Bartels third on Cyclocross Champs day

GERMAN import Constantin Bartels scrambled to third on a grueling day at the National Cyclocross Championships in Swords on Sunday.

Bartels, lining up for the jersey in the non-nationals – or international – race with Jessica Lamb, fought Team Worc’s Cian May and former Friends First Laragh Classic winner Paul O’Reilly around the hilly, technical course, finishing the four-lap race with only four seconds separating them.

Lamb emerges from jungle

Lamb emerges from jungle  (photographer: Sean Rowe)

May, 14, took the win, followed in by O’Reilly and Bartels, riding a new custom build, decked out in racing green and fitted with top-of-the-range hydraulic disc brakes.

Only four took to the grid for the women’s international race, but it was a no-contest for Velo Revolution’s Natalie Grieve when Lamb fell over tamely on the grassy start line.

The Briton quickly recovered to pass her remaining two rivals on the first lap, getting into a battle with Orla Conroy for the remaining two.

Despite proving technically weaker than Conroy, Lamb was strong enough to take a two-minute second place, five minutes behind the winner.

The elite women’s race was annihilated by the all-conquering Aquablue rider Fran Meehan, while Chain Reaction Cycles’ David Montgomery proved strongest in the men’s race, Tim O’Regan taking silver from Glen Kinning, heroically, on the final time up that monster grass hill. Banbridge CC’s James Curry lifted the men’s junior title.

Two races remain on the Irish cyclocross calendar, the Muddy Cup in South Tipperary on Sunday, January 18, and Punchescross Round II at Punchestown Racecourse the following Saturday. The jersey is set to be represented at the latter.

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