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Irish National Championships - CN
Powerscourt, Enniskerry, Co. Wicklow, December 7, 2002
Twelve in a row for unstoppable Seymour
By Tommy Campbell, Irish Independent/Evening Herald/Sunday Independent
Yet again, Robin Seymour confounded all and sundry to claim his 12th consecutitive Irish Cyclo-Cross Championships at Powerscourt Waterfall, Enniskerry, Co. Wicklow Saturday afternoon.
From the start of the 8-lap course set in spectacular surroundings against the backdrop of the Waterfall and in a bowl, Robin was quickly into his stride. He was fastest out of the blocks and for 2.4-mile lap he was in his element on a technical course, which afforded the competitors to negotiate ramps, over various types of terrain with the finish section on tar macadam.
For the first three laps he was hotly pursued by Don Travers and Aidan McDonald, but never passed. Don and Aidan interchanged second and third places in the initial stages.
On lap four Robin simply open the throttle and from then on it was a formality for him to win the championship yet again. Initially he was lapping the course at an average of six minutes plus per lap, but over the second part of the event he upped the tempo and the acceleration dramatically reduced the lap time.
At the finish his margin of victory over Don Travers was a minute and 29 seconds with Aidan McDonald who came in to the event on the back of significant performances in the last weeks at a two minutes and 15 seconds in arrears.
"I purposely set a moderate pace for the first three laps because of the nature of the course. It was technical and some of the descents were greasy which made me exercise caution. With Don and Aidan in close attendance in the early stages, I just wanted to make sure that when I made a forward move, it was going to be the deciding factor for me to claim my 12th title, and so it was," said Robin. When asked about coming back for the defence next year, which would be no. 13, he was extremely cautious. "Oh, 13 could be unlucky," said Robin.
As for the runner-up, Don Travers who was not in the least despondent about missing out for the third year in a row, thus collecting a silver medal yet again. He was more forthcoming and remarked. "He is a superb champion and I thought the Lurgan course a number of weeks ago was excellent, but this was breathtaking against magnificent backdrops and Robin just simply put the trimmings on the cake. As for next year, maybe no. 13 could be unlucky for him and I'll just step in. Anyhow, I am going to put my feet up and enjoy the Christmas," said Don.
A measure of Robin's success, was, he was offering support to his teammates whenever they were within shouting distance of him at various locations on the course. Evidently it worked as WORC won their first ever team title.
Finally, you would have to spare a thought for Liam Walker who commissaried the event at short notice in the absence of Jack Watson. Liam oversaw his duties by cycling the course, and whilst the competitors stayed upright, Liam has the bruises to show that he came a cropper, not once but twice.
Finally a word of thanks would have to go to the Slazenger family of Powerscourt Demesne who allowed the event go ahead when the Phoenix Park authorities refused permission at a very short notice.
It certainly looks as though the cyclo-cross people have found an ideal location for future events.
Additional report by Shane Stokes
Robin Seymour further extended a remarkable series of national titles in off-road competition when he took his twelfth consecutive gold medal in the Irish cyclo-cross championships yesterday. As expected, Seymour was clearly the best of those chasing the national title, opening up a large advantage on the Powerscourt Waterfall course circuit and eventually crossing the line one minute and 29 seconds ahead of his closest rival.
Second place went to Banbridge cycling club's Don Travers, who has now taken silver for the past three years in the event. Aidan McDonald (Apollo CC) finished 2 minutes and 15 seconds behind Seymour to land bronze, while XMTB team-mates Robert Lamont and Lewis Ferguson were next home. Ferguson's good ride saw him take the prize for best junior, while Dave Gill's sixth place helped ensure that WORC took the team award.
The Jensen family topped the standings in the day's other races, with Knud Jensen winning the support race for mountain bikes and Chris Jensen taking the under 14 cyclo-cross championships.
1 Robin Seymour (WORC) 48.55 2 Don Travers (Banbridge CC) 1.30 3 Aidan McDonald (Apollo CT) 2.12 4 Robert Lammont (XMTB) 2.51 5 Lewis Ferguson (XMTB) 3.49 6 Dave Gill (WORC) 4.15 7 Keith Meghan 4.29 8 Niall Quinlan 5.17 9 Joe McCall 6.09 10 Barry Donnelly 6.13 One lap behind 11 William Mulligan 12 Stuart Galloway 13 Michael Mulvenna 14 Tony Hare 15 Matt Ferguson 16 S Curran 17 G Coupland DNF Conor Campbell DNF John Walker DNF Peter McSorley First junior: Lewis Ferguson (XMTB) Team 1 WORC (Seymour, Gill, J. McCall) MTB Support Race 1 Knud Jensen (Sorrento CC) 2 J. Popham (Fiat LCV Racing) 3 C. Birmingham (unattached) Under 14 1 Chris Jensen (Sorrento CC) 2 N. McCormack (Banbridge CC) 3 A. McSorley (Apollo CC)
2001 Robin Seymour 2000 Robin Seymour 1999 Robin Seymour 1998 Robin Seymour 1997 Robin Seymour 1996 Robin Seymour 1995 Robin Seymour 1994 Robin Seymour 1993 Robin Seymour 1992 Robin Seymour 1991 Robin Seymour