Stickybottle

“It was neck and neck ‘til a lap to go. I kept the pressure on; didn’t want a tactical race”

Posted on: January 13th, 2013

Aiken looking determined as he rides to victory and his third title in Dundalk (Photo: Toby Watson – homepage photo by Peter O’Toole)

Aiken looking determined as he rides to victory and his third title in Dundalk (Photo: Toby Watson – homepage photo by Peter O’Toole)

 

By Caroline Martinez

The two strongest elite cyclocross riders in the country today, Sunday, put on a great display as they duelled for the National Cyclocross Crown, with their battle in the closing stages underlining the significance for any rider of taking an Irish title.

In the end there could be only one winner, with Roger Aiken from Banbridge CC getting the verdict over the defending champion Robin Seymour from Team WORC.

“I feel brilliant, I’m really delighted to have won it for a third time, I’ve been doing cyclocross for thirteen years now,” the winner told stickybottle immediately after his victory.

“It was neck and neck until 1½ laps to go. We were swapping bikes every two laps and I just got a bit of a gap on Robin with 1½ laps to go.”

However, Aiken said it was not a case of knowing he had the victory in the bag at that stage.

“No, I kept the pressure on. I didn’t want it to end up a tactical race so I kept the pressure on, kept trying hard. Then the elastic just broke or he might have made a slight mistake and I got the gap.”

Last year in St Anne’s Park, Raheny, Dublin, Aiken rode a very strong race and suffered some mechanical problems. But despite his issues on the day, Seymour looked the stronger and more composed and ran out a deserved winner.

Today there was something of a reversal of fortunes around a cold and muddy Muirhevnamor Park.

Aiken led his closest rival for most of the way, with the two masters of the Irish scene pulling away from the best of the rest to turn the race for gold into a direct head-to-head.

But while Aiken managed to keep his nose out front, Seymour was always at his shoulder to offer a reminder if one were needed that he was not going to relinquish his crown easily.

With around 1½ laps remaining, the two leaders were still together when Aiken put the hammer down after changing his bike in the pits area. Seymour responded to the surge but then slipped and lost his balance.

He quickly regained his composure and was back up, but Aiken was by now pressing on very hard. And going out onto the last lap he had a lead of 13 seconds. Seymour dug massively deep, burying himself after the flying Banbridge man and while be rounded the final circuit two seconds faster than Aiken it was not enough to defend his title.

Aiken had time to give a delighted victory salute and take the applause of the crowd while Seymour came home 11 seconds down also saluting the crowd as he took the silver.

The battle behind them was for bronze from a very early stage, with former An Post-Sean Kelly rider Connor McConvey filling the final spot on the podium despite his focus having been on the road in recent years.

The big man was 3:52 down on Aiken, with Sean O’Tuathail of Bray Wheelers and further 4:05 down in 4th place, followed by Ray O’Shaughnessey of the host club Cuchulainn CC in 5th.

 

