By Shane Stokes
Robin Seymour, the dominant force in Irish cyclo-cross and XC mountain bike racing since the start of the 1990s, will attempt to add to his formidable record on Sunday when he lines out in the 2008 national cyclo-cross championships in Tymon Park, Dublin.
The Wicklow man has won 15 out of the last 16 national cross titles, with a defeat to Roger Aiken back in 2005 the only hiccup to his record. He has also netted the last fourteen consecutive MTB XC gold medals. Last January Seymour finished 22 seconds up on Aiken in the cross nationals held in Banbridge, with bronze medallist Lewis Ferguson a further 3 minutes and 20 seconds back.
The first two of those have shown very strong form in recent events, although they have not yet competed against each other on Irish soil. Seymour won in Corcagh Park at the end of November while Aiken dominated the Ulster championships in Kilbroney Park on December 1st. He also won the Banbridge Academy race on December 15th.
A strong clash therefore looks on the cards this Sunday, with Seymour wishing to add to his fifteen cyclo-cross titles and fourteen consecutive mountain bike XC gold medals, and Aiken looking to return to his giant-killing role of three years ago. It's likely that they will scrap it out for the title, with a number of other challengers then vying for the bronze medal. The race will be run on a course which provides a good blend of fast grass sections, technical singletrack, banks, steps and run-ups.