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Irish Downhill MTB Championships - CN

Rostrevor, Co. Down, July 26, 2003


Ross takes first championship win

By Shane Stokes, irishcycling.com

The strong showing by John Lawlor and Glyn O'Brien in the recent round of the world cup in Canada had earned them the tag of favourites for the Elite division in Sunday's Irish national downhill championships, but instead it was In Touch Solutions rider Colin Ross who took gold at the end of a thrilling day's racing. Ross covered the tough, technical descent in a time of one minute 35.06 seconds, just over three seconds faster than O'Brien, who had the misfortune to crash heavily during his second run. He had jumped a large rock in an attempt to improve on Ross's time but lost control, hitting the ground and breaking a bone in his chest.

The bronze medal went to Andrew Yoong, also of the In Touch Solutions squad, who posted a time of one minute and 49.42 seconds.

The ride of the day was the performance of the junior Ben Reid (Plush), who took gold in his event with a time of one minute 38.19 seconds. Reid had actually punctured halfway through his run and many observers felt that he would otherwise have got the fastest time of all the categories. He was nevertheless eight seconds clear of Simon Parkinson, who had taken part with a one day licence and was thus ineligible for silver. The medal went instead to Andy Smith (SMG Racing) who was fifteen seconds adrift of Reid but almost a second quicker than Fiat LCV rider Jamie Popham.

In the other categories, medals went to David Egan (gold), George Jones (silver) and Nick Rocks (bronze) in the senior race, while in the masters event Marty McGuigan overcame a broken finger to beat Mark Dickson and Joe Ward. Stephen McClintock, Darren Quille and Mark Nugent were best in the under 16 race, and Guy Troy and Liam McTiernan took gold and silver in the under 14 event.

Derek Cowan and Peter Popham were the medallists in the veterans race and Michelle McCartney was first in the women's contest.

'The course was a bit unusual for a championship course in that it was really slow and very technical,' said Peter Popham afterwards. 'It was the same the whole way down. It was steep and required no pedalling at all….riders either loved it or hated it.'


1 Colin Ross (In Touch Solutions) 1.35.06
2 G. O'Brien (In Touch Solutions) 1.38.02
3 A. Yoong (In Touch Solutions)   1.49.42
1 David Egan (AB Racing)          2.00.76
2 G. Jones                        2.00.84
3 N. Rocks                        2.05.78
1 Marty McGuigan (Plush)          1.48.59
2 M. Dickson (Plush)              1.56.91
3 J. Ward (Plush)                 1.58.81
1 Ben Reid (Plush)                1.38.19
2 S. Parkinson (GBR Team)         1.46.10
2 A. Smyth (SMG Racing)           1.53.84
3 J. Popham (Fiat LCV Racing)     1.54.66
Under 16
1 Stephen McClintock              1.54.45
2 D. Quille (Newbridge CC)        1.57.41
3 M. Nugent (Cyclone)             2.03.44
Under 14
1 Matt Parkinson                  2.16.86
1 G. Troy                         2.52.72
2 L. Jones (GBR)                  2.30.84
2 L. McTiernan                    2.59.26
3 M. Dunlop                       2.03.44
1 Derek Cowan (Plush)
2 P. Popham (Fiat LCV Racing)
1 Michelle McCartney (Plush)