Fitness

Wednesday 20 August 2014

Jill Leonard's summer cycling preview

Jill Leonard

Published 30/06/2014 | 02:30

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Rás na mBan September 10–14
Junior Tour of Ireland, July 15–20
Irish National Championships June 26–29

Cycling in Ireland has grown in popularity in a colossal way over the last few years. Some credit it to our Irish heroes: Dan Martin, Nico Roche, Philip Deignan, Martyn Irvine and the young Sam Bennett.

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These guys have all had an amazing last few seasons – setting the bar high for any international competitor, the Irish have made their mark and everyone's noticed. Irish cycling is exciting again, and it's about time – long missed were the days of Sean Kelly and Stephen Roche.

From the pro scene to the domestic – the sportives, mountain biking competitors – there's something out there for everyone. So, here we go!

1. Irish National Road Race Championships

June 26–29

Check out the highlights online at www.fitmagazine.ie

Lakeside Wheelers Mullingar have been selected by Cycling Ireland to host the 2014 National Cycling Championships.

This is Ireland's most prestigious cycling event with successful professional cyclists such as Daniel Martin, Nicolas Roche, Matt Brammeier and Martyn Irvine all competing against the cream of Ireland's amateur cyclists, including Mullingar's own Damien Shaw.

The riders will do battle for the right to wear the prestigious National Champions Jersey for the next year. www.lakesidewheelers.com

2. Skoda Dragon Sportive

Sunday, June 29

See www.fitmagazine.ie for highlights

3. Men's and Women's Olympic Omnium

Sundrive Velodrome, Crumlin, Dublin - National Championship, July 5 & 6

Day 1 Flying 250, Points Race, Elimination Race

Day 2 Pursuit (4k Men/3k Women), Scratch, TT (Kilo Men / 500m Women)

www.trackcycling.ie

4. Dublin International Track Grand Prix

Sundrive Velodrome, Crumlin, Dublin

July 12, 9am – July 13, 6pm

www.trackcycling.ie

5. Gravity Enduro Ireland Series Round 3

Ballyhoura, Limerick, July 12th-13th

www.gravityeduro.ie

Gravity Enduro combines the fitness and skills of mountain biking with the technique of downhill racing.

The 2014 Gravity Enduro Series will see competitors battle it out over five events held around the country, with the winner crowned as the best all round rider in Ireland. This is a true test of human and machine as challengers undertake the unpredictable weather and terrain – all on the same bike!

Round 1 – April 12/13 – Ballinastoe, Wicklow

Round 2 – May 17/18 – Ticknock, Dublin

Round 3 – July 12/13 – Ballyhoura, Limerick

Champs – August 2/3 – Djouce, Wicklow

Round 4 – September 6/7 – Carrick, Wicklow

6. Junior Tour of Ireland

July 15 – 20th, Ennis, Co. Clare

This six stage international racing event plays host to the future of cycling. These young lads from around the world battle it out over the roads of County Clare to claim this prestigious victory.

7. Westportif – Skoda Sportive

Saturday, July 19

See www.fitmagazine.ie to register your spot today, and check back for event highlights

8. IRD Duhallow Skoda Sportive

Saturday - July 26

See www.fitmagazine.ie to register your spot today, and check back for event highlights

9. Suir Valley 3-day International Cycle Stage Race

August Bank Holiday

The Suir Valley is the last international bike race before the racing season comes to an end.

It's the last chance for our Irish riders to mix with competitors from around the globe and with it's highly entertaining town centre finish in Clomnel, well known for an unforgettable experience.

www.suirvalley3day.com

10. Bluegrass Enduro Tour

August 16–17

The Bluegrass is a world travelling mountain bike Enduro event (much like Ireland's Gravity Enduro) that takes place on a mostly off road circuit marked with a variable number of mostly uphill transfer stages and mostly downhill timed stages.

www.bluegrasseagle.com

11. Stafford Wholesale Wexford 2-Day

August 23–24

www.wexfordwheelers.com

12. Skoda Sportive Cuchulainn Challenge

Dundalk, Sunday, August 31

See www.fitmagazine.ie to register your spot today, and check back for event highlights

13. Rás na mBan

September 10th-14th, www.rasnamban.com

This is Ireland's only international stage race event, and it sees women from all over the world converge on Ennis, County Clare to contend for the distinguished title win. It runs for five days, with six total stages – rounding up to 400 kilometres of racing action.

For regular reports on cycling events from Jill Leonard, visit the live section of fitmagazine.ie

Don’t forget to pick up FIT Magazine every Monday with the Irish Independent. And you can now join in online at www.FITMagazine.ie for all the tips, race reports, advice and stories from the fitness world.

And join us for the FIT Magazine City Series 5k/10k down in Cork on Sunday July 13th. Great prizes, goodie bags and all levels welcome. Sign up here

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