The 2014 National Champs were held in Rostrevor this year and with Glyn O’Brien in charge of building the track I knew everyone was in for a great race.
My weekend started early on Saturday morning which gave me time to walk the track before practice, I was really impressed with how it looked with a good mix of natural steep forest sections and then the existing “On the Pulse” trail. I took it easy and only did 4 practice runs on Saturday but that was more than enough to get wild on more than one occasion with Seanan. I was really enjoying the track and being back racing and riding in Ireland after a few months racing in Europe. My Nukeproof Pulse felt great on the track from run one and I was feeling confident coming into Sunday.
After a good night sleep I was ready for race day. I did two runs early in the morning and felt great on track. I had a quick bite to eat and headed up for my seeding run. Seeding was going well until I got red flagged and had to roll back down to the bottom. I decided to take the opportunity to do a re run as I didn’t know how I fared compared to the rest of the field. I rushed back up to the top and had a great 2nd seeding run, I hit most of my lines and felt good the whole way down to the finish, this showed in my result as I came down into 1st place.
With the track beginning to dry up for finals I knew it would be getting faster and the times would come down so I was looking to improve on my seeding run time. I had some lunch and then headed up for my race run, being the last man down the hill I let the pressure get to me a little bit. I had a great top section and then made some silly mistakes and just didn’t attack the track as much as I could with the drying conditions. I completed race run with my time matching my seeding run, which placed me in 2nd. My aim was to win this race, so second place was quite a hard pill to swallow although I was still happy to gain some valuable UCI points for the World Cup ranking. Hats off to Colin as he managed to put a solid run in and keep it together for the finals, maybe next year!
You can find the full results here – Race Results
Thanks to Dermott Sweeny for supplying the images.
Many Thanks to all my sponsors for their continued support throughout the year – Chain Reaction Cycles, Nukeproof, Schwalbe Tyres, Mucky Nutz and 100% Eyewear
My next race will be the Irish Enduro Champs followed by the next round of the IDMS in Bree Hill.