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 UCI codes explained

Irish Cyclo-cross Championships - CN

Tymon Park, Dublin, Ireland, January 6, 2008

2007 Results    Results    Past winners

Aiken Triumphs, denies Seymour a 16th title

By Shane Stokes

As expected, the battle for the Irish cyclo-cross championship came down to two riders in Tymon Park on Sunday. Robin Seymour was aiming for his 16th title but, just as he did three years ago, Banbridge CC rider Roger Aiken vanquished the Wicklow man and took gold.

This time his victory was much more impressive than in 2005. Aiken set a furious pace from the drop of the flag and had already built a ten-second lead over his main rival by the end of the first of nine laps. He then continued to pull clear as the race went on and, despite easing back on the final lap in order to enjoy his success, hit the line a very comfortable 28 seconds ahead.

"The plan was to go from the start," he said after the race. "I wanted to give it everything, not to finish with anything left in the tank.

"This season I was determined to do everything right - I wanted to win the championships again. Last year I wasn’t that fussed, then the time before in Tymon Park (2006) I followed Robin about and it just wasn’t a very good tactic."

Seymour was disappointed not to add to his already formidable record and said he felt he was on an off-day. "It was just one of those days, it took a long time to get into it," he said.

Joe McCall (K Capital Rocky Mountain) got the better of Seymour's WORC team-mate Philip Roche to take the bronze medal. Worc took the team prize.

In the other categories, Tarja Owens (Team WORC) beat Sarah Piner (Lakeside) and Heather Boyd (Ravens) to win the women's title, her fifth thus far. Robert Lamont (XMTB) was best veteran and Liam McGreevey (Banbridge) dominated the junior contest.

How it unfolded

Aiken's win in the senior race was due mainly to a very fast first half. Deciding this was the best tactic to put Seymour and his other rivals under pressure, he went flat out from the gun and immediately posted what would be the fastest lap time (six minutes 38 seconds) by anyone in the race. This was eight seconds quicker than his main rival, ensuring a commanding lead by the end of lap one plus a panicked reaction behind. He then added a further eight seconds to his advantage when he covered the second lap in a time of six minutes 39 seconds.

Lap three of nine was where the biggest gain was made over Seymour, namely 29 seconds. He then took a further seven seconds out of the WORC rider, and while the latter was quicker from lap five onwards [with the exception of lap eight, covered in the same time], his gains were too low to haul back the Banbridge competitor.

It was, Aiken said afterwards, a deliberate tactic. He wanted to hammer it from the start, and it clearly worked out. He said that his choice of equipment also helped by giving him a boost.

"I was riding tubs today, they make a big difference. I haven't raced on them before…it was good. Things went pretty smooth in the race – I had a few little slips but nothing major. Once I got the gap it was okay. It went up to 53 seconds with four laps to go, so I knew then there was no need to keep pushing on so hard."

Robin Seymour was in an optimistic frame of mind before the race. He was chasing his sixteenth win in the championships and appeared to think it was possible to add to that formidable record. However, it was not to be; he was caught out by Aiken's lightning pace at the start and only seemed to get going in the second half of the race.

"It was just one of those days, it took a long time to get into it," he said after the finish. "It took me three or four laps. I changed bikes because the tyres were a bit harder on the first one and I didn't want to stop and let them down. I kind of got into my stride a little bit then, but I wasn't great today. It took me a long time to get away from Joe [McCall] and Philip [Roche], so it was not ideal. And Roger was riding well, of course.

One rider who was very happy with his medal was Joe McCall. He wouldn't be in the running for the win, but he came into the race believing that bronze was very possible. The K-Capital/Rocky Mountain rider spent the early part of the contest tussling with Philip Roche (Team WORC) for third place, then pulled clear and eventually finished a comfortable two minutes ahead. He was happy with how things went.

"It was very good, the course lent itself to splitting all the riders up. There weren't many bunches. The positions were defined early on.

"It was partly down to Roger's fast pace, but it was also because the course was pretty technical in places. You'd come out of the forest with gaps of a couple of seconds here and there and that was hard to close. With a fast course you would find perhaps six riders riding around together, the odd attack. That didn't really happen today, after two or three laps the positions were more or less defined. The race was very good."

Tarja Owens was the clear winner of the women's category, netting what she said is her fifth cross title over the years. Her main rivals from the mountain bike circuit did not take part in the race today. Sarah Piner (Lakeside), Heather Boyle (Ravens) and Louise Harlwich (McNally Swords) were also competing and took places two through to four.

"The race was good," said Owens just before the prize presentation. "It was very enjoyable, actually. It was pretty muddy so that meant it was a bit slower, which was great. I think I got a gap straight away [on the other women]. We all started together and you are just focussed on getting into a good position for the singletrack, so you don't actually notice where the other riders were.

"There were a couple of crashes ahead of me but I was fine. That actually happened on a run-up so it was slow enough that you could get around it."

