Irish Cycling Diary 31st Aug 2018 #Irishcycling

by Tommy Campbell

There is no lack of competition this weekend. The penultimate event in the National Series will be played out tomorrow with the Laragh Classic organised by St. Tiernan’s CC in the village of Laragh, Co. Wicklow.. The Charleville Two-Day, is also on the menu both Saturday, and Sunday. Organiser Brian Jordan left no stone unturned for this promotion. Similarly, Brain Hayden was equal to Brian’s efforts. Bray Wheelers CC also will be in Co. Wicklow on Sunday. NOTE this event is on Sunday and not Saturday as was the case for the last number of years. I note with interest that they are remembering a stalwart member who recently passed, Ronnie Coates. Ronnie be good to him had a wonderful catchphrase, “Today’s’ heroes. Tomorrow’s stars.” It gave a wonderful feeling to the juniors on the podium in the Junior Tour back in the 90’s when he was master of ceremonies.
Up in Ulster the Patsy McElhatton Memorial is centre stage. It is to pay respect to Patsy who worked tirelessly for the sport. Hopefully he will be honoured with a good turnout on Sunday.

I intend doing analysis on the list of cancellations this season in the weeks ahead.
Out of curiosity checked Oxford Colour Thesaurus the. And the word weather! Meteorological conditions and goes to name a different number of elements. Like for instance; blizzard, breeze, cloud, cyclone, deluge, dew. Obviously the Leinster Cycling Championships along with a number of key structures had to unavoidably cancelled the event last Sunday. The main thing is that the other three provinces got out of the starting gate. Looking at one, statistic in particular, where the Ulster Championships were contested in Donegal. Two clubs struck a chord with me. North Down CC and Newry Wheelers. Both clubs had seven podium places on a course which started in Ballyliffen where the recent Dunbai Irish Open was held. Admittedly they had the satisfaction of good weather. Unfortunately, Donegal North CC who promoted the event had mixed weather, but that did not deter the competition on the day.
Well, this weekend it is the penultimate event in the National Classic Series and St. Tiernans Cycling Club have pulled out all the stops to make the event a resounding success.

The 2018 Friends First Laragh Classic incorporating the Martin Vereker Memorial takes place this Saturday the first of September. Both the main event and the women’s race will form round 6 of the Cycling Ireland National Road Series.
This year the classics style course will, for the first time, finish at the top of the Wicklow Gap which should bring added excitement. 
Online registration will close at midnight tonight but already at this stage the A1/A2 race is fully subscribed with places only available in the A3 and Womens races.
Sign-on is from 8.30am in the Brockagh Centre, Laragh, Co. Wicklow with the first race off at 11am.
Route details here

Registration here:


Currently, the Women’s National Road Series table are topped by Dublin’s Aine Donegan, who has successfully transferred professional triathlon form to road racing this term. The Scott-Orwell Wheelers rider is yet to win a National Road Series race, but has recorded four consecutive podiums to build a lead of 15 points over defending champion Eve McCrystal.
Katharine Smyth who set the pace has dropped down to third, but trails McCrystal by just a point and finished fourth in last year’s Laragh Classic to professionals Alice Sharpe and Lydia Boylan, and former National Road Series winner Claire McIlwaine.

Waterford’s Conor Hennebry successful in the Kerry Group Ras Mumhan at Eastrer and winner of the Donamon GP in Round 3. The Viner-Caremark-Pactimo member with team support will pilot himself into a top placing on Saturday.

Jamie Blanchfield, is the main danger to the favourites and hopes for a National Road Series honours. He sits 22 points off his lead, 40 points available for a win on Saturday, and double points down to 20th position available for the finale at the Red Hand Trophy on Saturday forthnight.

The Laragh Classic is based at the Brockagh Centre in Laragh, County Wicklow, with all races beginning from race HQ at 11am, and finishing at the top of the Wicklow Gap. Live updates will be available on Cycling Ireland National Road Series channels


CHARLEVILLE PARK HOTEL                                                                                                             2 DAY CYCLE RACE.

Promoted by


    It is that time of year again when we promote the 18thannual Charleville 2 Day 3 Stage cycle Race, which Charleville Wheelers promote every year. It is once again based at the Charleville Park Hotel for this weekend Saturday 1st& Sunday 2ndSeptember. This race is highly regarded and recognised as one of the best in Ireland by the riders themselves and are eagerly a waiting this years renewal of the event.

This race has once again attracted a field of over 250 riders representing the 32 counties, as well as the usual large contingent from Connacht, Leinster and Ulster. This event over the last number of years attracted upwards of 1,000  people to Charleville filling all Guest Houses and Hotels in the local area as far afield as Killmallock and Adare. Which I’m sure is a welcome additional boost to the local economy over the weekend.

The weekend starts off at our Headquarters for the weekend Charleville Park Hotel. When Race officials and personnel will meet on Friday evening at 8pm to discuss the plans for the 2 days.  Race proceedings then start on Saturday morning between 8.30 -10.30 am Saturday, when all pre-registered riders must sign-on. The race convoy will then ride a neutralised procession from the Hotel forecourt to the official start out Smith’s road at Killtwohig. The riders will then tackle an undulating 86km route, which will take them on to Dromina, Bog Cross, Dromcolliher, Milford and Newtownshandrum, This circuit will be completed 3 times before finishing back at killtwohig. Then at 4pm the A4 category rider will contest an Individual Time Trial of 6.17km from Gortboy service station Killmallock to Crown Furniture Garienderk.

