Excellent end to the Season! Results /PIcs

So every Picture tells a story! here's a few mini reports of the last few races in picture form. Enjoy!

6th place - Elite National Cross Country Championships

Great race - finished 6th after puncturing on the first lap! caught back lots of lost positions and gave it socks!!  This was  certainly my best national champs performance fitness wise.  check out the sprint finish in the next photo. I would have loved one more lap though.. this is a reoccurring pattern around this time for me.

Sebastian Rakos -  The Fast Chilean  

My training buddy and an excellent friend- This guy is nuts on the bike! also a trained sculpture who comes from the high mountains in Chile. He's a very talented rider, and is racing road over here this year, as he could only bring a road bike over from Chile.  Next season, more Mountain bike races for him!

We've had some pretty hilarious training spins over the last few months including a car chase by the national park rangers in powerscort on our road bikes!! 

We make a good team, a dynamic duo, we're a force to be reckoned with! 

Glendalough Lake chill out spin 

Blessington training / ultimate chill out weekend 

I met the beautiful Heidi, a friend of a friend out in the middle of the Blessington lakes area for lunch one day at her family home. I decided to got there off road on possibly the nicest days of the summer..!  I made a giant adventure out of the whole thing. it was awesome..  Ended up staying much longer than lunch,   swam in the lake that day,  had amazing dinner and generally chilled out for night to the max, it was amazing! 

Back to Racing  - 12 Hour Mountain Bike Race   - 4th Position mixed Pairs

Crazy event, quite fun, i Cane'd it for each lap, getting progressively quicker as the 12 hours went on, and napped in between our 'relay' style laps.
 The night before was great fun, camp fires, bbq's lots of pasta! and some beer.  Also, I was hanging with some cool Epic mountain bikers which made it more fun!  I'd do it again!

Back to XC - Last National League Round - 2nd Place 

I was totally flying for this… The legs felt invincible and technically i was riding well, I had some great competition with Gareth winning on his home track. my last 3 laps were steadily quicker than his, so I think he was feeling un easy by the last lap.. I would have loved one more lap!!!! Sebastian was just behind at the start as we got in to the single track around top 5, from here i rode away in persuit of Garreth. Roger Aikan finished 3rd and Sebastian in 4th.   Luckily, after a few bad luck national league races i still kept my overall ranking to 5th position! 

Da Cooley Thriller Marathon 4th position

This was a great race, but my self and Sebastian had an all or nothing approach to our tactics. We knew Robin Seymour was racing, and knew he would be quicker on all the technical sections (probably, 70% of the race)  So the first hour includes a sheer climb up to the highest point in the Carlingford Mountains. Myself and Sebastian, simply went away from the pack early in to the race and climbed together to the top with a good gap over Robin.  We felt strong in the climb but when it came to the technical part of the race, Robin smoked us royally.. in hindsight, there was too much energy expenditure with our 'gun ho' fast start and we toasted ourselves. finshing 4th and 5th

National Hillclimb Champs 

My first time on a road bike for months. and I decided to give this a go. I became pretty ill with a flu the day before but still went for it, It was a humiliating race.. I had nothing, i'm best deleting it from my memory!! The flu lasted 2 weeks too, which showed my run down state after the last few weeks. Sebastian, also became sick too before the race and had a similar sluggish result.


National Cross Country Round - Slade - 3rd Place!

What an excellent Race course, with plenty of good competition! The new categories are keeping everyone on their toes, it will only make us faster!

I had a pretty hectic stress week, but I still felt confident for a good result. The last 5 weeks of fairly intense training/ lack of races due to cancellations meant that I as eager for a result. I also seemed to be weighing 68Kg in the mornings, without starving myself. So i knew something seemed right!

 During the week's torrential rain, I knew it was time to use Some Kenda Nevagals for the race. The Mud was so thick even the Karma's didn't even cut it! In fact, in the club race the week prior to the race I ended up dangling upside down out of a tree for a split second after crashing.. not good but kind of hilarious.