Piner usually focuses on road racing but said she is happy with her new discipline. "It was very, very enjoyable," she said. "This is my second 'cross race, I did one last week. I will definitely do more next year. I didn't have any falls or anything, just some nasty cramp on lap five!"

The veteran's title went to Robert Lamont, once again proving he is the best in this age group. He finished well clear of the next two home in that category, namely Aiden McDonald (Apollo CT) and Gerry McCabe (Cuchailinn CC). He was also a very solid ninth overall.

"I got away in a wee group due to a good start," he said. "I tried to stay there but then the old age started to creep in and the group went away from me.

"I basically rode the whole race on my own. I tried to stay with other wee groups but it is just getting too hard now.

"The course was quick in the singletrack second, and you needed to be riding well there to be able to come out of it fast. Then it was just about trying to sit in the groups. It was a good, hard course – it was testing for everybody."



1 Roger Aiken (Banbridge)                            1.01.32
2 Robin Seymour (Team WORC)                             0.28
3 Joe McCall (K Capital Rocky Mountain)                 4.09
4 Philip Roche (Team WORC)                              6.09
5 Lewis Ferguson (Dave Kane Northern)                   6.45
6 Mark Allen (Swords CC)                                7.35
7 Liam McGreevey (Banbridge) (first junior finisher)    7.55

Behind one lap

8 Graham Boyd (XMTB)                                        
9 Robert Lamont (XMTB) (first veteran finisher)             
10 Evan Ryan (Team WORC)                                    
11 Richard Felle                                            
12 Aiden McDonald                                           
13 Gerry McCabe                                             
14 Rory Walsh                                               
15 Ryan Sherlock                                            
16 Peter McConville                                         
17 Mick Jordan                                              
18 Alan Clogher                                             
19 Padraig Marrey                                           
20 Keith Meghen                                             
21 Colm Ahearn                                              
22 Michael Cowan                                            
23 William Mulligan                                         
24 Ken Farrar                                               
25 David O'Neill                                            
26 Barry Donnelly                                           
27 Cormac Keogh                                             

Behind two laps

28 Tarja Owens (first female finisher)                      
29 Stewart Galloway                                         
30 Fred McSorley                                            
31 Tony Brennan                                             
32 Will Byrne                                               
33 Frank O'Leary                                            
34 Luke Manning                                             
35 Steven Franzoni                                          
36 Dave Askin                                               
37 Curry Simon                                              
38 Patrick O'Hare                                           
39 Barry Keogh                                              
40 Don Travers                                              
41 John Runciman                                            
42 Sarah Piner                                              

Behind three laps

43 Maurice Mayne                                            
44 John Walker                                              
45 Mark Conway                                              
46 Greg May                                                 
47 Heather Boyle                                            
48 Louise Harlwich                                          
49 William Boyd                                             
DNF  David Gill                                             
DNF  Conor Campbell                                         
DNF  Paddy Daly                                             
DNF  Noel McGlynn                                           
DNF  Mark Kenny                                             
DNF  Gar Maguire                                            
1 Team WORC                                    
1 Tarja Owens (Team WORC)                            1.00.50
2 Sarah Piner (Lakeside)                               10.33

Behind one lap

3 Heather Boyle (Ravens)                                    
4 Louise Harlwich (McNally Swords)                          
1 Robert Lamont (XMTB)                         
2 Aiden McDonald (Apollo CT)                   
3 Gerry McCabe (Cuchailinn CC)      
1 Liam McGreevey (Banbridge)                   
2 Graham Boyd (XMTB)                           
Under 16

1 Andrew Adair (Banbridge)                                  

Under 14
1 Matt Adair (Banbridge)                  13.16
2 Mantis Spirgius (Team Juice)             0.40
3 Seam Barr (Team Juice)                   3.21
4 Clare Oakley (XMTB)                      3.28
5 Ben Gregory (unattached)                 3.55
Under 12
1 Chris Oakley (XMTB)                          
2 Dan Runciman (Banbridge)                     
3 Zak Hanna (Dromara CC)                       
4 Rachel Mayne (Banbridge)                     
Under 10
1 James Curry (Banbridge)                 10.51
2 Joseph Boyd (Banbridge)                  2.14
3 Elis Keogh (Epic)                        3.23

Under 8
1 John Buller (Banbridge CC)                                
2 Shannon Buller (Banbridge CC)                             
3 Mar Buller (Banbridge CC)                                 
4 Shenna McKiverigan (Banbridge CC)                         
5 Ben Hanna (Dromara CC)                                    

Past winners

2007 Robin Seymour (Team WORC)
2006 Robin Seymour (Team WORC) 2004 Roger Aiken (Banbridge) 2003 Robin Seymour 2002 Robin Seymour 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 Past winners by Mario Stiehl, www.world-of-cycling.com