Irish National Cycling Championships coming to the Carlingford on Cooley Peninsula in 2013. Dundalk’s Cuchulainn Cycling Club has officially been appointed as the promoter of the 2013 National Cycling Championships for Elite men and women and also the Veterans Championship. These Championships, comprising both a road race and time trial, are the most prestigious one day cycling event in the country. The club committee considered a number of courses that would suit the unique requirements of this race and finally settled on a location. Carlingford Village has been selected as the host venue. Carlingford is ideally located, being equidistant between both Dublin and Belfast, in addition the stunning scenery of the Lough and Cooley mountains will make for a magnificent backdrop for the premier event.
Photo: Matt Brammeier wins a close sprint ahead of Dan Martin to win the 2012 National Elite Championships in Clonmel, Co. Tipperary
The Elite race will attract Ireland’s top cyclists including Tour de France stars Nicholas Roche and Dan Martin, Olympic Stars Martin Irvine and David McCann. The riders will do battle for the right to wear the prestigious National Champions Green Jersey for the next year and more importantly in the Tour De France which will be starting the following weekend. Meanwhile the ladies race will say World Championship medalist Caroline Ryan in the thick of the action, battling with the defending champion Siobhan Hogan of Cork.
The action will kick off with a Time Trial on the evening of Thursday, June 20th. This event, also known as the race of truth, sees each rider cover 40km alone with the fastest time winning. The Elite event was last year was won by former World Champion Michael Hutchinson. In the women’s event all eyes will be on local rider Eve McCrystal, (European Medal winner at the police games in 2012) to claim a podium finish. The Time Trial will take place along the R176 and R173 on a rolling course with a total of 65m of climbing and with such little climbing the fast course may see a new national record set, which is currently held by David McCann. McCann in 2008 covered a 40km course in a staggering time of 47mins and 6seconds, an average speed of 51kph.
On Saturday June 22nd, the action switches to road racing with the National Ladies and Veterans races. The circuit for the road race will cover laps of a 14.4km route with 61m of climbing, per lap, on a mixture of both main and rural roads. The route will incorporate some stunning scenery including views of Carlingford Lough, The Cooley and Mourne Mountains as well as passing through the streets of the medieval village.
Sunday June 23rd will see the main event, when Ireland’s top stars line up to see who will be crowned Irish Cycling Champion for 2013. The event is Ireland’s biggest one day race and the only single day event in the country with valuable UCI points up for grabs. The race will be contested over a grueling 172km with riders passing through Carlingford village 14 times. The relatively flat circuit should make for an attacking, fast paced race. 2012 winner and Pro-Tour rider Matt Brammeier will be hoping to retain his title and have the honour of wearing the National Champions Jersey for a further 12 Months. Also up for grabs, as part of the Elite race, will be the Under 23 Jersey, last year won by Carrick-on-Suir’s Sam Bennett, who went on to sign a professional contract for the season with the An Post Sean Kelly Cycling Team, based in Belgium.