National Cyclocross Championships – Senior Men

16.38 km, 7 laps of 2.34 km, winner: 1:01:50 at 15.89 km/h

Pos Last Name First Name Team Category Time Gap km/h Lap 1 Lap 2 Lap 3 Lap 4 Lap 5 Lap 6 Lap 7
1 AIKEN Roger Banbridge CC Senior Men 1:01:50 15.89 8:42 8:52 8:41 8:57 9:01 8:45 8:50
2 SEYMOUR Robin Team Worc Senior Men 1:02:01 0’11” 15.85 8:43 8:53 8:42 8:55 9:01 8:56 8:48
3 MC CONVEY Connor Mc convey cycles xmtb Senior Men 1:05:41 3’51” 14.96 8:46 9:06 9:35 9:44 9:39 9:30 9:19
4 O TUATHAIL Sean Bray Wheelers Senior Men 1:09:47 7’57” 14.08 8:58 9:36 9:51 9:53 10:10 10:30 10:47
5 OSHAUGHNESSEY Ray cuchulainn Senior men 1:10:57 9’07” 13.85 9:21 9:37 9:35 10:10 10:19 10:46 11:06
6 ADAIR matthew XMTB Senior Men 1:14:35 12’45” 13.18 9:15 11:39 9:45 9:50 10:31 10:45 12:48
7 O NEILL David Swords CC Senior Men 1:16:10 14’20” 12.90 9:56 10:09 10:13 10:28 10:36 10:24 14:20
8 RYAN Evan Team WORC Senior Men 1:02:39 1 lap 13.44 9:44 10:06 10:27 10:41 10:29 11:10
9 DOWNEY Sean Cycleways CC Senior Men 1:02:50 1 lap 13.41 10:02 9:59 10:33 10:52 10:51 10:30
10 BOYD Graham Xmtb McConvey Cycles Senior Men 1:04:33 1 lap 13.05 10:10 10:34 10:45 10:44 10:47 11:31
11 KELLETT Barry Dromara CC Senior Men 1:05:09 1 lap 12.93 10:15 10:54 10:55 10:58 11:01 11:04
12 IRELAND Luke Phoenix CC Senior Men 1:05:36 1 lap 12.84 10:01 10:38 10:53 11:12 11:15 11:35
13 BUGGLE Peter Rocky Mountain Senior Men 1:05:47 1 lap 12.81 10:20 10:11 10:41 11:06 11:11 12:15
14 TRAVERS Don Banbridge C C Senior Men 1:06:34 1 lap 12.65 10:17 10:59 11:03 11:17 11:37 11:19
15 EDGAR Tim Unattached ulster Senior Men 1:06:58 1 lap 12.58 10:09 11:35 10:56 11:24 11:49 11:03
16 GALLOWAY Stuart Team WORC Senior Men 1:07:10 1 lap 12.54 10:21 11:40 11:10 11:18 11:13 11:25
17 MEGHEN Keith Sundrive Track Club Senior Men 1:07:26 1 lap 12.49 11:21 11:16 11:00 11:15 11:20 11:11
18 DONALD Alex PhoenixCC Senior Men 1:07:27 1 lap 12.49 10:19 11:05 11:20 11:50 11:14 11:37
19 O’HARA Niall MBCC Senior Men 1:08:18 1 lap 12.33 10:45 10:53 11:17 11:14 11:36 12:32
20 O REGAN Tim DID Dunboyne Senior Men 1:09:33 1 lap 12.11 9:40 10:40 10:34 11:40 12:35 14:22
21 BOYDELL Oisin Mountainbike Ass of Dub Senior Men 1:10:51 1 lap 11.89 10:46 10:55 11:42 12:16 12:29 12:41
22 CLOGHER Alan TC Racing Senior Men 1:12:10 1 lap 11.67 11:18 12:22 11:31 12:43 11:58 12:16
23 COLGAN Vincent Park Wheelers Senior Men 1:01:53 2 laps 11.34 11:19 11:44 12:01 13:24 13:23
24 HENRY Joe phoenix cc Senior Men 1:02:19 2 laps 11.26 12:06 11:52 12:40 12:19 13:21
25 O’TOOLE Redmond Team Worc Senior Men 1:03:18 2 laps 11.09 11:27 12:38 13:33 12:29 13:09
26 PURDY Daniel Banbridge Senior Men 1:03:30 2 laps 11.05 12:08 12:26 12:43 12:57 13:15
27 RYAN Gene MAD MTB Senior Men 1:04:28 2 laps 10.89 11:16 12:20 13:50 13:58 13:02
28 MCGOVERN Eoin Dublin Wheelers CC Senior Men 1:04:44 2 laps 10.84 10:56 12:34 12:57 14:23 13:53
29 KELLETT Brian Lakeland Cycle Club Senior Men 1:13:12 2 laps 9.59 12:46 14:01 17:39 14:29 14:15
30 KELLEHER Stephen cuchulainn cc Senior Men 1:14:25 2 laps 9.43 11:42 13:10 14:08 20:30 14:53
31 LATTIMORE James South Dublin Cycling Club Senior Men 1:16:18 2 laps 9.20 23:12 11:56 11:38 14:35 14:55
32 KELLY Matthew GC Wheelers Senior Men 1:05:00 3 laps 8.64 14:42 15:13 17:27 17:36
DNF CASSIDY Ian Piranha Triathlon Club Senior Men 1:01:43 11.38 10:48 12:36 12:41 13:01 12:34
DNF ROWAN John Swords Senior Men 1:03:18 11.09 12:18 14:59 6:32 14:44 14:42
DNF KINNING glenn east anrtrim cc Senior Men 43:15 12.99 9:47 10:00 10:41 12:44
DNF MCCANN David Park Wheelers Senior Men 50:54 11.03 10:58 12:34 14:02 13:18
DNF BUCKE Kenny South Dublin CC Senior Men 37:22 11.28 11:56 12:36 12:48
DNF BALLANTINE Stuart Xmtb McConvey Cycles Senior Men 41:47 13.02 10:23 10:43 11:14
DNF FELLE Richard South Dublin CC Senior Men 46:00 13.00 10:05 11:09 11:09
DNF RICE Murt u/a Senior Men 20:44 13.55 10:11 10:31

 

He’s more used to gold than silver, but Seymour took the result very sportingly (Photo: Toby Watson)

He’s more used to gold than silver, but Seymour took the result very sportingly (Photo: Toby Watson)

 

Seymour leads Aiken on a technical section in the opening stages (Photo: Toby Watson)

Seymour leads Aiken on a technical section in the opening stages (Photo: Toby Watson)

 

McConvey may be a road specialist now, but he still took bronze (Photo: Toby Watson)

McConvey may be a road specialist now, but he still took bronze (Photo: Toby Watson)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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