Tuesday, July 31st, 2012
For 2012 the Irish National Champs was held in a brand new venue just outside Clonmel, Tipperary.
For 2012 the Irish National Champs was held in a brand new venue just outside Clonmel, Tipperary. With a new track and a good weather forecast it was set to be a good weekend. Last year’s Irish Champs was disastrous for the team, with Ben injuring himself during Saturday practice while both Dan & Chris had race ending mechanicals in their race runs after seeding 1st and 2nd. This year we were set on bringing home the gold.
After arriving on Friday evening the pit was set up and we were ready for a good weekend!
Saturday practice was going very well for the team with the track quickly drying out due to the great weather.
Unfortunately on his last practice run before seeding Ben had a bad crash resulting in a long stay in the hospital and a broken collar bone. Ben was flying in practice, staying with his older team mates with ease and surely on his way to his first youth Champs win! Heal up soon Ben!
This left Dan & Chris to battle it out for the Junior National Champ title and valuable UCI points. After 3-4 practice runs it was time for seeding on Saturday afternoon, with the boys not being off until 6pm.
Dan was the down first and came across the line smashing the previous time by over 10 seconds, putting in a 2.15.
“My seeding run went really well except for a big error near the top where I had to come to a halt to stop myself from going off the track and crashing into a gully. It was a pretty flat bit of course so I struggled to get speed back up after. I then caught the rider in front of me on the finish sprint but other than that it went well.”
Chris was the last junior down in seeding and came across in 2nd place with a time of 2.19.
“My seeding run didn’t go quite to plan I made too many mistakes and just didn’t attack the track like I was in practise. I was still in 2nd place but a good few seconds off Dan, I knew I had to push hard in finals.”
Dan’s time put him 2nd overall, only 2 seconds from the Elite winner Ewan Doherty with Chris a few positions back in the overall.
The race was on for Sunday.
Waking up on Sunday morning we were greeted to a light rain which lasted for most of the day, making the track slick and the roots deadly.
After a good warm up at the top on the turbo trainers it was time for race runs. Chris was off just ahead of Dan who was last man down.
Chris came across with a time of 2.18 and described his run:
“The conditions were slightly different on race day with the rain coming down making the track trickier than it was in seeding. The top half of my run was amazing I was hitting all my lines and was feeling good and then made a few small mistakes further down the track but pushed on to the line and managed to just take the win. I was very happy to regain the Title after having a mechanical last year”
Last man down and Dan crossed the line 3 seconds slower than his seeding run, also with a 2.18, just .004 off team mate Chris’ time! He describes his run:
“I was going all out for my finals run, aiming for the overall win and maximum UCI points which I was confident about after seeding. I nailed the top section and was feeling good until I got into the forest and went for an outside rooty line on a turn, the roots spat me the wrong direction and into the bushes. I got going as quickly as I could and really pushed it too hard to try make up the time, hitting into a tree at the bottom. I got to the line and had missed out by .004, gutted!”
The team finished 1st & 2nd in Juniors with Chris coming away with the Jersey for a year. Their times were also 2nd & 3rd overall on the day only being beat by eventual Elite winner Ewan Doherty, so lots of UCI points for boys!
Big thanks to the team sponsors: Nukeproof, Schwalbe, Nema, Eight.ie and also Natalie from the development squad for the support over the weekend.