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Introducing...... James Curry

17 year old Banbridge CC rider James Curry was Irish Junior MTB and Cyclocross champion in 2015. James also rode in the XC World Championships. Read James story below.

How you got into cycling?

I got into cycling through my father, Simon Curry.  Initially he was into motorbikes, but then turned to cycling with a few of his friends and enjoyed going out with them before joining Banbridge CC a few years later. That’s when I started my cycling.

There was a large group of all ages who planned day-trips mountain biking on local trails.  That same group more or less still exists within the club and can be found on the new trail centres or having a picnic after with the families during the summer months. As time went on I also started road cycling with the club.  At first we cycled in the safety of the tow path which runs for 20 miles from Portadown to Newry.  We’d join it at Scarva and ride to Newry and stop for a bite to eat and then ride back again.  From there I progressed onto the road and started competing in the club road races which run every week.  I found this really helped my off road fitness but my favourite discipline in the sport remains MTB.  


Influences or people you admire in the sport?

I admire Nino Schurter. He’s someone I aspire to with his style and movement on the bike.

My father ultimately inspired me to ride my bike from day one when I was a child. He is the one that helps me maintain my bikes making sure they are working correctly. My mother also has a big part to play; she is the one that makes me all of my food for each race and sometimes does my bottles. Without both of them I would have to do this on my own and that would make things much harder.

My team/ club mate Gareth McKee also inspires me on the bike.  He got a podium finish in the British NPS last year and I want to do the same next year.  

James, Nino Schurter and Gareth McKee at the 2015 XC World Championships 

Favourite place to ride / train?

My favourite place to train on my bike is in the Mourne Mountains. We’re very lucky to have them more or less at our doorstep. I love climbing and the views are amazing on a clear day. My favourite mountain bike place to train has to be Tollymore, the trails are something else and the climbs are nice and challenging. There are super views from the top right over Newcastle and beyond along the coast.  


Bike you are currently riding?

I’m currently riding a Scott Scale 900RC MTB and a Cervelo R5 road bike. Huge thanks to my sponsor Lakeland Bikes in Enniskillen who provide me with these two amazing bikes, they’re both super light and stiff and ideal for my racing.  


Highlights of your riding career?

2015 has been my best racing year to date; competing at the British NPS series and taking 4th place at the final round topped it off.

I have attended two UCI camps at the World Cycling Centre in Aigle, Switzerland.  One was focused on Cyclo-Cross and the other MTB.  I gained lots of information and experience there and will always look back at them fondly.

I was crowed Irish Junior MTB and Cyclo-Cross champion in 2015 which I’m incredibly proud of – it’s great being able to pull on and race in the National Champions jersey! Finishing off the 2015 MTB season at the World Championships in Andorra was amazing. The atmosphere was electric and the crowds around the course were like nothing I’ve experienced at a race before.  It’s given me a real taste for it and is something I’d love to do again.

As well as mountain biking I love road racing.  I competed in the Junior Tour of Wales this year and was pleased with my performance there. I finished 23rd overall out of the 100+ starters and was among the top Irish riders.  I also won an A2 race, the West Down GP.  It was nice to raise the arms in victory on the road as well as off-road to show I can perform at the different disciplines.  


Ambitions for the future?

Ultimately I want to race professionally abroad and definitely get the chance to race at another World Championships. For 2016 I would love to retain my Irish title in both Cyclo-X  and MTB XC. I really want to compete at next year's World Championships and European Championships and take part again in the British NPS – I have unfinished business in all 3 of those events! I would also love to be part of a road team in the coming years.


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