Friends First and St. Tiernan’s Cycling Club today launched the 2017 Friends First Laragh Classic programme and with it a new and exciting route for one of Ireland’s premier road races. The programme of races includes the Friends First Laragh Classic (A1/A2), The Women’s Friends First Laragh Classic and The Martin Vereker Memorial (A3/Junior).

As the final race in the Cycling Ireland National Series, the Laragh Classic, now in its 5th year, has established itself as a tough closing event which always produces a worthy winner.

The former circuitous route based around the picturesque setting of Laragh, County Wicklow, has been altered for this year now incorporating one of Ireland’s most renowned climbs, the Wicklow Gap. Last crossed competitively in the An Post Rás in 2014 and forming part of the 1998 Tour de France on its visit to Ireland, the Gap brings an element not usually seen in domestic racing to the fore.

Speaking at the launch of this year’s race programme, Tom Browne, CEO of Friends First commended the ambition of a relatively young race and the new and exciting additions to the course, saying: “The race is growing in stature year on year. This year’s course reflects the ambition of St. Tiernan’s and is a fitting finale to what has so far been an exciting 2017 Cycling Ireland National Series. Not only do we have a fantastic course for 2017 we are also hosting the first standalone women’s Friends First Laragh Classic which is something we and St. Tiernan’s are proud to be a part of.”

Race co-Director, Brian Hayden further commented on the addition of the standalone ladies’ race adding: “With Rás na mBan taking place the following week we are hoping to attract the best of Ireland’s female road riders, in addition it should provide an incentive for international riders racing later that week to come early and take part. The course is challenging and with no difference between the men’s and ladies’ courses we are also pleased to say there is no difference in the winner’s prize fund with both winners receiving €200.

“This is close to 100 kilometres of a superb circuit and will provide us with three deserved winners across the programme. The double National Series points on offer for both the men’s and women’s Laragh Classic races should provide an extra edge to proceedings. I have no doubt this will be an impressive event.”

Registration opened on Wednesday 9th of August on with entries only being taken online. With the race passing some of the best scenery in Wicklow, spectators will have more than one of Irelands biggest road races to enjoy.

About Friends First
Friends First is one of Ireland’s oldest and most established Life Assurance companies, meeting the financial needs of our customers since 1834. They have over 276,000 customers and employ 300 people in Ireland. Friends First is fully owned by the Dutch Insurance Group, Achmea, one of Europe’s leading insurance players.

Friends First are focused on providing leading protection, retirement and investment solutions which are tailored to your individual needs and will provide you with the required benefits when they are needed most.

About the Club
St. Tiernan’s was founded in 1984 as St. Tiernan’s Cycling and Adventure Club and was established by parents in Dundrum and Sandyford for the students of St. Tiernan’s Community School. Their aim was to get students involved in outdoor sports and cycling. As the club’s popularity grew, membership blossomed to include members from all over Ireland and at the start of the 90s it eventually became exclusively a road cycling club.
2017 has been a major year for the club with its 3rd consecutive entry on the Race Around Ireland, ongoing participation in some of Europe’s biggest audax events and the clubs first entry to the ‘Rás’, Ireland’s premier stage race. The 2017 Friends First Laragh Classic sees the clubs ambition realised in hosting one of Ireland’s most exciting one day races as part of Cycling Ireland’s National Road Series.

Race Information
Race date: Saturday 2nd September 2017
Race categories:
1. Friends First Laragh Classic: A1/A2* – 97kms
2. Women’s Friends First Laragh Classic – 97kms
3. Martin Vereker Memorial: A3/Junior* – 97kms

Sign on location and event HQ: The Brockagh Resource Centre, Laragh, Co. Wicklow
Opening of sign on at 08.30AM.
*Please note that the race organisers reserve the right to combine the A1/2 and A3/Junior races into one single handicapped race on the day if required.


    • Hi Ed, same reply as over on the A1 Coaching show comments. Resource wise we are unable to run an A4 race this year but are hoping to reinstate it for next years programme. Three separate races on an expansive course is a big undertaking for a relatively small club but we will endeavour to get it back next year, we would like to give A4 riders the chance to race on that course too. WE have always had an A4 race and will be bringing it back when we can.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here