Newry’s Glyn O’Brien has upheld honour for Team Ireland in the 2019 Masters Downhill MTB World Championship finishing a close fourth in Mont Sainte Anne, Canada.
The annual UCI Mountain Bike World Championships take place this fortnight in Canada, with the Master categories in Downhill and Cross-Country kicking off proceedings.
The Downhill competitors were first to compete with strong representation from Ireland.
Falling short of a medal in Andorra in 2018, O’Brien arrived to Canada focused on a podium result.
Wet weather for seeding played right into the Vitus First Tracks Race Division rider’s hands, with O’Brien firing a warning shot to his Master 40-44 rivals with the second fastest time.
However, with weather conditions improving for race day, it tightened the field.
Despite laying it all on the line, he crossed the line in fourth placing one-second shy of a top-three medal result.
“Fourth is a tough one to take because I really wanted that podium,” told Glyn. “I felt great in seeding and loved the mud, but with conditions drier for racing the times were tighter.
“I gave it everything I had, left it all on the table and was stoked with my run, so I’m happy with that.”
Behind Glyn in M40-44, Ed Smith put in a solid run to slot inside the top-15.
In M30-34, Tom Power was unable to match his seeding run of 12th and slipped to 20th.
Fourth fastest through the speed trap, Stevie McDonald hung on to go top-10 in M50-54 with ninth.
There was disappointment for Michael Cowan when a crash in training ruled him out of racing.
With the Downhill complete, it’s now the turn of the Cross-Country crew to take to the track.
Robert Tobin starts in M40-44, Vinnie Fitzsimon M50-54 and Peter Buggle M55-59.
Dickson Heads Irish Team In World Champs
Following the Masters competition, racing continues with the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships featuring Olympic Cross-Country, Downhill and e-MTB.
Ireland are represented in Downhill. Jacob Dickson and Conor Bate compete in Mens, with Ronan Dunne and Christoper Cumming in Juniors. McKenna Merten contests the Women’s category.