The Race went excellently. I had a key relaxed start and dropped to the back of the pack to not expend much needed energy. This worked a treat, and I quickly moved up to 3rd position and for a while 2nd. before reverting back to 3rd for the remainder.

I rode the technical sections (many of them) well without crashing, but not fast enough! Aidan and Gar were incredibly quick on each downhill, which had me chasing every moment to make up for lost time.!  I will practice this for sure. However i was climbing well, but, it would have been lovely if the climb was 8 minutes long though!

Avg Hr 195BPM for 1:46 minutes Racing.. Hard eh!


Tollymore National Round pics

Thinking about this race and the incredible slippy corners still gives me goosebumps! To be honest, what a race. Even in the muddy conditions that we saw not long ago. Next time i'm bringing mud Tires though!

Here's some pictures from Graham Boyd's facebook gallery (he's quite the camera man!) well done on finishing up in University too Graham!

Me fixing my goddam puncture on the LAST LAP! I can only blame myself having too much fun on the trail jumping roots!


Exam times )-:

The last few weeks have been about getting through the exams, training sufficiently and attempting a National series race which fell exactly one day before the first exam leading to a last lap puncture after clawing my way back up the ranks. Avoiding the inevitable exam biking performance slump is always a challenge in this time but I still managed to make it to club races albeit feeling a little wrecked and low!!

On a positive note,  I'm just getting back to my usual self now 'quickness wise' so that's good!! but its amazing how much these college exams take it out of me!! And I don't even study 'cram' or leave it to the last minute! I also got a tooth problem sorted that's been bugging me a little bit in the last month, so I'm looking forward to performing!

Back on track and hungry for some more good results!!!

Check out these crazy light tires from KENDA, the Klimax Lite 345G suitable for super flat speedy race tracks! But, my favourite Kenda tire is definitely the Nevagal on the training bike and the Karma on the race bike mixed with a small block on the back, the Nevagal has awesome grip anywhere any time of the year, Fit and forget.

Klimax Lite below

The Dublin Blitz 3rock

This was an amazing race with a HUGE atmosphere. Kudos to Niall Davis and the rest of the crew for organising this. The event itself was all about the opening of Dublin's first official mountain bike trails just 20 minutes cycle from my doorstep in central Dublin!!! This means money, with plenty of newbies taking up Mountain Biking!

The race saw an entry of around 200 People! with a few of my fellow Elite time racers up front ready for the Gun to go! Luckily the rain didn't affect the course too much, and the Kenda Small block/Karma up front kept me rubber side down! I eventually finished 3rd not far off the Winner. I made a tactical error and I learnt by it!

We got cool Paris Roubaix Style trophies too!!! They are essentially  big 3rock rocks!!



2 Races and a string of bad luck

So, I DNF'd at the first National race in Cork.This was down to two punctures and a 40 minute walk back to the start finish area. This was not cross country racing, this was atrocity on a hilltop. 

I was feeling great legs wise, the long climb at the start suited me and within a few seconds from the gun, myself and Niall Davis rode away from the pack comfortably up the steep 10 minute climb . It was such a shame that the long descent happened to go down a bone rattling enduro moto track instead of some nice flawy single trail sections that you find in forests!!  Anyways, after 5 hours driving we were back and I was home forgetting about the experience!

In the second National round I didn't manage to go as well as weeks before performance wise, it seemed to be an off day/l off last few days running up to event. I rested extrememlly well during the week,i slept a lot with my legs up but none of it helped. I remained philosophical about my lack of speed but made sure that in the end I completed the race! which was good even though I was slower than a dying pig! So in retrospect it turns out, I had a case of gum infection during the week, I thought it would dissipate by race day, but in fact they got worse. Anyway, Salt and water 5 times a day is the job, and now i'm back to normal. 

The race course was phenonomal! here's some pics!

This is where I blew my lights!!

