One of Banbridge CC’s latest recruits, Johnny McRoberts, made the trip to Round 3 of the MTB National Points Series in Djouce Woods, Wicklow, worthwhile at the weekend when rode to a fine win in the S3 class.
Djouce is known as a technically challenging ‘old school’ course with plenty of ascending and descents and off camber tree roots to negotiate. Add to that the substantial downpour of rain in the days before the event and the course soon became the most challenging the riders had faced this season.
Having secured multiple podium placing’s on both the road and off-road races already this year McRoberts entered the race confident in race form and determined to secure a high result. Despite a frantic pace to the start of the race Johnny claimed first spot early on, but experience suggested a steady pace was the name of the game if needing to fight off any challenges and his best chance to finish strongly. The fast start resulted in the front of the S3 race catching other competitors from the various races and having to negotiate those who had fallen only closed any advantages that had been made. The lottery of passing riders also resulted in McRoberts losing a few places and with a difficult 2nd lap he found himself somewhat off pace with the leading riders.
Determined to get himself back in the game he upped the pace on the climbs and fire roads where he knew his strength would play to his advantage. Sure enough he found himself back at the front and again pulling out ahead where he would remain until crossing the finish line with approx. 40 seconds to spare.
The victory leaves Johnny now leading the S3 class in the national series, but with event clashes in the next round it will leave things tight for his next race which will be a local affair in Lady Dixon Park, Belfast.