The inaugural Connacht Cyclo-Cross Championships were held in the grounds of Westport House, the coastal seaside town was the perfect setting for such a championship with open green undulating fields surrounded by mature woodland.
The championship was the climax to the cyclo-cross season and it drew the best Connacht riders all looking to start the 2015 season with a bang. The course was one of the best yet with Colm Staunton and his team adding in some tricky bits that caught out many of the top competitors. The 2.3k course was nearly all visible from the one spot making it a great spectacle for onlookers. All of the races produced some fierce battles with the A race proving interesting right to the finish with only 40 odd seconds separating all top three medal winners. Stuart Cox from the Lakeside club in Mullingar was the fastest rider on the day but is not a Connacht rider and did not count for any medals.
The senior A championship was won by Eamon Staunton from Westport Covey’s who finished in a time of 47.30, Paddy Clarke from LiquidWorx, Ballina, came second in a time of 48.06 and Sean O’Malley, Western Lakes CC, finished in third place in a time of 48.17.
The senior B section was taken by West Coast Wheelers rider, David Dowdall, second place went to David Walsh from Ballina, and third placed was claimed by Niall Grennan from West Coast Wheelers.
The junior race was won by Peter Kilgannon from Ballina with Sean Maguire from Westport Covey’s in second spot. The ladies’ championship was won by Noreen O’Toole from Westport Covey’s.
The u16 boys’ section was won by Westport’s Declan Maloney, with Eoghan McLaughlin from Westport Covey’s in second place, and Matthew Watters from MBW Moycullen in third place. The u14 boys’ section went to Aaron Doherty from Westport Covey’s with Shane Higgins from the Blackrose club in second, and Castlebar’s Ronan Reilly finished in third place. The boys’ u12 race was won by Dylan Watters from MBW Moycullen, with Westport Covey’s Keith Mulroy and Shane O’Malley finishing in second and third place respectively. In the boys’ u10 race there was more success for Westport Covey’s with Niall McLaughlin finishing in first place and Finbar McLaughlin in second, with Cunga CC’s Eoin Collins in third place.
Riona O’Connor from the Bottechia club won the girls’ u16 race, with Orla Harrison from Westport Covey’s taking the u14 title, and Caoimhe Connor from the Bottechia winning the u12 girls’ race. The u10 girls’ race was won by Abby Conway from Westport Covey’s, with Aoibha Dunne from Ballina in second place, and Kelsey Mulroy from Westport Covey’s taking the third placed finish.
Darren McGann and the Westport Covey club organised the event on the day and the course was set by Colm Staunton. This course could make a future national championship course with the amount of scope within the grounds. The five round Connacht league held its presentation in conjunction with the Connacht Championship presentation at Tommy Bourke’s bar where a great spread of food was laid out for all the participants.