Multiple Irish cross country champion Robin Seymour is expected to secure his place in this summer's Olympic Games on Sunday, when he takes part in the last of three selection events held to determine which Irish rider will be sent to Beijing. Round three of the K-Capital Cup cross country series heads to Djouce Woods near Bray in County Wicklow on Sunday. No less than thirteen overseas elite men are expected to make the trip to Ireland for the UCI Category 2 race.
After finishing second and first in the other races, Seymour has a clear lead for the Irish Olympic spot over Niall Davis. It would take a win by the latter plus a DNF from Seymour in order for the younger rider to get the nod for the 2008 Games. The third rider in the running, Conor McConvey, took a fine third place in the second round held in Moneyscalp Wood but missed out on the first due to a broken shoulder. The resulting loss of points makes it impossible for him to now aim for Beijing.
Seymour, Davis and McConvey will face the best top elite riders like British Champion Oli Beckingsale, who won round one at Kilruddery. Joining Beckingsale will be Ross Creber, David Fletcher, Ian Bibby, Gareth Montgomery, Lee Williams with Paul Beales. Along with this British-based group will be Swiss rider Christoph Bischof, Czech George Hudeckova, young Polish rider Rafal Plucinski, German Jochen Cochonelli and from Sweden Micke Haggquist. Canadian Kevin Calhoun completes the line up as a special guest of K-Capital sponsor Mark Kenny. Other Irish riders to watch include Ryan Sherlock, Dave Barry, Richard Felle, Evan Ryan, Graham Boyd and Joe McCall.
In the elite women's race, Mel Spath won the round at Moneyscalp and will defend her leader's jersey against Beth McLuskey, Jess Laird, Ann Duffy and Ciara McManus. In the junior category, Banbridge CC's Liam McGreevy has scored two wins and will be out to make it a treble with his challengers including Paul O'Reilly, Neil McGimpsey and Conal Higgins.
Ireland has already secured two slots for the road race. Selection for these will be confirmed at a later date in the season. David O'Loughlin's sixth place in the individual pursuit at last week's world track championships in Manchester may possibly secure a fourth place for Ireland, although it is understood that he is still awaiting confirmation from the UCI.