The Ulster XC circus descended on Garvagh Forest this Sunday for Round 5 of the Xc League for the first MTB race in the forest since 1996 and with the weather holding up all day despite a brief shower at the end of the day, it’s fair to say that we got almost the perfect day for xc racing.

With the super amount of hard work put in by the MTB crew and the weeks excellent weather coupled with the already impressive natural XC trails in Garvagh the junior and senior courses were always going to impress.

The first races of the day were the Under 8’s who would complete four laps of their course and they set off at an impressive pace. Eva Gordon was second girl home with Tom, Frank who diced all race and finishing strongly too. well done to the youngest of the Carn Wheelers MTB contingent, James Russell and Padraig Doyle who completed the U8 race.

Then it was onto the Bradley’s Bridge loop for the U10 and U12 races. In the U10 boys Thomas Warke rode very well start to finish and in the girls race Sarah Elder took third. In the U12 boys, Dominic Bradley took third closely followed by Andrew Gordon, Cathir Doyle and Mark Lamont. In the girls race it was Kathryn Doyle who took the top step of the podium with Emma Elder in third place followed closely by Anna Russell.

The Under 14 race took in one full lap of the Senior course and Sean Bradley fought hard in a race which saw him and another rider sprint the finish straight in an almost photo finish to take sixth place.

The local knowledge shone through in the Senior 4 race with Martin Bradley taking a convincing second place, followed by Shane Elder in fifth and Mervyn Gordon in 11th. Darren Mulholland and Gareth Skelly also finished strongly in their race.

The final race of the day was the main senior race which saw Stephen Law take third place in the S3 class and Ryan Walsh take 8th in the S2 category.

Well done to all competitors, its great to see so many club members up there in the running for races on their home turf.

Also many thanks to the marshals who turned up on the day, without whom there could be no race and thanks to everyone who helped organise the race, made the trails ready and who played any part in the running of the event.

Thanks to CP Hire for supplying barriers and toilets and to Graphix Station Maghera for pro viding signage. Also many thanks to the ladies who took care of the catering on the day, making sure everyone was well fed and watered.

More results and photos will go up during the week, so check out www.carnwheelers.co.uk and www.ulsterxc.com or check us out on Facebook.

We look forward to seeing you all at the Ulster XC Champs in Castlewellan next week, see www.ulsterxc.com for details.