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Irish Cyclo-Cross League #5
Craigavon Lakes, November 17, 2002
Travers triumps despite the mud
By Tommy Campbell, Irish Independent/Evening Herald/Sunday Independent
Quick thinking by members of the Apollo CT club was the order of the day when within 24 hours of the penultimate event in Cycling Ireland's Cyclo-Cross League being cancelled at Stormont in Belfast on Saturday, they were in the breach. Yesterday in Craigavon Balancing Lakes they held a very successful event which attracted an entry of 30 riders to this winter discipline.
In a very competitive event over 7 laps, Don Travers was first home with last week's winner Aidan McDonald seven seconds adrift and Roger Aiken 29 seconds in arrears of the winner who looked as though he was not enjoying the muddy conditions.
The first three home had to overcome the handicapper who set them off six minutes behind the limit group.
At the head of the race for two laps was Paul Byrne of the Banbridge club before Barry Donnelly of the Hillcrest Hire Kilcullen CC also had a stint as leader fo two laps. The scratch trio were pegging back the leaders which favoured the strong competitors. Going out for the fifth circuit, Travers and Mc Donald made the junction.
On the sixth passage Travers went into a five second advantage but at the bell, McDonald was alongside, with Aiken adrift by 30 seconds. Not prepared to succumb, Travers who last week finished out of the top six suddenly found an extra spurt which was sufficient to bring him a deserved win which also had the benefit of putting him back into contention in the league.
Despite finishing third, Aiken continues to be the overall leader of the league, but as such he is not in the comfort zone due to the close proximity of his two closest challengers, McDonald and Travers.
Certainly in the last three events, McDonald seems to be gaining the initiative and who knows when the final event takes place in Killarney in a fortnight's time where the title will go.
Leader of the series after three events, Robin Seymour has not contested the last races and must now be out of the reckoning on paper at least.
1 Don Travers (Banbridge CC) 49.00 2 A. McDonald (Apollo CT) 0.07 3 R. Aiken (Banbridge CC) 0.29 4 R. Lamont (XMTB) 1.39 5 B. Donnelly (Hillcrest Hire Kilcullen CC) 1.51 6 C. Campbell (Newry Haldane Fisher) 3.42 7 L. Ferguson (XMTB) 4.07 8 P. McSorley (Apollo CT) 4.12 9 W. Mulligan (Banbridge CC) 4.19 10 J. MccGlade (Apollo CT) 4.46 Under 14 1 Nathan McCormack (Banbridge CC) 2 C. Brown (XMTB) 3 A. McSorley (Apollo CT) Under 12 1 WIlliam Boyd (XMTB) 2 R. Davidson (XMTB) 3 J. Beers (XMTB)