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Ulster Cyclo Cross


Irish Downhill


Castlewellan Forest

Date: Sunday 2 August 2015
Event: Ulster XC Round 4 - Irish NPS Round 5
Venue: Castlewellan Forest
Host club: Banbridge CC

Banbridge Cycling Club is proud to host Round 4 of the Ulster Cross-country Mountain Bike Series at Castlewellan Forest Park. This event doubles up as Round 5 of the Irish National Points Series which should attract riders from across Ireland to this great venue.

Course Description:

This course was first used for the 2014 Ulster Championships and for the 2015 NPS we have added more natural single track that will test even experienced racers.

The course is a mixture of trail centre tracks, open grass and natural single track. It also has 4 sections of fire road along with the start/finish area on each lap which will enhance overtaking.

Full description from 2014 below
The race HQ is on the grass to the front of the castle with the car park conveniently alongside. From the start you will climb towards the castle and along the terrace dropping down the steps and turning right up single track to fire road and then onto trail centre track. At point 21 on the map (see link below) you turn left up fire road climb to point 34 and back onto trail centre track descending down track towards point 35.  You then turn right and climb up the black run for a short distance before swinging left onto natural single track. This descends through the forest over a rock garden and across the fire road continues with some technical sections towards the first main feature, the “S Bend”. This is tight steep section. Let’s hope it is dry. Back onto fire road to point 39 turning left onto trail centre track to point 41 then left onto fire road for a short distance after which you turn left onto fast natural flowing section towards and past the Cypress pond. Crossing another fire road onto a grassy sweeping section which takes you through more forest and back onto the trail centre track close to point 17. This takes you towards the second feature “The Bombhole”. You climb around the rim, drop off, and up the opposite side then sweep down again and up and out. There will be a longer B route and the bomb hole will not be used by youth riders or other noon riders. After the bombhole it’s a short fire road then natural tracks back toward race HQ.

There is a good mix of trail centre tracks and natural tracks with fire roads well spread around the course to facilitate overtaking.

NOTE: The course is only open for riding during the weekend of the event when the trail centre tracks will be closed.

Course map: (Click here to download a PDF version)


Course preview videos:
Part 1 (YouTube)
Part 2 (YouTube)


Directions: Castlewellan Forest
Located adjacent to the town of Castlewellan, Co Down
Click here to view in google maps
Co-ordinates: N 54.258506, W 5.942659

Race categories:

Category Age Comment
Senior (Men) 1 16+ Elite riders and top 5/6 Experts/Masters/Vets - [5 laps]
Senior (Men) 2 16+ Strong riders - [4 laps]
Senior (Men) 3 16+ Seasoned/experienced riders - [3 laps]
Senior (Men) 4 16+ Introductory category for men starting racing (Sports) - [2 laps]
Senior Women 1 16+ Elite women [4 laps]
Senior Women 2 16+ Expert women [3 laps]
Senior Women 3 16+ Introductory category for women starting racing (Sports) - [2 laps]
Juniors 16-17 Those born in 1997 or 1998
Under 16 Those born in 1999 or 2000
Under 14 Those born in 2001 or 2002
Under 12 Those born in 2003 or 2004
Under 10 Those born in 2005 or 2006
Under 8 / Under 6s Those born in 2007 or earlier

Course practice:
The course will be open for inspection and practice on Saturday 1 August 2015 between 2:00 pm and 6:00 pm.
Practice on the day will only be allowed when no other races are taking place. Riders caught practicing on the course when other races are in progress will be disqualified.

Race Timetable: here

Race Fees: Adults: £20 (€25)
Juniors: £10 (€10)
Under 16s: £5 (€5)
Under 14s & Under 12s: £4 (€4)
Under 10s & Under 8s: £2 (€2)
Under 6s: £1 (€1)


Pre-entry: To 31 July 2015 (8 pm) - Pay on the day

To see who has entered so far click here

Catering: No catering will be provided.  The forest café is just a short distance away from race HQ.

Facilities: Castlewellan Forest
Car parking: On grass close to Race HQ. Please note Castlewellan has a one way system and as you leave you will have to pass the pay kiosk but you won’t have to pay. Observe instructions from car park attendants.
In main forest park car park
Showers: TBC
Bike wash: In main forest park car park
Café: Yes in main forest park
Gazebos: Are welcome close to the course
Camping: A campsite is available on Forest Service site. 

Host club website: Banbridge CC
Race organiser: William Mulligan (email)
Contact number: 07795 078790