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Curragh Mountain Biking Success for Juniors

posted 1 Nov 2011, 14:30 by Kevin Monaghan
(by Padraic McDunphy & Shane Hughes)  
Following much discussion about the ramifications and implications of the impending dismal weather predicted by the Met Service for Sunday 23rd October, it was decided to throw caution to the wind and to take part in the MBT event being hosted by Newbridge Cycling Club.  So on Sunday morning an intrepid and merry band of ‘Junior Wheelers’ consisting of Andrew McDunphy, Shane Hughes and Thomas Kilmurray set off from Mullingar for Lumville House on the edge of the Curragh plains, the scheduled start point for the MBT event.

Upon arrival in the Curragh it was obvious that things were well in-hand and with the ample numbers of stewards and officials all of whom who were anxious to direct and to be of assistance in any way possible it looked promising from the outset.  Competition registration, which was completed in the foyer of Lumville House and which involved  the production of ‘licences’ and the sum of €5.00 in return for individual competition numbers and cable ties. With the formalities being completed and with competition numbers attached, the Lakeside trio made for the race start point, located some distance from the registration point, to await the start of the U14s race. The U14s race would take place after some younger riders were given an opportunity to complete a circuit of the course appropriate to their age and ability.

The U14s commenced from the tented start point, astride a hill in inclement weather conditions. The initial leg of the marked three lap circuit saw our riders negotiate a slippery downhill section before turning to take on the long uphill climb to the top of the course. There then followed a cross section of undulating terrain before a further bumpy section saw a return down past the start point and, against the spectacular backdrop of the Curragh plains and Curragh Military Camp with its distinctive water tower and church steeple, the completion of the first of the three gruelling laps.

As the race progressed it soon became apparent that Shane was starting to establish for himself a lead position with Thomas securely moving into second place.  The final result of this exciting and competitive event saw Shane take first place with Thomas taking second place and Andrew pushing into a valiant fourth place. All-in-all a respectable overall result for the Lakeside trio in such difficult course and weather conditions. After some additional senior competition there followed a prizing giving ceremony where all the Lakeside participants received prizes of plaques, Conway-Baxter Cycling Club/Newbridge Cycling Club (N.C.C.) knitted hats, or medallions.

Prize-giving and some short speeches were followed by light refreshments before it was time for our warriors to depart for Mullingar and home. All-in-all it proved to be an enjoyable and fruitful outing with the mucky LSWs Trio expressing their satisfaction at having made the effort to partake in the Newbridge Club event. The N.C.C. officials pointed to the fact that this event was an initial exploratory event on their behalf, but that given its obvious success (despite the weather) and its proximity to such ideal MBT terrain that the Club will be most anxious to host similar events into the future.

Here's Shane's account of his day in Kildare...

"I headed up to the Youth Mountain Bike Challenge in Kildare on Sunday 23rd of October, just to get a taste of mountain bike competitions. It was a miserable day - wet and windy.  Thomas Kilmurra, my fellow riding partner, brought me up along with his grand-dad Frank Rooney.

After a bit of a drive we arrived at The Curragh and signed on, handed in our licenses and got our numbers. We met another Lakeside Wheeler - Andrew Mac Dunphy - up there and we got a bar, some sugary sweets and energy drink to give us a bit of a boost.  We got our Lakeside Wheelers gear on and headed on to the course to do a few practice laps after which we were called to get in line. The under 14s race was about to begin.

We all took off and flew around the track.  The race was to cover four  laps.  Thomas Kilmurray, myself and Andrew Mac got a good start and headed straight around the course. It was an interesting few laps with a bumpy downhill section and a big uphill section we got around the course.   I got 1st place with Thomas Kilmurray finishing a close second and closely followed by Andrew.

We headed into a tent for tea and coffee and a couple of biscuits. We were presented with a trophy and a hat for the 1st 2nd and 3rd.  All in all the day was enjoyed by everyone."

LAkeside Wheelers Jumior Team who were successful in The Curragh
The Lakeside Wheelers Junior Team who were successful in The Curragh