The second day start at 8am on Sunday morning when the A2/3 category riders contest the same Individual Time as the A4’S the previous evening last riders finishing at approximately 9.20am. Then the final Stage to the weekend is a 91km route which takes the riders over the beautiful scenic Ballyhoura Mountains. The race convoy will once again ride neutralised procession from the Hotel to the official start in Garienderk going onto Killmallock, Ardpatrick, Killdorrey, Before turning right to start the 8km climb of the Ballyhouras coming down past ballyhoura mountain bike centre turning right at the bottom to continue once again to killdorrey and back up the mountain for a second time. At the bottom the riders will turn left to head back through Ardpatrick. Killmallock, before completing the stage back where it all started in Garienderk.

Once the riders have had time to recuperate and the officials have had time to correlate the result. The prize presentation will take place at the Charleville Park Hotel at approximately 5pm everyone is welcome to soak up the atmosphere and mingle with the cyclists.

The committee of Charleville Wheelers Cycling Club would like to take this opportunity to ask all resident and motorists on the circuits for your patient and cooperation as delay may be caused to the race passing your area, especially around the finish area’s of Smith’s Road on Saturday Between 2pm and 3pm. And on Sunday In Garienderk around 3pm and 4pm

Approximate time schedule for the weekend.

Stage 1: Will be on the road between 12.15 with the last rider due to finish at 3pm.

Stage 2: Saturday evening First rider off at 4pm with the last rider due to finish at 5.30pm.

Sunday morning First rider off at 8am with the last rider due to finish at 10.45am

Stage 3: Sunday afternoon the riders will be on the road between 12.15 with the last rider due to finish 3.30pm.

For more detailed Information  go to our website to find our map and route details and time along with the full weekend time schedule.

Finishing times are approximate.

So hopefully we will see you all out somewhere on the circuit over the weekend to cheer on all the cyclists.






Christy McManus Memorial Race and inaugural and

Ronnie Coates Memorial Race

The Christy McManus Memorial Race for A3 and A2 riders, and the inaugural Ronnie Coates Memorial Race for A4 riders, will take place on Sunday 2nd of Sept 2018.

The sign on and race HQ will be Roundwood GAA Hall.

The race will roll out from Roundwood GAA, and proceed to Annamoe, turning left in Annamoe, straight through Tomriland, followed by left at Boleynass junction, and reach the start/finish line of the circuit just before Ballyduff Cross.

There will be 94km (roll-out plus 7 laps) for the A3 and A2 Christy McManus Memorial.

And there will be 59km (roll-out plus 4 laps) for the A4 Ronnie Coates Memorial.

Race HQ and Start – Roundwood GAA Club, Co. Wicklow

Christy McManus Memorial – 94km A3/A2 Race, roll-out + 7 laps

Sign-on 9am–10.15am, race start 10.30am

Ronnie Coates Memorial – 59km A4 Race, roll-out + 4 laps

Sign-on 12noon–1.15pm, race start 1.30pm

Contact Mark Murphy 086 810 4648

For further info see


The race is in memory of club founder and long time President Patsy McElhatton. McElhatton served on the Fintona Cycling Club committee for 40 years, was a driving force for cycling in the Omagh District, bringing prestigious races such as the Rás and Tour of Ulster to the area as well as promoting races and leisure events. He was also involved in managing club teams in events throughout the country.
Sunday’s race us open to A3/4 riders, covering 38 miles and finishing on Fivemiletown Mountain.
Sign-on at Ecclesville Centre, Fintona 11am-12.30pm. Entry is on the day, £15. Race starts at 1pm.



Taking place this Sunday, 2nd September, the 2018 Thomas White Memorial will incorporate Round 8 of the 2018 Invacare Paracycling League; Attracting the top paracyclists in the country alongside the annual Thomas White TT.

Sign On & Race Start

Entry is accepted on the day – no pre-registration required.

Ample parking is available within Warrenpoint Enterprise Centre and the entry road.  Please refrain from parking in the adjacent fuel station.

Please also take caution when travelling from the sign on area to the start line, heeding traffic which may be entering and/or exiting the Warrenpoint Fuel Station.  Riders are asked to be at the start line 5 minutes in advance of their start time and make themselves known to the race officials at the start area.

Riders will start in the order in which they sign on.  The fist rider will start at 11:01 am, 2nd rider 11:02, etc.


The course will remain the same as the 2017 event, starting outside the gates of Wood Innovations Design Centre, traveling via the Warrenpoint Rd dual carriageway to the main Greenbank roundabout on the outskirts of Newry before returning on the opposite side of the dual carriageway.  Please note the finish line is just beyond the start as you approach it – this will be marked with a chequered flag.  You can view the course profile here:

Post Race Refreshments and Prize giving

Tea /coffee, sandwiches and an assortment of tray bakes will be available at the event HQ in Warrenpoint Enterprise Centre following the event where prizes will be awarded to the winners of the Thomas White Memorial event and Round 8 of the Invacare Paracycling League.

Prizes for the Thomas White Memorial will be awarded to the following;

  • Fastest Overall (Top 3)
  • Fastest Women
  • Fastest Junior
  • Fastest Master 40
  • Fastest Master 50
  • Fastest Master 60
  • Fastest Banbridge CC rider