New for 2019, Chain Reaction Cycles Belfast will field a strong four-rider team in this year’s Irish mountain bike enduro and downhill championships.
Pledging full support to local talent and encouraging grassroots competition, Team CRC Belfast will see Phil Mullan, Mark O’Kane, Hannah Harvey and Daniel Lappin compete in the First Tracks Enduro Cup, Gravity Enduro Ireland Series and selected Irish Downhill Series (iDMS) rounds.
The team are closely supported by Vitus Bikes and all riders will compete on the Sommet 27 CRX with additional support from Nukeproof hard parts, Michelin, Spin11 and Fox Racing among others.
In what’s promising to be an exciting season of racing, the team was officially launched at the Chain Reaction Cycles Belfast retail store on Boucher Road…
“It’s an honour to turn the idea of Team CRC Belfast into a reality for 2019,” tells Team Manager Dave Astin. “Bringing together a team like this is something we’ve been working on for a while and the time is right to now put it in motion.
“We’re Ireland’s biggest bike store and so want to support and encourage grassroots racing. The riders, Hannah, Daniel, Mark and Phil are pushing hard on the local scene and we feel it’s time to acknowledge that with a support package which will help them achieve even bigger results in 2019.”
Phil ‘Beefy’ Mullan – Masters B
Ending 2018 winning three championships marked a dream year for Phil Mullan. Now with confidence booming and what he feels is the right support package behind him, he’s determined to return to the top step of the podium in 2019.
“Winning three titles last year was pretty much a dream season for me, so it’s been fantastic to see that effort recognised by Team CRC Belfast,” says Phil ‘Beefy’ Mullan. “I guess it shows that there are people watching what we do and are keen to put their support behind it.
“I’m looking forward to the year ahead and just want to try and build on what I achieved last year. The Vitus Sommet is new to me, so it’s going to be a lot of fun getting things dialled in before the racing begins.”
Daniel Lappin – Junior
Although the youngest member of the team at 14 years old, iDMS Juvenile champ Daniel Lappin is as every bit competitive as his peers and is hungry for success this year. Aiming to cover a mix of enduro and downhill, he’s itching to get his racing season underway.
“It’s pretty cool to be a part of a team like this,” tells Daniel Lappin. “When I got my new bike it was like Christmas had come around again. It feels awesome, looks the part and I can’t wait to spend more time on it. There’s a really cool vibe in the team too and we all seem to click and gel really well – it’s going to be a good year.”
Mark O’Kane – Under 21
Runner up in the iDMS Seniors and placing sixth overall in the First Tracks Enduro Cup Under 21 category shows Mark O’Kane is a rider to watch for this coming season.
“I’m really happy with how 2018 went,” considers Mark O’Kane. “The Under 21 category is one of the most competitive out there, so to finish fourth overall – despite missing one round – was really good.
“The goal for 2019 is to aim for podium results. I’m young and I feel like I’m still learning all the time, but my speed is there and if I can put a complete day together I know I can surprise a few people.”
Hannah Harvey – Pro Women
Clinching the Women’s title in the First Tracks Enduro Cup was the crowning moment of Hannah Harvey’s 2018 season. Aiming to retain that title in 2019, she’s also set her sights on becoming a contender in the Gravity Enduro Ireland Series.
“I feel like joining CRC Belfast is the opportunity I’ve been waiting a while now for,” smiles Hannah Harvey. “Last year was a great one winning the First Tracks Enduro Cup, but also because I took a step forward in my riding. Now I want to continue improving.
“Although it’s only early days there’s a real sense of excitement within the team. With the package and support the guys are providing us with I believe we can get the results we all want this year.”
The 2019 season for Team Chain Reaction Cycles Belfast begins with the opening round of the First Tracks Enduro Cup in Ravensdale on April 6/7.