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Ulster Cyclo Cross


Irish Downhill


Date: Sunday 22 June 2014
Event: Ulster XC Series Round 4, Irish NPS Series Round 5
Venue: Garvagh Forest
Host club: Carn Wheelers

Course Description:
Carn Wheelers welcome you Garvagh Forest for Round 4 of the Ulster cross-country mountain bike series.  This round also doubles up as Round 5 of the National Point Series (NPS). This venue was last used in 2013 to host the Irish National Mountain Bike Championships 2013.  The low level, forest floor course has everything you could want from a XC course: short sharp technical climbs, fast flowy singletrack, plenty of fire roads lots of passing opportunities and we have added even more technical features than last year. The course itself, aside from the fire roads, is all natural forest floor so expect to see the same mud, roots and rocks as last year but thankfully Garvagh holds up well in poor weather conditions so don’t let a few days rain put you off!The course is approximately 4.5 miles long and has about 40% fire road There is around 500ft of climbing and descending per lap; no long sustained climbs but there are a few short sharp kicks on technical singletrack and a long drag from the start finish area.

The start finish area will be adjacent to the school grounds where there will be ample parking and direct access from the school grounds to the course. The U8s, U10s and U12s will all have their own dedicated junior course which will be just challenging enough for the more capable kids but not overwhelming for them either. This course will be centered around the start/finish area, will be convenient to the car park and facilities in the school ground and will be excellent for spectators as they will be able to view the whole kids’ course from the one spot.

On the adult course, from the start there is a long draggy stretch of fire road about 0.5 miles long to stretch the pack out on the first lap before entering the first piece of singletrack at ‘Hells Deep’ which fires the riders into the first tight technical climb of the course. It's a short, steep, rooty climb which drops into another short fireroad drag.  After this it is all single trail for a good long section.  :)

From here it's over into ‘The Black Gate’ for a long section of singletrack with fast flowy sections into stop-and-go twists and turns, all on the natural rooty forest floor. Once out of this section it's a short sharp downhill sprint to the ‘PlayPen’ section for the first of the technical features which comprises of three steep drops one after the other. There's a short sharp climb to regain the elevation lost in the 'PlayPen' then leading onto another super fast flowy section of trail which will have the riders scratching and drifting their way through the trees before hitting another steep drop down onto the fireroad.

"Rabbit Hill", the next bit, will test every racer on the day whether its wet or dry! The descent from Rabbit Hill is every bit as challenging as the climb and is known as "The Fire-Break" and once you negotiate the top of the fire-break there's a couple of chances for a wee bit of air time before the berm at the bottom of the hill catches you and sends you out onto the next fire road section.

Follow the fireroad again to catch your breath and get some fluid in before the next section of trail which is known as the ‘River Trail’. It's a fast and furious, rooty trail alongside the Agivey River and you daren’t take your eye off the trail here as it's some high speed, close quarters combat between rider and trail. Then out of the River Trail and straight into ‘Bradley's Bridge’ where you will gradually climb right to the back of the school grounds to descend through what we have laid out into an amphitheater in the start and finish area. Riders will climb switchbacks and tackle a fast flowy descent within metres of the start / finish area which will undoubtedly add to the atmosphere of the event.

Course video: Here
By Jonny Collins


Race timing: Chip timing (Elite timing) for Under 14s, Under 16s, Juniors and Seniors
Laptop timing for Under 8s, 10s and 12s.

Directions: Garvagh Forest
Garvagh Forest is on the on the western side of the main A29 road, between Garvagh High School and the Ballinameen Bridge over the Agivey River. Ample car parking will be provided in the Garvagh High School and access to the forest will be from the High School along the footpath to the forest car park across from the Balinameen Bridge. Car parking for the race is discouraged in the main car park of the forest as Garvagh Forest is a popular forest for walkers and the car park can be busy at the best of times.
Click here to view in Google Map
Co-ordinates: N 54.980704, W 6.688614

Race Timetable: here


The course will be taped and open for practice on the Saturday 21 June 2014 from 13:00 to 18:00. You must park in the school grounds and sign on to be able to practice.

Race Fees:
Adults: £18 (€20)
Juniors: £10 (€10)
Under 14s & Under 16s: £5 (€5)
Under 8s, 10s & 12s: £2 (€2)
Under 6s fun race: £1 (€1)
* All riders are advised to pre-register for the event as this greatly helps the organisers and chip timing provider to ensure accurate and quick results following the finish of races.
NOTE: Gridding will only be for those riders who have pre-registered.

NOTE: The sign-on table will close 15 minutes before the start of your race.

You must arrive before this time to sign the entry sheet and collect your race number etc.  Some discretion will be shown for riders aged under 12 but these riders must still arrive early as their sign-on will close 15 minutes before the start of their races.

Pre-entry: Open from 10 June 2014 to 20 June 2014

To see who has entered so far click here

Catering: There will be food provided for everyone after the race.

Accommodation: If you are wishing to stay in the area for the championships you should contact the Tourist Information Centre which is based in Coleraine.  Their contact details are (+44) (0)28 7034 4723 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
You can also go to www.northcoastni.com to browse the range of accommodation available and then either book via the TIC or book direct using the details on the web site.  

Facilities: Garvagh Forest
Car parking: Ample
Toilets: Portable toilets
Showers: No
Bike wash: No
Café: No
Gazebos: There can be space provided for gazebos but its best to contact the host club in advance.

Host club website: Carn Wheelers
Race organiser: Ryan Walsh ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it )
Contact number: 07747445673