The organisers of the Irish National Road Championships have provided more details on the races which take place from June 22nd to 25th. The time-trials for will take place on Thursday 22nd with the paracyclists setting off first, followed by tandems, elite women and finally senior men. On Saturday 24th, the races for M40, M50 and M60 will take place, with the Womens’s and combined U23 and Men’s race taking place on the Sunday.
The road races on Saturday 24th will see the M60s setting off at 10am followed by the M40s and then the M50s at 11am. The M60s will complete 3 laps of the testing 18.9km circuit, the M50s 5 laps and 6 laps for the M40s.
“The race lap is 18.95km long with an elevation gain of 150m each lap, which may not sound like much and even though there are no long climbs, there are a number of short sharp digs which over time will make it a hard route,” confirmed race organiser Derek Webb.
On the Sunday the elite ladies will depart from the County Hall at 10am and the men’s senior and U23 race will depart at 11am for 9 laps. The race will be neutralised for the first 4 kilometres as they make their way through Redmond Square in the town of Wexford and across the iconic Wexford Bridge before a rolling start outside one of their Main sponsors, FerryBank Motors. Its a poignant location to start the race as the business was established by Frank O’Rourke who contributed a lot to the sport in Wexford for many years before he passed away.
Another member of the organising team – Pat McCaffery – is very familiar with the lap to be used and has provided a good insight into what the riders will face.
“The first 5 kilometres are on a wide flat road,” according to McCaffery. “The route then veers left in Castlebridge, the road drags up through the village and there’s short downhill to the first short dig at Edenvale which is about 7 kilometres into the lap.”
“The road narrows slightly here and there is dead road surface as far as Crossabeg village at the 9km mark where there is a slight drag up through the village, veer left around Foley’s pub (which does a savage pint of Guinness!).
“The race turns left 150 metres after the pub and the road narrows further, there’s a sharp decent straight into a sharp climb through Saunderscourt. It’s only about 2 minutes long but will be sore.”
“The race then joins the main N11 road and drops down to Ferrycarrig Bridge at the 14km mark in the lap, turning left and after 150m turns right on to the “Muur de Ferrycarrig.” It’s only a minute long but maxs at about 18%. The race almost comes to a dead stop as there’s a sharp steep hairpin at the bottom and the road is only barely wider than a car.”
“he riders drop through Carrig and back on to the main road in to town, its 3km to the line from here and a fast run in with just 1 roundabout about 1500m to the line on Redmond road.”
The event is being promoted by Wexford Cycling – a group formed by Derek Webb made up of the racing clubs in Wexford about 8 years ago. They work together to help promote the sport of cycling in the county and it was through the strength of working together they have been successful in promoting this event. Race Director Derek Webb says that “the committee is made up of six clubs and the spirit between us and the determination to make sure this is a success is unrivalled. I am truly humbled and honoured to be the Race Director for this event in my home county, but most importantly to be working with the people I am working with has been unbelievable. I’m sure once the event is over we will probably still meet on Wednesdays for the laugh.”
Amongst the riders set to take part are WorldTour riders Nicolas Roche, Sam Bennett and Ryan Mullen. Others expected to line up are U23 Tour of Flanders winner Eddie Dunbar, Mark Downey, An Post Rás stage winner Matthew Teggart and Roche’s younger brother Alexis.
M60 3laps 10am start
M40 6 laps 11am start
M50 5 laps 11:05am start
Ladies 5laps 10am start
Senior/U23 9 laps 11am start
For more information and too register check out the website: www.roadchamps.irish