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Race Report: Vitus First Track Cup 2019 - Castlewellan

Sep 15, 2019
by Yaroslav Alpizar  


The season finale for the Vitus First Track Enduro Cup in Castlewellan. The (in)famous Irish weather held until the last minute and all riders raced under the same circumstances. Kelan Grant and Meave Baxter closed the season with a win in their categories, making them both Queen and King of the Mountain of the 2019 Vitus First Track Cup.

Although during the night there was some rain and the day started completely gray and windy, there was no rain until past midday. Starting at 9:30 the first riders found some slippery bits, but no puddles or muddy conditions. As the day advanced conditions got even better and by the look on everyone's faces, they enjoyed the day. Open sections were totally dry so it was a matter of letting the brakes go and sending it for the crowds. The loam was perfect inside the forest but some roots here and there caused some carnage, no injuries but indeed some seconds were lost to the black slippery snakes from hell.

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Meave dominated the field without her biggest nemeses, Leah Maunsell and Hannah Harvey. Behind her, the young Hannah Mullin grabbed second place with a strong demonstration, coming 2nd into all the stages. Cliona O'Kelly also swapped out 3rd place over Louise Friel.

In the men's field, all seemed clear with a strong performance from Kelan Grant since the first stage. Only the young Drew Armstrong managed to steal one stage, number 4, with Kelan 2nd. Tommy Magnenat came into second 21s behind Kelan with what seemed the best comeback possible after an injury, getting the U21 overall on the way. Drew Armonstrong got third 31s short from Kelan and 10s from Tommy. The local legend Glyin O'Brien still has some tricks under his belt, with a 2nd place on the SS2 and 4th on the overall race. Aidan Hawkins completed the podium 48s behind Kelan.

Castlewellan castle built in 1855 overlooking the lake and the area
Castlewellan castle, built in 1855, overlooking the lake and the racing area

The waiting game
The waiting game

Chainreaction Belfast team wishing the best to their riders
Chainreaction Belfast team wishing the best to their riders

 Born to lose. Live to win keep the spirit alive m
Styles for miles
Born to lose. Live to win. keep the spirit alive

Kelan steed getting some love from CRC Belfast mechanics
On their way to SS1

Morgan Steele Steele Racing 2nd on Junior category
Morgan Steele (Steele Racing) 2nd on Junior category

J-Mac hammering the pedals on each section
Ben Irwin Mech Monkey sneaked into top10 with a great 3rd on SS1 and SS5
Each pedal stroke counts

James Mac Ferran Cycleology Racing first on MasterA 30-34 and 6th overall SS5 22nd made him lost valuable seconds on the battle for the 5th with Aidan
James Mac Ferran (Cycleology Racing) first on MasterA 30-34 and 6th overall, SS5 (22nd) made him lost valuable seconds on the battle for the 5th with Aidan

Seems like nothing but this corner caused some carnage that foot helped a lot to get things
Seems like nothing but this corner caused some carnage, that foot helped a lot to get things

Frazer Morrison Mech Monkey didn t had the best day a flat and a big mechanical saw him deep in the results
Frazer Morrison (Mech Monkey) didnĀ“t have the best day, a flat and a big mechanical saw him deep in the results

You will not see many like these steel is real you would say Michael Rea rides a full suspension steel horse
You will not see many like these, steel is real you would say, Michael Rea rides a full-suspension steel horse


Jack Devlin Vitus First Tracks Race Division
Jack Devlin (Vitus First Tracks Race Division)

Sucking all the air possible
Sucking all the air possible

Tommy Happy Magnenat had the best performance of the season coming from an injury got 1rst U21 2nd overall on the race and first overall U21 on the season
Tommy "Happy" Magnenat had the best performance of the season, coming from an injury got 1rst U21, 2nd overall on the race and first overall U21 on the season

The Lizard putting down some watts at the end of the SS3
The Lizard putting down some watts at the end of the SS3

Aidan Hawkins had a good day on the wheels battling with Glyn O Brien for the 4th overall position a costly 12th on the SS4 made him grab 5th at the end of the day
Aidan Hawkins had a good day on the wheels, battling with Glyn O'Brien for the 4th overall position a costly 12th on the SS4 made him grab 5th at the end of the day

Sometimes you win sometimes not

Kelan Grant CRC Mavic is having a great season and is showing that with top podiums winning the race today and the season overall
Kelan Grant (CRC Mavic) is having a great season and is showing that with top podiums, winning the race today and the season overall

Peter Davison Mech Monkey always a contender for the podium grabbed 3rd on Senior Men 21-29 and 7th overall
Peter Davison (Mech Monkey) always a contender for the podium, grabbed 3rd on Senior Men (21-29) and 7th overall

Conor Campbell managed to sneak into 3rd place of Men40-49
Conor Campbell managed to sneak into 3rd place of Men40-49

Nathan Vitus First Tracks Race Division gave all he got on the race ending inside the top10 actually 10
Nathan (Vitus First Tracks Race Division) gave all he got on the race, ending inside the top10, actually 10

The jump over the fence is a long tradition in Castlewellan all kids should do it on their 12 b-day
Nathan McComb sending it for the crowds, think they should make this a tradition

Elite women overall podium Meave Baxter Queen of the Mountain
Elite women overall podium, Meave Baxter Queen of the Mountain

U21 overall season leaders with Tommy Magnenat Drew Armstrong Vitus First Tracks Race Division and Jack Devlin Vitus First Tracks Race Division
U21 overall season leaders with Tommy Magnenat, Drew Armstrong (Vitus First Tracks Race Division) and Jack Devlin (Vitus First Tracks Race Division)

Overall series winners Kelan Grant King of the Mountain
Overall series winners, Kelan Grant King of the Mountain

Race results

Pro Men
1st. Kelan Grant 12:49.19
2nd. Tommy Magnenat 13:10.57 +0:21.38
3rd. Drew Armstrong 13:20.34 +0:31.15
4th. Glyn O'Brien 13:33.70 +0:44.51
5th. Aidan Hawkins 13:37.26 +0:48.07
Pro Women
1st. Meave Baxter 15:59.02
2nd. Hannah Mullin 17:31.84 +1:32.82
3rd. Cliona O'Kelly 18:57.44 +2:58.42
4th. Louise Friel 21:55.15 +5:56.13


Overall season winners
Overall season winners

Overall Series Results

Pro Men
1st. Kelan Grant 180
2nd. Glyn O'Brien 154
3rd. James Mac Ferran 144
4th. Drew Armstrong 135
5th. Ben Irwin 116
Pro Women
1st. Meave Baxter 205
2nd. Hannah Mullin 175
3rd. Hannah Harvey 155
4th. Leah Maunsell 120
5th. Louise Friel 108



MENTIONS: @VitusBikes / @ChainReactionCycles

Regions in Article Castlewellan Forestal Park


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