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Leinster Cyclo-cross - NE

Corkagh Park, West Dublin Irl, October 22, 2006

2005 Results    Results    Past winners

Another win for Seymour

By Shane Stokes

Three wins out of three
Photo ©: Shane Stokes
(Click for larger image)

Irish national champion Robin Seymour showed his form with a dominant win in the Leinster cyclo cross race held in Corkagh Park Sunday. The Endura rider overcame a puncture midway through the race to finish one minute and eleven seconds ahead of two promising young riders, Lewis Ferguson and Niall Davis. Peter McConville was fourth, 4 minutes and 17 seconds back, while Robert Lamont, Mark McKinely, Yvain Sogno, Mike Jordan, Conor Cambell and Dave Gill completed the top ten. It was Seymour’s third cross win in three starts, the Wicklow rider having also triumphed at Lurgan Park and Larne this month.

62 riders lined out for the nine lap event, held on a version of the course used in the national cyclo-cross championships in January. Seymour, Ferguson and Davis pulled clear of the rest of the field and it was soon clear that the race was between the three of them.

At the halfway point Seymour surged clear and opened up a lead over the other two. The reason for this early burst became apparent when he stopped just before the start/finish line to change his rear wheel, the multiple national champion having realised that he had a slow puncture. Ferguson and Davis got by and took over the lead, but by the end of the next lap Seymour was back out in front again.

Ferguson got by just before
Photo ©: Shane Stokes
(Click for larger image)

He remained in control for the rest of the race, continuing to build his advantage and racing to yet another dominant win in this cross season. Behind, Davis opened up a gap on Ferguson in the run in to the flag, but the latter unleashed an impressive sprint to get by with about 50 metres to go and net second place. McConville, Lamont and McKinley finished over four minutes back and filled the top six places.

“There was a very good turnout for the race,” said Seymour, “it was great to see that. The course was pretty similar to that used at the nationals but it was probably harder today due to the muddy conditions…the going was a lot softer than in the nationals and so it made for tougher racing. The long drag up to the boards was tougher due to the soft ground, for example, and the run-ups on the lap were very hard too.

“I felt pretty good, I’m probably in better shape than this time last year. I had a puncture during the race but it went down gradually, so I was able to plan ahead. I knew I’d have to change a wheel so I got a gap on the other two so that I wouldn’t lose too much time during the switch. I knew I’d get a breather when I stopped, anyway, so that was fine.”

The two recover after the race
Photo ©: Shane Stokes
(Click for larger image)

Seymour, Ferguson and Davis are currently chasing Olympic qualification for Ireland on the mountain bike. Things are going quite well so far. “We are currently lying 20th nation so that would gain us a place in the Games,” he stated. “The cutoff point is the 31st of December 2007 so it is important for the three of us to score well next year and keep up there.

“We are going to the last UCI points-scoring race in La Alanya in Turkey this week and will aim to get more points there,” he stated. “Qualification for the Olympics is being done in a different way this time, with the best three riders in the top 300 of the world being considered when things are being calculated. It’s very important that Lewis and Niall keep building points. I think we have about 700 now but we have got to keep building them. Qualifying two places for the Games will be impossible but we definitely have a chance for one.”

Seymour said that the necessary funding is there. “We have the budget to do what we need to do, in terms of going overseas. In addition to that, we will have four C2 races here early next year. Mark Kenny’s company K Capital Source is sponsoring them, and we will also get a grant from the Sports Council. Each C2 race costs about 4,500 euro to run but some of that comes from entry fees. Running these events is very important as we can chase some more points there.”


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Images by Shane Stokes/Cyclingnews.com


Elite men
1 Robin Seymour    1.03.14
2 Lewis Ferguson      1.11
3 Niall Davis             
4 Peter McConville    4.17
5 Robert Lamont       4.33
6 Mark McKinley       4.44
7 Yvain Sogno         6.18
8 Mike Jordan         6.31
9 Conor Cambell       6.48
10 David Gill         7.40
11 Shane Baker        8.10
12 Cormac Keogh      10.33

One lap down

13 Paul O'Reilly          
14 Niall Quinlan          
15 Dave Barry             
16 Mark Kiernan           
17 Brian Conway           
18 Barry Minnock          
19 Sean Downey            
20 Gary Henning