Last Sundays racing was hosted by Revolution CC in Mallow, Revolution are a relatively new club that have grown a lot over the last few years and have their base in PI Cycles in Mallow town. Their members have embraced cyclo cross recently and after seeing the cross scene in Dublin they deided that they wanted some of the same so decided to host their own race.
Racing started with underage events around a shortened version of the main course which was held in Mallow town park, some great racing was on display with the kids and the parents loving the fun and safe environment. The day was a lovely mild dry day but it had rained very hard a few days previously so we were in for a mucky race. Verge were one of the sponsors of the race so I used the time during the B race to set up the stand. The B race had a large enough field with plenty of guys on mountain bikes giving cross a go for the first time, there was also an underage and ladies race that was on course at the same time. Anthony O Halloran took the win in the B race with Maeve O’Grady taking the ladies prize. I had a good opportunity during the B race to chat to a few local clubs I supply so it was already proving to be a good Sunday morning.
25 riders lined up for the A race which was a very good number for a new race in Munster. Due to my flapping around with tyre pressure before the start I didnt get to the start line early and had to start from the 3rd row of the grid. Unfortunatley not a lot of riders from Leinster travelled but junior superstar David Conroy of the Donnybrook Landscapes Scott did make the trip and quickly disappeared out of sight once the starting gun fired.
I had to try and make a fast start from row 3 and did overtake a good few before the first corner, a chasing group formed behing David of about 5 riders coming through the end of the first lap I was about 10 seconds behind this group. It would take me another 2 laps (about 15 min of racing) to close that gap, I am a diesel at the best of times but a small warm up does not help these matters!!! On the way across to this group of 4 I passed two Killarney riders, when I got to the chase group of the long gone Conroy it consisted of my teammate Hugh, Mark Shannon and Brian McCarthy. I had gained a lot of time on them on the previous lap so I figureed they may have popped a bit and I could ride away from them but this proved not to be the case as a few of the long straights offered an opportunity to sit in and recover.
After a lap of trying to ride away from the guys I realised it was a wasted effort and tried to sit in to spare a few bullets. A tiny bit of drive went out of the group and with a couple of laps to go Richard Barry of St Finbars made it across to us after a long chase. There was a few specualtive attacks but nothing stuck as the 5 in the group were very evenly matched.
Into the last 2 laps and the pressure was being applied more consistently but there was still noting major to seperate the group of 5, I figured once you got over the little jump up the wall on the last lap in the lead you would not be passed but that kinda required being in front from the boards we had to jump as it was hard enough to pass after that. Going into the last lap Richard Barry launced a bit attack that no one immediately responded to, Brian McCarthy took up the chase but did not close all the way up to him, I took over just before the GAA pitch and grovelled up to his back wheel. As we skirted the GAA pitch I made the effort to over take him and lead into the twisty section. I was hoping someone would do me a favour and fall off behind me and block the rest of the lads to make it easy on me but no such luck.
I managed to get a small gap on the “twisty turny” section not much just a couple of lengths I made sure I gave it full gas as I exited not to allow the lads onto the back wheel for the straights. At this stage it appeared that Brian and Mark had being distanced a small bit so it was between Richard Hugh and myself for second, at that point Hugh shouted that he had punctured so all I had to do was make sure I held my gap over Richard to the tree section leading up to the finish.
I got over the boards no problem and down the drop off beside the river and gave it the beans in the muddy section, I then just had the steep bank up from the river to navigate and I was practically home and hosed. I clicked down to my lowest gear for the bank and gave it welly but then disaster as I was just cresting the top of it I pulled my foot out of the pedal and came to a stop. Richard was beside me in a flash I had a decision to make to stop him coming past all I had to do was flick my elbow and he would have to stop as well, but he is sound and we were not going for the win so I had to be sportsman like and leave him on his way as I concentrated on getting going again.
Into the treelined section before the finish Richard could trottle back a bit as he knew there was no way back and thats how we crossed the line with Mark just behind. Brian got 5th with Hugh just being caught before the line with his flat wheel by Richard Maes of Killarney for 6th. David Conroy had won by over 3 minutes showing how clearly in a different class he was.
A big thanks to Revolution CC for hosting the race it was excellently run especially considering it was there first time out. Verge were delighted to be one of the sponsors of the event along with Focus Bikes, Lazer Helmets and Lucozade. Also a big thanks to David Coleman of DC Images and Sean Rowe for the photos and travelling to the event to help publicise it.