Voting is open for the Cycling Ireland Awards 2015. Details on the various categories and nominees can be found below.
To vote for who you deem to be the most suitable recipient in the each category please click here.
VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR
Dany Blondeel – Ards Cycling Club
For his continued work to develop young riders by giving them the opportunity to race in mainland Europe through his Belgium Project.
Gerard Campbell – Drogheda Wheelers
His tireless work with developing underage racing throughout Leinster.
John Coates – Sundrive Track Team
John is one of the hardest working people in track cycling. So much is done behind the scenes by him and it cannot be taken for granted. Whether it’s moving all the track equipment over and back between events, running the lap board or keeping on top of the finances in the commission he still finds time to tell stories from the good old days in H’Ull’. Almost winning a medal in this year’s M60 scratch race showed how popular that win would have been with the cheering crowds.
Margaret Donnelly – Orwell Wheelers
* Leinster women’s rep * Chair Women’s commission * Coach, chaperone and mentor to junior women’s squads for domestic and international * Organiser of Orwell Crit League * Marshall at Rás na mBan Gets a whole lot done without seeking fanfare or attention
Martin Kirwan – Comeragh Cycling Club
Martin has competed as a pilot & while doing so at International events has supported the squad with Airport transfers, Car/Van hire & supported riders with his knowledge of the Sport.
Nathalie Lawlor – Ratoath BMX Club
As National Race Director, Nathalie has worked tirelessly throughout the 2015 race season to bring a whole new level of professionalism and organisation to the BMX National Race Series.
Michael O’Connor – Fermoy Cycling Club
In 1969 Michael became secretary of Fermoy Cycling Club, a post he holds to this day. Under his supervision the club has produced many Irish Championship winners and numerous riders selected for international teams. The club is the most active promoter of events in Munster. It annually holds two open road races, the Cork County Road Race championships, a league race every Tuesday evening from mid-May until mid-August (the longest running event of its type in Munster) and a leisure cycle event. The vast majority of the work load involved in the organisation of these promotions falls on Michael’s shoulders, not that you’d realise it thanks to his quiet unassuming manner.
Fermoy Cycling Club has always been regarded as a great nursery for young cyclists. In the last twelve months five riders who rode for the club competed in the An Post Ras, including stage winner Robert Jon McCarthy. In addition three of these riders are now based abroad competing full time against some of the world’s best. It is no co-incidence that this type of success occurs. On Friday evenings you’ll find Michael at the Colaiste track with youth riders, instilling a love of the sport, providing advice, knowledge, the opportunity and a platform for them to make the most of their talents and more importantly to enjoy what they are doing regardless of ability. The little child on a BMX getting as much attention as the bigger one with a racing bike.
Over the years Michael has also been a board member of Cycling Munster and Cork Cycling. Most weekends he’s at a race somewhere in Munster and normally shows his face at a midweek race as well (in addition to our own promotions) rolling up his sleeves and getting stuck in. His wife Mary is most definitely a cycling widow.
Liam Walker – Murphy Surveys
For dedicated work particularly for Track Cycling at Sundrive Road along with his work with Murphy Surveys Kilcullen CC teams of all ages.
Sinead Waters – Connemara MTB
For her tireless work in getting Youth riders out Mountain biking. She started with training sessions after the Connacht Spring league MTB races, with 10 riders or so and progressed into summer evening sessions (20+ riders) to feed into our Autumn MTB league.
We now have 30-55 Youth riders since the start of our league in September. Her most important goal in the training session is…………..it must be fun!!
CLUB OF THE YEAR
Banbridge Cycling Club
Banbridge CC has shown incredible dedication to developing world class XC athletes over the last few seasons but this year in particular was extremely successful for them. Five National XC Champions across all categories (with Gareth McKee winning both XC and XCM titles) is a testament to the club’s hard work in 2015. They also managed to field a team to go to the XC Worlds in Andorra this year, go to a full season of British XC Series and run a great XC NPS event in Castlewellan in August!
