independent

Sunday 20 April 2014

Riders get stuck in mud on revamped cyclo-cross course

Riders get stuck in mud on revamped cyclo-cross course. Photo: David McVeigh

The Ulster Cyclo-cross Championships brought fair competition to the grounds in Drum Manor Forest, just outside Cookstown in Co Tyrone, over the weekend.

Doubled up with the Ulster Cyclo-cross Series, the eighth and final instalment brought a sizeable crowd to cheer on competitors starting after a series of youth races in the morning.

The cold snap in the air did not deter the riders from racing this short, fast course -- revamped from last year's route.

Racing through the wintery winds and showers made for a muddy scene and painted nearly every inch of the cyclists competing in one of the last sporting events of 2013.

The morning of the main event, youth cyclists enjoyed manoeuvring the course. Racing groups as young as U-6s through to U-16s took to the course within their age brackets.

An early start in cycling helps prepare children for the roads, while perfecting bike handling skills can play a major role in the safety of their cycling future.

The Ulster Cyclo-cross Championship men's and women's races ran shortly afterwards. The course was laden with tree branches and leaves -- taking the course on and off road brought an exciting element to the event.

Roger Aiken, the series leader, chiselled his way through the back markers, with Glen Kinning not long behind.

A junior rider, David Montgomery, came in over the line in third, but the medal lifted to Ronan McLoughlin who came in fourth as Montgomery was not eligible for the elite bronze being a junior.

Aiken, in classic form, claimed the win, with Kinning in second.

The women's race was won by Claire Oakley, with Lisa Millar and Shenna McKiverigan in their respective second and third places.

The junior first went to Montgomery, second was Rory Maguire and third went to Darnell Moore.

JILL LEONARD

Irish Independent

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