Here comes the 17th annual Charleville two-day cycle race
The 17th annual Charleville two-day cycle race takes place in and around the Charleville area over the weekend of Saturday and Sunday, September 2/3.
This event is one of the biggest cycle events in Ireland with riders from all over the country descending on Charleville for the weekend. The race centres around the headquarter which will be the Charleville Park Hotel and Leisure Centre.
Some of the past winners of this event have gone on to bigger things representing their country at international level and for some to ride at professional or semi-professional level.
Once again the race has a capacity field of over 200 riders competing in the A2/3 and the A4 race. To add a bit of international flavour, there are riders from Estonia, Latvia and a couple from Portugal competing for Irish club teams.
The weekend begins on Saturday between 9am-11am, when all pre-registered riders have to sign-on at the Charleville Park Hotel. Stage 1 will begin at 12 noon when all riders will be escorted in a neutralised fashion by the lead safety cars and motor cycle marshals from the hotel up through the town and out to the official start at Killtwohig, Smith's Rd.
The route to be used will go from the start at Killtwohig to Shandrum School House Cross on to Dromina, Bog Cross, Dromcolliher, Milford, Newtown and back to Shandrum. This circuit will be completed on another two occasions before going on to finish once again at Killtwohig. The Distance for this Stage 1 will be 86km and finishing around 2.15pm.
At 5pm Stage 2 for the A4 rider will be an individual time trial, which starts from Gortboy Service Station in Killmallock and race back to the finish outside Crown Furniture, Garrienderk.
Then on Sunday morning at 8.30am it's Stage 2 for the A2/3 riders, which is again an individual time rial starting and finishing at the same place.
The grand final for the weekend will start again with a neutralised section from the Charleville Park Hotel onto the official start at Garrienderk.
The riders will then proceed to Kilmallock, Ardpatrick past Glenosheen onto Killdorrey heading out the Mallow Road before turning and pass Glenannarr Garden Centre to start the 8km climb going by Ballyhoura Mountain Bike Centre on the descent. The riders will then return to Killdorrey to climb the mountain again for a second time, before returning to the finish in Garrienderk via Ardpatrick and Killmallock.
The awards ceremony will take place at 5pm at the Charleville Park Hotel & Leisure Centre, where riders who were placed will be presented with their prizes and jerseys.
An event of this stature is a huge undertaking, which requires the assistance of a lot of volunteers for which the organisers are very grateful; they would also welcome anyone else who may have a few hours to spare over the weekend. "We would like to take this opportunity to ask that motorists travelling on these circuits either Saturday or Sunday to be patient and drive with care. We hope all residents on the routes will come out and cheer these riders on," said a spokesperson.