Black Rose Racing
In the space of a little over 5 years this small club based in Galway has gone from a twinkle in an eye to one of the most successful clubs on the track scene in Ireland. It’s difficult not to notice the men and women in pink. It was initially set up to promote a small recording studio and music business in the west named after a Thin Lizzy album and with a little illusion of grandeur has grown from 4 cyclists to 24 all racing at different levels, masters, youth, para cyclists and ladies racing road and track. The original goal was to at least look good, “if you’re going out the back go out in style” and that evolved into aiming for national medals and then titles. This year we have 7 elite national champions in the Team pursuit and team sprint with two national records. Maybe it was a bad policy that national champions would get their kit for free!! Hopefully the dream will not end
Clontarf Cycling Club
Clontarf ran two sportifs for the IWA, one for My Canine companion which raised a massive €22,000 for dogs for autistic children, ran bike fest at St Anne’s Park family day, helped marshal Great Dublin bike ride & were at the helm supporting Para Cycling come & try events & training at Corkagh Park
* For giving as much care and attention to their female members as to their male. * For running a female-only sportive for each of the three years of the club’s existence so far. * For running an excellent women’s National League race. * For including Youth races for girls and boys on their race program this year.
Dromore Cycling Club
An active club who ran their first leisure cycle this year and set the benchmark for all other clubs to follow. They have started their youth development program and have a ladies spin. A strong committee who are serving the needs of all sides of their club.
Lucan BMX Club
Established in 2014, this club has grown rapidly to become the largest BMX Club in Ireland. It has a dedicated and committed group of people running the club and is very active with regular Club days at its St Catherine’s park track. The Club has hosted successful race events in 2015 and has an excellent philosophy of attracting new riders and club members.
Best developing club.
Had an amazing trail for the Connacht MTB Champs in September. Inspiring to see 20 people from their club helping build and sort trails out for the race!!
Usher Irish Road Club
Now entering its 125th year of existence the Dublin based club is one of the oldest in the country. Through its members it is responsible for the promotion of 27 days open racing including, Mondello Series, Scott Junior Tour, An Post Rás na mBan, and Gorey 3 Day along with providing technical results service for no fewer than 5 other stages races nationwide.
BEST LEISURE EVENT
An Post Meath Heritage Cycle Tour
Brilliant organizing, great food afterwards along with a fun atmosphere!
Cycling Ireland Bike Fest
Crowds of families and children exploring all disciplines of cycling in one location, doesn’t get better than that! Building on the 2014 success the organizers managed to raise the bar again, fantastic event!
Deenside Wheelers Ladies Sportive
It was run with the same care and attention Deenside Wheelers give to the 3 events they run every year (2 x leisure, 1 x race), there was excellent on-road support on the day, a choice of routes to suit all abilities, and excellent refreshments beforehand and afterward
Dromore Cycling Club 50k and 100k
An active club who ran their first leisure cycle this year and set the benchmark for all other clubs to follow. A large body of volunteers helping out. Great signage and lots of food stops. Feedback was that they took the best of all other leisure cycles and brought it to their own event.
Great Dublin Bike Ride
To bring any event into the centre of the capital requires ultimate planning. This was achieved on the day with fantastic resources throughout.
Very well run event, well marshalled and safety was top of the agenda.
Paracycling Family Fun Day – Corkagh Park
Without doubt events like this are the corner stone of the development of Children with disabilities participating in sport. The event not alone benefits the athletes of the future but parents & family members make contacts with innovations in technology that has improved their lives. Prosthetic fitters & physiotherapists that attended see the challenges & improvements that can be made to a person’s using cycling as part of their rehabilitation
Old Velos – Vintage International Classic
Driving rain, steep hills, dangerous descents and sheep on the road. All that’s needed are old woolly jerseys and bikes that weigh a ton and have not many gears and you have the epic recreation of the Nissan classic from 30 years ago.
