Last Sunday was the first round of the Ulster cross country mountainbike series.  Like so many weekends recently, the weather was appalling, but this did not stop healthy representation from across the province at the event at Tollymore Forest Park, Newcastle, County Down. 


Local club Maryland Wheelers fielded 7 riders in the day’s racing.  The course was one of the most technically challenging courses on the circuit, made more difficult again by the weather and consisted of sections to give even the best riders nightmares – steep climbs and descents, wet off camber roots, gloopy mud and slippy rocks.


Cara Suckling took part in the female under 10s, and came home a brilliant 4th position in a two lap race – this shows excellent progress for Cara in her first season of racing. Curtis McKee took part in the male under 10 race and romped home in second place and has to be considered as one of the hot favourites for overall championship over the next few months.


At the senior level the club were represented by Gavin Thompson and Stephen Wright in the S4 race.  Both riders started far back on the starting grid, but showed grit and determination in the two lap race with Gavin placing an excellent 2nd position.  In their first outing at the S3 level, Stuart Suckling and Winston Johnston similarly started from the back of the grid and again showed their class with Stuart riding eventually to 9th.  These results bode well for the next round of the championship at Craigavon water sports centre on the 9th April

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