Buller (Banbridge CC) 7 mins 26 secs
2, S. Buller (Banbridge CC) at 14 secs
3, S. Dunlop (Banbridge CC) at 30 secs
4, S.McKiverigan (Banbridge CC) at 34 secs
5, J. Lamont (XMTB) at 2 mins 4 secs
6, D. Devlin (Banbridge CC) at 2 mins 8 secs
7, S. Hylands (East Antrim) at 2 mins 9 secs
8, B.Hanna (Dromara CC) at 3 mins 8 secs
9, K. Mackness (Team Madigan) at 3 mins 14 secs

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