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K Capital Challenge Round 2, Carrick Mountain, 23rd August 2009

K Capital Challenge Rd 2, Carrick Mountain, Glenealy, Co Wicklow

23rd August 2009

And so, after much forecast watching, debating over which bike, what tyre pressure, hydration strategies, fig roll bars or gels – our two mountain biking representatives, David Conway and David Furlong headed for Carrick Mountain on a dreary but better-than-forecast Sunday morning for the K Capital Challenge Rd 2 on Carrick Mountain.

DF had missed Rd 1 at Kilruddery whilst sunning himself in Portugal and was looking forward to getting some mtb action in after a recent spate of triathlons. DC was primed after the 3+hr slog that was Kilruddery and Rd 1.

There was no debate this time as to which race to go for: 30km or bust! Conditions were expected to be tough given the overnight deluge, but thankfully conditions at the start weren’t too bad. With a mass start of 128 it was time for elbows out and drive on. A relatively gentle fire road start for a couple of km’s, then some nice down hill led to a very nasty climb to the top of Carrick. So nasty in fact that most people had to hike their bike up.

And so the fun began. Mud inches deep, puddles like small lakes, fast rocky, loose descents, rooty slidery off-camber singletrack, lung bursting climbs. This course had it all. Even a Eucalyptus plantation in the middle of it all. As DC put it ‘like cycling through a Strepsil’. Or an African rainforest. Or both. In any case it was truly bizarre.

So what of our two protagonists? Well there was no seperating them for about 21 km (despite a spectacular off by DC), when DC stole a march (predictably!) through some nasty, twist, turny singletrack. DF fell behind after an off of his own and then had to stop to do a maintenance job on his by-now mud clogged rear derailleur. Unperturbed, and full of energy from the fig roll bars, he pushed on in the knowledge that there was bound to be a stiff climb ahead where he could start reeling his foe in. This was not to be however, as before we knew it we were at the finish line, the race having been weather-shortened to 24km. Nobody was complaining!

DC was in at 2:21:48 with DF two places behind at 2:24:23, for 72nd and 74th place overall, and 42nd/44th in Masters, very satisfying results in what is an ultra-competitive category.

And the best news: DC scored 28 Clubman points! An amazing metamorphosis from the duck-egg that was Kilruddery…As for DF, he had to settle for a measly 6 points. But who’s complaining, a great days sport was had in the Mud of Carrick.

D Furlong.


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