I have a hard block of training coming up to keep the body confused and sore!, Its in preparation for the middle season races, internationals / Champs. This pretty much includes an excellent club race on a tuesday, tempo on a wednesday, and another cub race on a thursday and a sprinting session on a Saturday with a Race on a Sunday! 

Tomorrow is an excellent local mountain bike race. The start line is only 30 minutes away on the bike! Bit of light mist around the hills Kenda Small blocks tomorrow??!


Lough Derg Mountain Bike Stage Race - 3rd Overall

Wow! what an amazing event. The weather was brilliant, the trails dusty and I had excellent competition to work against.

This was my first stage event so I  was pretty excited. I arrived expecting a good workout but nothing too serious competition wise. Turns out, I was wrong and there was absolutely solid competition from Nick Smith a strong UK rider, and a bunch of good Dutch Masters guys and of course Niall Davis, who was flying!

I had a questionable previous night race preperation, I had to work late at a college Event the night before as part of our grading process. This meant  few hectic days, 5 hours sleep, Some obnoxious darts players who don't eat vegetabables and a nutritious chinease takeaway at 12:30 the night before the race for dinner! (This habit was got to stop..) So, I knew I would suffer for the first stage, so I kind of just embraced it and went to Lough Derg to race my eyes out!!

Luckily, after my first 'hanging on for dear life' stage things began to open up and I felt fresher, and faster. I only manages 4th place in the first stage behind the English, Dutch and excellent Irish rider Niall Davis.

In the second stage, I hung on more to the leaders and felt better, but not 100% I claimed 3rd place here. It was a great stage, as it encompassed a huge climb followed by a dusty and insanely long downhill shred!!!!

The 3rd and 4th stage went much better, l suffered less but definitely felt quicker, Us first three riders broke away from the rest of the group almost from the start of the long climb.

We  managed to stick together till the end and In the final km of the stage I jumped in to 2nd position near the final descent. This descent was a cunning idea but was just plain nuts. It was a 1/2km of a rough and rocky vertical chute towards the finish line with some mini jumps. We three soldiers went down this thing at 60.3kmph with a hair's distance between all three of our bikes. This was definitely dangerous but exhilarating!

The fourth stage went very nicely, This was a 30 minute sheer uphill MTB time trial with some super ninja techincal singletrack to finish it off. I was paired with Niall Davis and we shot off together, I mostly leaded us up the climb and decided to make a break for it towards the top of the climb, and into the extremely technical single trails. I rode smoothly over the countless roots and and managed to finsh  in 1st place.

So overall, it was excellent, I was happy to feel better as the stages went on! 4th, 3rd,  2nd,  1st in that order left me in 3rd place overall!!

Check out my team mate, who finished 5th in the first stage behind me, he's getting fast!! http://andrasgercsenyi.blogspot.com/
Happy out!


Season Begins! Two excellent races so far

So, I came back from Bordeaux slightly worried about my skills on the mountain bike. I felt strong and light, but found it difficult to get down the mountain trails quick!! That is that 3-4 weeks on a road bike does to you!! So, I quickly decided to concentrate on my technical downhill/uphill skills after getting back!

Now, I am back on track and doing well in the Mountain bike races with confidence and speed.

Also, The new bike arrived recently, which is absolutely incredible! Its a Trek 9.9ssl with internal gear cables and all the go faster parts!

Race 1 ) Belfast - McConvey Cycles Round-  2nd Place   (1minute30 of winnner Matt Adair)

This was a tester for me, I was not fit race wise but was ready to test myself.  My plan was to get a good start next to Matt Adair and see how I went from there. This went nicely but the stronger man on the day won!

Race 2) Leinster League Round 1 - 1st Pace

I love this track, I won it last year and was happy to win it again. Its an old school race track, One pure uphill fireroad climb with a long flowy technical downhill. The trails rode perfect even with the mud and slippery parts.! Some of my new 'tools' provided by sponsors really shone brightly today. The Kenda Karma's 1.95  literally kept me upright for the entire race, with only two minor dabs!! And the Ashima AirRotors provided incredible stopping power in the mud!

