Na­tional Cy­cling Cham­pi­onships

The Sligo Champion - - SPORT -

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 time­trial 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.

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

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