Trek Trail Riders Oisin O’Callaghan has got his 2019 mountain bike campaign off to a winning start by claiming victory at the round three of the Portuguese DH Cup in Lousã.
Competing in the 15-16 Boys category, O’Callaghan blitzed the UCI Downhill-spec course to claim a confidence-boosting 1.5 second margin of victory over nearest competitor Nuno Reis.
Keen to put his winter training into action on the course that will feature in the 2020 UCI World Cup, 15-year-old Oisin – together with his father Chris – travelled to Lousã, north of Lisbon to compete.
Immediately gelling well with the dusty, fast, steep and highly-technical Portuguese track, Oisin set the tone with the fastest time in his seeding run.
Building on that, the youngster then impressively went a further five seconds quicker to cement his place at the top of the podium. His race time was also quick enough to place top three in the 17-18 category or top-30 in Elite!
Results: Portugal Cup – Round 3, Lousã
Fresh from the Lousã dust, Oisin’s father Chris updates with their weekend’s racing…
“Our race weekend starts with an early 02.30 departure from home in Limerick on Thursday to catch a flight to Lisbon and its 20-degree-plus weather.
“This weekend was a test of how Oisin’s winter training has been going and also to set ourselves up for a busy race season, which runs until late September throughout Europe and the UK. We arrived in Lousa, north east of Lisbon to a fantastic relaxed town with hills rolling around everywhere just looking to have trails built on them .
“We walked the track and took our time to discuss what line choice. Working as a father-son relationship normally doesn’t exist on these weekends, so its a ‘coach-athlete’ relationship that we have going but it works well for us. Mind you, once his race run starts, the job of coach goes out the window and the parent kicks in again!
“After a chilled evening, Friday night was a disaster for me (Chris) coming down with some sort of food poisoning, which continued through Saturday. Thankfully Oisin escaped it but he had to step up and work on his own on Saturday with no help from me. But it was good to see he could manage.
“Saturday practice went well and based on our experiences from 2018, we knew what needed to be done better. After a winter of Irish mud, Oisin was quickly tuned into the dust.
“We knew our main competitor was a Portuguese young chap called Nuno Reis, who rides for Commencal. He’s won his last eight races in Europe and is cleaning up in IXS. However, Oisin had plenty of confidence in his own ability and had no fear that he could beat the Portuguese time on the clock.
“Sunday morning started off with an early run before the track was reserved for the Elite class and riders like Amaury Pierron, Danny Hart and Gee Atherton, who were also competing.
“The seeding run went well and Oisin was three seconds faster than qualifying, which meant we were on the right pace, so all we had to do was keep it together and push a little bit more in the race run.
“His race run went well with Oisin going faster again by five seconds, giving him a two-second win. A great start to the season but we have a lot more racing to do.
“I’m normally the last to know how he gets on as it can be a long return from the starting gate to the finish for myself. So when I get to the bottom the race is over and it is just a case of the waiting game until I see his face, which can be a tale of two halves, but most importantly the best thing is that he’s down safe and sound.
“We were delighted to get a run in at the venue which is on the World Cup calendar next season and also get a race under our belts for 2019. Now it’s time to knuckle down to quality conditioning for the next few months.”
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Good day practicing here in Portugal track is really good looking forward to seeing what I can do ⚔️🤟🏻 • • @trekbikes_uk @trekbikes @tld_bike @ridebontrager @shimano_uk @fox @mudhugger2 @ridefoxuk @saddleback_ltd @crankbrothers @fit4racing @thenaduraclinic @stagescycling @extra_uk @oakleybike @shimanomtb @louzanpark #mountainbike #mtb #bike #mtblife #cycling #bikelife #downhill #mountainbiking #cyclinglife #ride #nature #instabike #bicycle #enduro #sport #photography #trekbikes #ciclismo #cyclist #dh #enduromtb #love #downhillmtb #mtblove #freeride #biker #cycle #roadbike #bikes
Big thanks for Chris sending that race report and best of luck for 2019. For race reports and news email: firstname.lastname@example.org