Wednesday 23 January 2019

National Cycling Championships

Mark Foley, Dara Mooney, Martin O’Hara, Tony Mooney, Kevin Egan (main sponsor) and Mark Walsh.
Mark Foley, Dara Mooney, Martin O’Hara, Tony Mooney, Kevin Egan (main sponsor) and Mark Walsh.

The 2018 National Cycling Championships are coming to Sligo from June 28th to July 1st.

They will be hosted by the local Éire Óg Cycling Club which is one of the longest-established clubs in the country having been formed in the 1950s by the Mooney brothers Tony and Michael and a group of friends. The Mooney family is still heavily involved in the club and administration of cycling at provincial and national levels with members on both the Connacht Cycling Federation and the National Road Cycling Commission.

The National Cycling Championships, which are sponsored by Kevin Egan Cars, will consist of road and time trial disciplines spread out over 4 days racing running from June 28th to July 1st. Racing will include the Elite Senior road race title, Espoir Championships, Junior and Ladies road race championships and the time trial will incorporate Elite Men and Ladies Champs as well as Junior Men and Ladies. The timetrial events will also include the Irish Paracycling Championships.

In the Elite Road Championships the main protagonists will be hoping to bring the National Championships jersey to the Tour de France the following week with many of Ireland's top professional riders pencilled in to start the race. Nicholas Roche, Daniel Martin, Ryan Mullen, Sam Bennett and Philip Deignan are among the start list at present with an expected field of 150 riders the norm for this race.

In the ladies race, Olympic Gold medallist from Rio Eve McChrstal will be among the main challengers. She will be participating with fellow Olympic Gold medallist Kate Dunleavy in the Tandem timetrial event.

In recent years Mark Scanlon local rider and Olympic and Tour de France competitor who started racing with the Éire Óg Club took the title with a solo escape in 2003. This was a thrilling finale to that year's race with huge crowds lining Markievicz Road to see the local hero win the coveted National Champions title.

The Éire Óg Club are no strangers to running races of this stature having organised the event no less than 3 times in the last 14 years. They also ran the Championships in 1975 when Ireland's most prolific cyclist took the title in an exciting sprint finish on Mail Coach Road. Huge crowds are expected for this year's event from June 28th-July1st.

Sligo Champion