After a three-year Covid-enforced break, mountain bikers returned to the Cooley Peninsula once again for the Cooley Thriller Cross Country mountain bike marathon race earlier this month.
The event, the only one of its kind in Ireland, was organized by the local Cuchulainn Club and was very well supported with over 250 competitors coming from all over the country to take part.
Carlingford was blessed with perfect weather that day and the main race, 50km long, followed a course that took competitors on a full traverse of the Cooley Mountains.
Although demanding, the course was well received by the participants, the good weather highlighting exceptional landscapes.
In the main event, it was current National Cross Country Elite Champion Christopher McGlinchey (Spectra Wiggle p/b Vitus) who took a convincing victory in a time of 2 hours 46 minutes.
Second place went to Irish international rider Darnell Moore (Team Caldwell Cycles), while Gareth McKee (Cycleology Racing Team) completed the podium. Cuchulainn driver PJ Hynes was very impressive, finishing 6th.
Not far behind was another club man, Ray O’Shaughnessy, 9th. Additionally, Jason Malone just entered the top 10% of the field, finishing 24th.
First woman home was Niamh McKiverigan (Scott Bright Motor Group), completing the course in an impressive 4 hours and 5 minutes. The e-bike support race was won by local man Sean Kelly.
In the short course race, Fionn Crinion took the win over Faith Robinson with Colm Keane in third. The top local in the short race was Michael Martin in 4th followed by Under-16 rider Rhiannon Dolan in a very impressive 5th, in what was his first ever mountain bike race.
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