My aim for the race was to chill out with the pack on the climb in around 3-5th position.  I knew Joe McCall would be good on the techincal sections, So at the top of the climb we both made a break from the pack to get to the flowy descents! I was 100% concentrated but having serious fun!

After the first descent, I decided to test myself and ride away from Joe and the pack, This went smoothly, and I ended up with a comfortable gap until the end of the race.




HOT wheels!  Great Choice/Great Price/Delivery from Actionsports.


So, I used the S-light Podium wheels last year! excellent sturdy wheels considering the paltry weight (1250gr) I did encounter many problems with the 'old type' hubs that they used. But within a week of sending the wheels back, Actionsports had them delivered back to me with the far better designed hub system free of charge. The new hub solves the common freehub problems and seal problems F+R.

The new Kenda  Karma tires popped on with no problems and sealed straight away tubeless style.
So far i'm extremely happy with this set up, and would recommend them to any keen racer out there!

More pics from Bordeaux!

French Cuisine lesson - anyone ever tired Raclette!? This has got to be the most unhealthy dinner in the world. Its nice in a seriously gross way! Its real mountain food for mountain men!

It involves a cheese melting machine the size of a coffee table and countless amounts of melted cheese dripped over whole potatoes with fried ham on top! Its lovely and fun to make!! but there's some serious eating with the Raclette's! I had loads of energy the next day for biking, that's for sure..

So the masks (Kind of weird, yes)- Amy left her primary school teaching kit on the table so we decided to use the facemasks for the hell of it while eating! made some pretty bizarre photo's!

I went for the creepy monkey mask!


New Sponsors - Limar, Lake, and Kenda!

I'm delighted and proud to say that Ill be recieving great support from these three brands for the 2011 racing year! I can't wait to try out the products when they arrive in Dublin at the end of the week!

A big thank you to Lauren Vanderplank at Todayscyclist (http://www.todayscyclist.co.uk/)

Here's a taster of what Ill be racing with,  Lake make their top end shoes out of Kangaroo leather!! How cool is that!


So i've been training a fair bit with a couple of excellent bike riders that I only met last week. These fellows go by the names of Julian and Jerome. Julian is a previous time triall national champion and his job is to give the younger one (Jerome) his words of wisdom in bike racing terms. Jerome is preparing heavily for the upcoming National races strarting February in the Pyranees with his team (http://www.avcaix.com/#attente). He is as fit as a fiddle right now and seems strong for these races, he seems like he'll be climbing well for the pyrenees race.

When I come back to Bordeaux in April, I have an offer to race with these guys in a road race down in the south of France. It would be great fun to try a euro road race bit I know in my heart that if there's a mountain bike race near by ill be there instead!

On Sunday, we followed Julian's training methods and did a hilly 80km route with ten short 2-3 minute climbs in 2hours 28 miuntes. the plan was that he would lead up the climb until the  halfway point towing Jerome and myself a d then would drift back/let us go hell for leather untill the top.
 These were spaced out every ten mintues or so. In french, (He had little english) Julian pin pointed exactly how Jerome should go about each climb in minute detail, Gearing etc. point of acceleration etc. Julian's a handy guy to have for training and racing!

Today, I did 125km  with them. We met a big group of around 50 riders and kept to the flat but very windy roads. We all took turns and averaged out at around 35kmph for 2 hours riding with the big group.Usually the ride has generally more local pro's  so the pace would have been higher. (40km+)
 The garmin is saying that I burnt 4848 Cals! gotta be wrong.. even with the high-ish pace at points. Some how we managed to climb 600meters too, i thought the whole ride was flat being in Bordeaux and all that!!?
But i'm feeling good now, with these longer rides.. Some weeks ago with exams and snow, 4 hours would really take it out of me, it feels like going to the shops now!

Maybe its time I started doing some hunger-ridesTM to burn off the masses of  Haribo i've consumed!!

