Smith and Sands win inaugural Mountain Bike Challenge

Ireland hosts its first mountain bike stage race

Over 100 riders took the hills and forests of Lough Derg this weekend to take part in the 2011 Mountain Bike Challenge. The event, the first of its kind in Ireland, hosted four stages of riding held over two days. Riding talent came from North and South of Ireland as well as from Denmark, England and the US.

The sun shone on Lough Derg all weekend making it the ideal location for the two full days of biking that the Mountain Bike Challenge had in store. Day one saw to two separate point to point races covering 50km. The stages brought over 100 over the East Clare way, up the local peak of Tountinna and finishing on the picturesque setting of Castletown beach. On Sunday the event moved to Ballycuggaran forest for another two stages with over 40 more riders to participate in the single day event in aid of MS Ireland.

The first day's riding was dominated by Nic Smith from the UK in the male category while Lone Sand set the pace for the women. Irish riders, Niall Davis and Richie Felle were in close contention on the first day but stepped it up a notch on the Sunday with Davis winning an exciting sprint for the line against Felle and Smith to take the third stage. It was Fells turn for the final event, the time trial, where he put in a blistering performance to post the fastest time of the afternoon, 24 seconds ahead of Smith.

The Irish women fought back on Sunday too. Tarja Owens who was holding second place on general classification gave a thundering performance in the time trial stage to take the stage and Gill Smith’s performances were keeping her in contention for a podium place.

The Mountain Bike Challenge, Lough Derg title went to Nic Smith who's accumulated time was 3:08 minutes faster than second placed Davis. Richie fell's strong display landed him third place. Lone Sands' strong consistent riding won her the women's category while Owens and Gill Smith took silver and gold. Donough O’Keefe and Lyndsey Husband were winners of the single day event.

Two-day, Four-stage Event

Men stage 1
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Nic Smith0:49:10 
2Niall Davis0:02:02 
3Richie Felle0:03:01 
Men stage 2
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Nic Smith0:49:25 
2Niall Davis0:00:43 
3Richie Felle0:02:00 
Men stage 3
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Niall Davis1:05:40 
2Richie Felle0:00:01 
3Nic Smith0:00:03 
Men stage 4
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Richie Felle0:19:49 
2Nic Smith0:00:24 
3Niall Davis0:00:50 
Men final general classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Nic Smith  
2Niall Davis0:03:08 
3Richie Felle0:04:35 
Women stage 1
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Lone Sand1:01:38 
2Tarja Owens0:05:58 
3Gill Smith0:08:36 
Women stage 2
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Lone Sand1:10:52 
2Tarja Owens0:00:39 
3Gill Smith0:02:33 
Women stage 3
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Lone Sand1:25:43 
2Tarja Owens0:03:50 
3Gill Smith0:04:17 
Women stage 4
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Tarja Owens0:29:47 
2Lone Sand0:01:55 
3Gill Smith0:04:09 
Women final general classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Lone Sand  
2Tarja Owens0:08:32 
3Gill Smith0:17:40 

One-Day, Two-stage event

Men stage 1
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Donough O’Keefe1:21:51 
2Dylan Waldron0:07:09 
3Jim Furlong0:13:48 
Men stage 2
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Dylan Waldron0:28:38 
2Donough O’Keefe0:00:27 
3Jim Furlong0:09:07 
Men final general classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Donough O’Keefe0:00:00 
2Dylan Waldron0:06:42 
3Jim Furlong0:22:28 
Women stage 1
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Emma Walsh1:31:42 
2Lyndsey Husband0:01:05 
3Lorraine Byrne0:25:43 
Women stage 2
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Lyndsey Husband0:36:52 
2Emma Walsh0:01:43 
3Lorraine Byrne0:08:39 
Women final general classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Lyndsey Husband0:00:00 
2Emma Walsh0:00:38 
3Lorraine Byrne0:33:17 
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