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Team Worc Epic XC Ride (POG Challenge) - E2
Ballinastoe Wood, Roundwood, Ireland, June 13, 2004
First year junior Jensen wins POG Challenge
By Shane Stokes
First year junior Thomas Jensen took an excellent victory in the E2-ranked Outsider POG mountain bike race in Ballinastoe Wood today. The Denmark-based rider had gone clear with defending champion Robin Seymour and UK rider Adrian Lansley at the start of the 40 kilometre event, with Seymour then puncturing before the halfway point of lap one and so losing his place up front.
At the end of the first lap Jensen was 37 seconds clear of Lansley and 2 minutes 9 seconds up on Seymour, who was chasing hard. However the Wicklow rider was unable to close the gap any further, finally finishing 3 minutes and 40 seconds down in third place. Lansley was 21 seconds faster in second, with Jensen the clear victor.
Richie McCauley was fourth, with UK rider Phil Cooper fifth and Barry Nolan sixth.
'The three of us - myself, Robin and Adrian - went clear pretty much at the start of the race,' said Jensen. 'I felt very good. I could see his tyre was going down and he had to stop. I got clear of Adrian by the end of the first lap and just pushed it all the way to the end. I'm not sure how things would have worked out had Robin not punctured, but I did feel very good. It is hard to know.'
Jensen moved to Denmark last year and enrolled in a cycling school, mixing sport and studies during what was his school transition year here. He has decided to stay abroad and will do his leaving cert over four years in the state-sanctioned sports education system.
'It is really great over there, I have learned so much about the sport and training. I have been doing road races and mountain bike, recently doing a World Cup race on the road. At the end of the year I will probably have to decide between road and MTB but for now I am mixing the two.'
Last month, Jensen finished 16th in the prestigious Tour de Himmelfart in Denmark, with Mark Nestor 18th. Jensen was 3rd in the king of the mountains competition. He will return to Denmark on Friday for the Danish championships in road race and time trial, being able to compete there due to his dual nationality. For now Jensen is riding in Danish colours but there is a chance of him competing for Ireland in the future, should he so desire.
At the moment, though, his plans are to remain based in Denmark. 'I'm going to do my leaving cert over four years there. It is normally done over three years but you can elect to do it over four, finishing at 12 every day and so having time to go training, etc. All the sportspeople there do it that way - footballers, athletes, the lot. It is a great way to develop.'
Today's race marked a rare defeat for Seymour, who normally would have been strong enough to recover after his puncture. Although he chased hard and initially recouped some time, he was unable to get back on terms with Jensen or Lansley.
'I'm pretty disappointed with how things went,' he said. 'I dented my rim yesterday and while I managed to straighten it out, it must have still been a bit deformed as the tubeless tyre went down over time. That system is messy to change as you have to take the valve out and put a new tube in, so it took me some time to get going again.'
'I was probably not on a great day anyway. I am still pretty banged up from my crash last week at Fort William (Seymour came down hard during the World Cup race). My ribs are sore so I am going to get them looked at. I also worked very hard on the course to get it ready for the race today, and was pretty tired starting it. Preparing a 20 kilometre loop is very difficult in terms of workload.'
'I'm a bit disappointed with how I felt. I was pretty shelled today, to be honest. That said, I think Thomas was riding very well. He is making a steady improvement all the time and I think next year, he will be a great prospect for a medal in the world championships.
In the other races, Beth McCluskey finished well clear of Tarja Owens in the women's race. Owens lost out on her Olympic chance last week and so now must try to rebuild her morale.
Peter McConville got the better of Keith O'Sullivan and John Doris in the master's race, while Johnny McCabe came out ahead of Paul Coyn and Eamon Mullen in the veteran's contest. Chris Birmingham and Gerard Wolfe were first and second in the junior event. David O'Neill, Eoin Keith and Gerry McCabe took the top placings in the sports race.
Elite men, 40 km 1 Thomas Jensen (Odder Cykel Klub Denmark) 1.36.43 2 Adrian Lansley (Pedalon.co.uk) 3.09 3 Robin Seymour (Team WORC) 3.40 4 Richie McCauley (unattached) 4.55 5 Phil Cooper (Blue Sky Cycles.com) 6.20 6 Barry Nolan (Sorrento CC) 6.31 7 James McCluskey (Team WORC) 8.48 8 Peter Buggle (Team WORC) 10.07 9 Glen Kinning (XMTB) 10.17 10 Philip Roche (Team WORC) 10.25 11 John Mason (Cycleways Lee Strand) 12.22 12 Joe McCall (Team WORC) 12.39 Elite women, 40 km 1 Beth McCluskey (unattached) 1.57.26 2 Tarja Owens (Team WORC) 5.08 Masters, 40 km 1 Peter McConville (Newry Wheelers) 1.49.18 2 Keith O'Sullivan (Les Jeunes CC) 5.40 3 John Doris (Sorrento CC) 7.20 4 Dermot Healy (Les Jeunes) 20.08 5 Robin Bryson (unattached) 20.18 6 Robert Drohan (MBUL) 1.05.38 Veteran, 40 km 1 Johnny McCabe (Cuchulainn CC) 1.58.12 2 Paul Coyne (Team WORC) 18.36 3 Eamon Mullen (IMBRC) 23.47 4 Declan McCabe (Cuchulainn CC) 30.06 5 Karl Thomas (Sorrento CC) 40.20 Junior, 40 km 1 Chris Birmingham (IMBRC) 2.01.42 2 Gerard Wolfe (unattached) 14.01 Sport men, 40 km 1 David O'Neill (IMBRC) 2.04.52 2 Eoin Keith (unattached) 0.49 3 Gerry McCabe (Cuchulainn CC) 7.23 4 John Oram (IMBRC) 10.56 5 Martin Flynn (Team WORC) 12.52 6 Kevin Conlon (unattached) 16.47 7 Morgan O'Connell (unattached) 16.52 8 P Coyle (unattached) 18.04 Under 16, 6km 1 Ian Galloway 28.20 Under 14, 6km 1 Robert McCabe 27.44 2 Kyle Crinnion 12.06 Under 12, 2km 1 Robbie Lamont 7.47 2 Liam Brophy 0.12 3 Jake Crean 0.39 4 Jamie Thomas 3.13 5 Niall Galloway 3.25