Race report: XC NPS round 7 Castlewellan
A long spin to get to Castlewellan but we were rewarded with a really great course and sunny weather.
Big well done to all who raced especially the huge effort by Nigel Mel and Ryan who had literally tortured themselves adventure racing the previous day!
Don’t know how they did it – these fit people huh?!
Fergal and Steve got the first practice lap in at about 9:30am – yeah, we arrived a ‘little’ early – it was cool – no-one else around!
Official results yet to be posted, but as far as I remember;
Morgan narrowly eluded mechanical problems by puncturing AFTER the finish line – nice timing Morgan!
Steve fresh outta French prison raced really well & got a 5th.
Nigel was pushing hard and finished very close to Steve in 6th. Fergal got an 8th, Ryan had a great race just missing podium with a 4th.
Mel won Sports ladies (Mel – you can give an account of your ‘opposition’!) and finished strongly in overall Sports.
Not so lucky was Geoff whose derailleur decided to mortally injure itself by snapping-off on the first lap -aagghhh! and he looked so good in those gloves!
EDIT>> As we were sitting back after the race, Geoff’s face was not that of a happy man, but just then…when all appeared lost…a change!
Geoff’s expression went from one of disappointment to contemplation, from contemplation to firm resolve, then finally to an unmistakable look of steely determination!
The fire of competitive commitment burned in his eyes, like hot aviation-fuel poured onto flaming lava, as he uttered the immortal words:
“That’s it lads, next year is gonna be the year-MY YEAR, I’m gonna take Sports by the neck and shake it – mark my words!”
A deathly silence fell at the back of the Almera, my mouth was agape, Nigel stopped complaining about his sore legs, Steve even stopped munching his lump of choc-biscuit cake, we all looked at Geoff, we saw THE LOOK, we knew he meant business:
Rapid Rooney 2007 – prepare for the power!
Christian had a few nasty impacts (big aaaggghhhh!!!) that left him battered, bruised & bloody but still able to finish and keep smiling – that’s the spirit Christian-unbreakable!
Shane had shaken-off any remaining ghosts of his crash and had a fun few laps with those big forks of his in Sports.
Sean was heroically trying to shake-off sickness during the week but it continued to plague him and he retired early (not that you’d think he wasn’t well when you see this video clip I have of him & Morgan hammering it along a singletrack section!).
Nigel spent a long time getting tips on action photography from some pro camera guy, so expect to see some great camera work from him soon!
The Eurospar was the venue for sambos and chips before hitting the LONNNGGGG road home – man that traffic jam in Newry was a killer! Newry is no longer myself & Steve’s most favourite northern town (as if it ever was….)
Final XC on this years calendar is IMBRCs hosting at Slade Valley, a venue we are all familiar with, but the IMBRC track-masters are shaping it up to be a very different course to the Dash so all of MAD should put in a few weeks of intense training on the course to finish the season strongly and bag as many podium places as possible!
I’m sure Sean will devise some torturous training schedule over the coming weeks for MAD (he’s nice like that!)
Full official results here