Race Report: Vitus First Tracks Cup 2021 Round 3 - Gortin Glen

Oct 24, 2021
by Yaroslav Alpizar  

And just like that, the Vitus First Track Enduro Cup is done and dusted for 2021. The last race of the season was at Gortin Glen Forest Park, a legendary location that has not seen any racing action in more than 10 years but is known for being one of the first locations for a Northern Ireland downhill race back in the late '90s. Some of the riders were proud to have taken part in such an epic moment and even more proud to be back on the local trails built by the local MTB club, Gortin MTB.

Two days of racing, with mild Irish autumn weather awaited the participants. Four stages to be tackled in 16km y 600m of climbing, with the largest stage, Sika's Run 2.3km and 170m drop. There is a trail named after the local legend Kelan Grant, Kelan's Chase, and it was stage number one of the day and the one that got the legs ready for the rest of the day. Lots of pedaling on this race, beefy full-suspension bikes were maybe not the best tool for the task, hardtails or a short travel bike showed to be a better fit for the trail center trails.

On Saturday, another local hero, Gary Donaldson was the overall and Senior category winner with a time of 16:34.83, winning all stages but first one where another local Angus Fyffe was the winner. Angus was actually second overall and senior grabbing 2nd on the rest of the stages and ending 7.42s off Gary. Third overall was the also Omagh local Marc Potts from Master30A category 25.05s off first position. On Juniors Sean Cunningham won three stages and got first with 17:44.11, followed by Callum Morris just 5.54s behind and third position for local shredder Robin Sim 32.73s behind Sean.

Sunday was the day for women, youth and the master men categories. In the women's young Hannah Mullin dominated the field with a complete swipe of all stages followed by Shenna McKiverigan and Jennifer Wark, 48.37 and 1:45.89 behind Hannah. On Veteran Men (40-49) Glyn O'Brien did a full sweep and got also 2nd overall of the day. On second came Adam Lyons and third local Paul Caldwell. The Super Veteran Men (50-59) had a good battle for the win with Michael White taking 2 stages and the category but the first and last stage were won by two other riders, one of them a 90's legend that has come back to racing after 23 years of hiatus, Darren Tapp, with his Kona Stinky Deluxe #26aintdead. Brian Mallon came 2nd on SuperVeteran Men and third Michael Ervine. Hardtail is another category with a high number of riders, even more on a weekend with lots of pedaling. Ashley Allerton put together a good first and third stage and second on the 2nd stage that left him with a first position in the category. Local Bryce Mortland came second 15.67s behind winning the second stage and third Alistair McFarland winning the last stage.

Once more thanks to all our sponsors for all their support all these years. Thanks to all volunteers and marshals out there in the mountain, to all clubs, trail builders and local associations. And of course, to all riders and participants, we couldn't do it without you.

See you in 2022!

Autumn is here, but the rain didn't show up

Hannah Mullin smashing her Specialized for the women overall win, watch out for this girl

Gary Donaldson put together a solid day on the pedals winning 3 out of 4 stages for the win

Dale McMullan, ChainReaction Cycles team, hard on the pedals for a 5th position in Veteran Men (40-49)

River Run was the third stage of the day, with sharp and tight corners to negotiate

Matheus Braian grabbed 5th on Senior Men (21-29) and enjoyed himself on Sunday on the Open category, not on his preferred terrain with lots of pedaling involved

Watch out for those trees

Find Waldo

Good to see so many women racing, many from the LadiesWhoShredNI group showed up and had tons of fun

Hard on the pedals, Michael Cowan battling on the Veteran Men

Darren Tapp with his Kona Stinky Deluxe 26aintdead
Darren Tapp, with his Kona Stinky Deluxe #26aintdead


Pro Men

1st. Gary Donaldson
2nd. Angus Fyffe
3rd. Mark Maguire
4th. Darnell Moore
5th. Matheus Braian Neitzke
Pro Women

1st. Hannah Mullin
2nd .Shenna McKiverigan
3rd. Jennifer Wark
4th. Cliona O'Kelly
5th. Melissa Anderson

MENTIONS: @VitusBikes / @ChainReactionCycles / @Helmetor


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 Great stuff. Well done.

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