Now its time to make dinner! I'm the dinner slave here but i get to live here free of charge that way and learn to cook! Thanks Amy (-:



So, I've been in Bordeaux just over one week now road biking. I'm here for 3 weeks visiting my girlfriend and getting some much needed training in after doing college exams. So far its going pretty well with sunshine everyday and some seroiusly nice countryside!

 Luckily i'm situated beside the only hilly area, and there are really cool views of vineyards. The trips making me miss the mountain bike ALOT!, there's only so much of bloody road bikes I can take, but its good for the legs!

Here's a nice photo of a small vineyard and a Renault 4. Funny story, I actually crashed one of these in to our house wall at age 6 with my brother!! No joke It was my Dad's car (It had a starter button and no locks!)

On today's spin, I decided to include my favourite continental past time (searching for ww2 fortifications!). I usually do a bit of research to find this out. In fact, every foreign mountain bike race/trip I do I secretly go searching for this stuff!! Its amazing seeing these artifacts!

So luckily for me, It turns out there's a massive WW2 Submarine base down the road. This place used to house U-boats during the second world war. It's now in ruins as it looks like it was slightly bombed/shot at heavily. Sadly, I couldn't get in properly. But, I was wearing full lycra and had a road bike with me! I might go back and have a proper look see in my civvies.

Here's some pics,



Just getting ready for a couple hours on the road with some short seated power work.  This is a nice training session, and time flies while doing it.

 For the last few weeks I was confined to the dreaded turbo trainer, so I kept my self entertained with some good old war movie's!  Kelly's Hero's etc. Every time there was a battle i'd sprint like a maniac.

This session involves some stretching beforehand and a good warm up (I like to do an hour rolling easy) Then you find a 100m stretch of road and shift to the hardest gear and roll to a stop.  Now, stay seated and for 100meters put the power down while concentrating on your pedal efficiency and Core. Then do a two minute recovery and repeat a few times and over do it again.

I have a nice loop up in Killiney fo this, The scenery is beautiful and overlooking the coast there always amazes me. There's a really chilled out vibe out there. And if you see Bono you can shout abuse at him! (Joking.. but seriously)



Check out these bad boys!

Seriously light, 60grams for 160mm.
Steel braking surface = Very Good, not like other lightweight and useless disc with aluminum surfaces. The Carbon/Allu middle structure keeps the disk rigid under braking force.
These seem like the ticket for lightweight race bikes. But I imagine they will be big $$$.


Innovative Ashima - Brake Test No.1

First I took the PCB's out on the road for 2 hours to break them in, then I went for a quick 2.5 hour MTB. The levers arrived 'reverso style', so I had my front brake on the left of the bars!

 Ill  re-arrange them shortly so I can give them a confident testing. It was a little sketchy!

First things I noticed. They are light! (185gr Front. 202 gr rear.) Lighter than the XTR brakes on the bike previously. They are seriously futuristic too, especially the mega thin pistonless caliper. It actually has no pistons in it. Just a really strong diaghram seal to push the pads outward!. Ashima won a design award at Eurobike for this!

I decided to do the short test on a new local trail in 3rock. The brakes had nice modulation, and performed well on the steep tehcnical descents. They were pretty good with a 160mm rotor up front but, Ill throw on one of the 180mm rotors  supplied by Ashima to get the maximal braking power.
More soon on  these.

Trainings going well too, especially with the snow being gone and the roads finally dry! I haven't got out much on the road bike recently due to the roads. But, I have manged to get some good turbo trainer work outs with friends instead. I also added in a mixture of extreme snow running and extreme snow mountain biking to get the hours up!

I also started doing a new type of 'short' inteval advised by my Coach Aidan Ryan. It basically entails. 1 minute@80% then spint 15 seconds - then 45 seconds recovery then repeat *6 times.  Then 15 minute recovery then repeat the whole thing again! Its fun to do and hasn't left me feeling dreadfull and annihilated.

Now its time to chill out and watch some 'Band of Brothers' WW2 was definetly the best war!