This years Irish Champs was held in Fairymount Farm, North Tippareary. There was a lot of work done on the track in preperation for the event so I was looking forward to getting to try it out, it was a fun track with some nice loamy turns, a few jumps and a few awkward rooty sections in between. I arrived to the venue on Saturday morning and had a quick walk of the track before heading up for practice. The uplifts at the Farm were great so there was no shortage of runs to be had! I managed to get a lend of the new 2014 Nukeproof Mega AM from my good friend Alastair Beckett. The 2014 Mega range uses 27.5″ wheels which I felt was the perfect combination for the track.
Practice went well for me after getting all my lines sorted after the first 3-4 runs I did a few timed runs to try and replicate what had to be done on Sunday. I ended the day with a fun headcam run with D-Shan!
Once practice was over a big group of us headed to our accommodation local to the track, we all chilled around a fire for the night and talked aload of s#@t over a good cup of tea before it was time for bed ! We also had a little ripper called Oisin O’Callaghan staying with us who is only 10 but was flying down the track all weekend, definatly a name to remember for the future!
I did a few runs in the morning with Dan Wolfe before seeding and was having alot of fun on the track. My seeding run didn’t go to plan, I set off strong and then made a number of mistakes on some turns at the top, after this I just decided to conserve my energy and cruise down to the bottom. I came down into around 6th place and new I had plenty of time to make up for finals.
After a poor seeding run I was ready to try and smash it in the finals, my race run was really good I felt like I attacked hard the whole way down and didn’t really make any mistakes. I came across the line into 1st around 5 seconds quicker than my seeding run. I managed to hold off everyone except for Vitus rider Colin Ross who managed to pip me by 0.3 seconds. I was a little dissapointed on coming 2nd and missing out on the win but it was great to see such tight racing with the top 5 riders being seperated by less than a second! I am already looking forward to next year to give it another shot!!
Thanks to Dermott Sweeney Photography for the great photos from the weekend !
It was a great end to an amazing year of racing and I can’t thank all my sponsors enough for all the support throughout the year – Chain Reaction Cycles, Nukeproof, Schwalbe, Contour, 100% Eyewear, Crank Brothers & Mucky Nutz.