2015 National Cyclo Cross Championships

Post date: Jan 15, 2015 2:41:53 PM

(By Steven Franzoni)

Sunday saw a group of Wheelers head to Swords for the 2015 National Cyclo Cross Championships. Two riders were taking part Michelle O’Halloran in the Elite ladies, and Stuart Cox in the the Elite mens. The cyclocross season started back in September, and this weekends racing pretty much closes the season out. Along with the guys racing, a strong support crew and followers headed into Dublin for the windy, cold but dry afternoon of races.

The Swords course is a particularly hard race with axle deep mud at times and a lot of running with the bike. I always seems, that much more difficult than the rest of the courses on the cyclocross circuit.

First up was Michelle in the ladies race, after a strong start, Michelle settled into fourth place for the opening half. She slowly started to catch third place, but her luck ran out as the course deteriorated into a mud feast and her energy levels ran out. Holding onto fourth spot was a great result.

In the men's race, a nervous Stuart started at the back of the large field. The gridding system did not take into account some great results in Connaught over the last few months and so left him fighting through the masses to make up places. As the race progressed he battled on, finishing just outside the top twenty we think, but sporting some great cuts to his legs to impress the ladies.

The other action of the day centred on the pit area. During cyclocross races it is permitted to change bikes and this was most important today in the sloppy mud that greeted us in Swords. Bikes carry the mud and become much heavier and the brakes and gears stop working. Roy Carey and I had volunteered to help the guys out with bike changes and cleaning. Never one to disappoint, Roy was ready with military precision, buckets, cleaning tools, oils, waterproofs, wellies, black bags and a lot more I can’t remember were on hand to keep the bikes running. We spent the day up to our necks in mud swapping over bikes during the race and cleaning. Brian Nevin formally from Shannonside displayed some great skills in the dis-mount as we looked after him as well, and Stuart gave a very great display of how to fall over during the race, to a great cheer from the Wheelers support crew.

Recent Cyclocross Winners in Mullingar