Adam McGarr shows the emotion of winning Irish junior title

Posted on: January 13th, 2019

Bitterly disappointed 12 months ago, Adam McGarr got his nose in front today and simply kept the pressure on. He’s the new Irish junior men’s cyclocross champion (All photos by Toby Watson)


By the time Adam McGarr approached the finish of the junior men’s race at the National Cyclocross Championships the emotions were in full flow.

A two-armed victory salute signalled an Irish title in the bag. And teenager McGarr was also fighting back tears at the end of a great ride at Fota Island.

He went into the race a strong favourite having won some senior races over the season. But actually going out and delivering on the day is another challenge completely.

And after being very disappointed with his nationals ride last year; McGarr really wanted to win and was overwhelmed when he did.

His mother and father, Leo and Cora, were there to see him take what is likely to be just the first Irish title their son will win.

They’ve been with him all season; offering support and mucking in to help whenever and wherever they’re needed, including in the pits.

New Irish champion McGarr, an 18-year apprentice electrician from Brittas in Co Wicklow, has enjoyed a great season.

But there’s no doubt today’s win in the De Ronde Van Cork promotion was by far the biggest of his fledgling career.


Best of Irish: Adam McGarr, Sean Nolan and Lee Harvey.


“Yeah, it meant a lot to me,” he said reflecting on his victory on the biggest day in domestic cyclocross.

“Last year I was very disappointed with my performance and today was also my first major title as well.

“My mother and father were with me, and they’ve been with me every race this year. They play a big roll on race day, in the pits and generally helping me out.

“They were delighted I won today, it means a lot to them as well.”

In the five-lap race McGarr ( started strongest of the field, though Sean Nolan (Navan Road Club) wasn’t too far away.

Indeed, just seconds separated the eventual top three on the opening two laps; McGarr going clear a little of Nolan who was similarly putting some time into Lee Harvey of VC Glendale.

But on the third lap, and already with 10 seconds in hand on Nolan, McGarr dug deeper. He put in his quickest lap time and trebled his lead to 30 seconds.

The battle behind him for silver and bronze was closer; not much separating Nolan and Harvey.


Savoured victory in Cork

But on lap four, the penultimate circuit, McGarr continued applying the pressure and built his lead a little further.

And it wasn’t until the second half of the last lap that he eased back to savour his win; taking the flag after 40 minutes of racing some 55 seconds up on Nolan.

And Harvey was just 17 further seconds back to claim the bronze medal in the Irish title race.

“As soon as the whistle went; for the first two laps I focused on riding hard and getting the gap,” the new champion explained.

“And once I got the gap I just focused on getting stronger each lap. At the end of the third lap I felt that all I had to do is keep going.”


National Cyclocross Championships 2019

Fota Island, Co Cork

Promoted by De Ronde Van Cork

Sun, Jan 13: Men’s Junior Race

  1. MCGARR, Adam 39:38
  2. NOLAN, Sean Navan Road Club 40:33
  3. HARVEY, Lee VC Glendale 40:50
  4. DIXON, Ciaran Team Type 1 Junior Team 41:33
  5. WALSH, Donal Un-Attached Ulster 43:06
  6. DOOLAN, Padraic Acorn Road Club 45:22
  7. O’CONOR, Denis Sliabh Luachra Cycling Club 45:28
  8. PATTWELL, Eoghan O’Leary Stone Kanturk 48:26