BEST COMPETITIVE EVENT
BMX National Series Rounds 5 & 6
This is known as the ‘double-header weekend’ in the National BMX Race Series. It’s a 2-day event and was a great success with Ratoath Club staging a very busy & successful race weekend. The event always has a ‘carnival’ atmosphere, has excellent attendance from riders and spectators, and has now established itself firmly on the annual BMX race calendar.
RC Emerald Enduro – 2nd Round World Enduro Series
First time a World Cup standard off-road event has ever visited Ireland. Phenomenal work by Biking.ie crew who has been consistently putting Ireland on the map of world class mountain biking!
Dublin Track Cycling International
This 2 day event is Ireland’s only 1.1 UCI ranked race held on the national velodrome. Attended by current and past world champions it’s a chance for domestic riders to race at the highest level and pros to pick up valuable points for Olympic qualification and it’s a marvellous weekend of racing
Irish National Time Trial Championships
Omagh Wheelers left no stone unturned but the ground work they put in to showcase Para Cycling in the lead up to event was a Credit to all involved
Kerry Group Rás Mumhan
The Easter stage race continues to set the bar as the ultimate test for riders looking to compete at An Post Ras. For those who compete without those ambitions, a result here, justifies the entire season.
Rás Mumhan continues to be one of the corner stones of cycling in Ireland & is one of the premier cycling events in the country run by Killorglin Credit Union Cycling Club. The race takes place in Cork and Kerry over the Easter weekend. With Killorglin as its base, it passes through some of the most stunning scenery in Kerry and from the cyclists’ point of view, some of the most demanding terrain.
Rás Mumhan is among the oldest and certainly among the toughest stage races in Ireland. It has been and remains rooted in amateur cycling in Ireland. The aim of the race is to provide an excellent opportunity for top class racing against top class opposition in Ireland for all Irish riders aspiring to a place at the top of the sport. Kerry Group Rás Mumhan reflects the sporting and cultural ethos of the main sponsor. It is entirely a volunteer run event. That, however, does not stop it setting the highest standards for running the event. The race organisation are pleased that the race has developed a loyal following among Irish and overseas riders and it equally satisfying to see how hard the cyclists ride the race. The 2015 provided exciting and demanding racing that is typical of Rás Mumhan.
Laragh Classic Race
Very well run event and they also had an extra job this year for running the Leinster Road Race Championships.
Rás na mBan
For providing a champagne race on a beer budget. It takes a village to organise it, and it continues to go from strength to strength each year. Great performance by the county teams, up against the best of the international riders.
XC National Championships
Superb venue, centrally located in the country, amazing trails. Felt like and looked like European World Cup MTB race, but with an Irish twist. Great crew running the event too!
BEST DOMESTIC BASED MALE RIDER
Cian Clarke – Northwest MTB
Came back to mountain bike and has been winning in DH and Enduro since!
Jacob Dickson – PLUSHmtb
Jacob won the 2015 Junior National Downhill Championship and has had a great season racing at the World Cup events.
Round 1 – Lourdes – 8th
Round 2 – Fortwilliam – 8th
Round 3 – Leogang – 2nd
Round 4 – Lenzerheide – 25th
Round 5 – Mont Sainte Anne – 5th
Round 6 – Windham NY – 2nd
Round 7 – Val Di Sole – 2nd
World Championships – Andorra – 6th
Aaron Edwards – Ratoath BMX Club
Aaron Edwards has developed significantly in his riding style and speed in 2015. He is a member of the CI BMX Development Squad and his commitment to the programme is evident with both on-track and off-track improvements. From observing Aaron throughout the 2015 season, it is clear he has improved in all areas, in which he is assessed, which the BMX Commission acknowledges and congratulates him on.
Ian Inglis – Black Rose Racing
Ian Inglis has been a solid candidate as Pilot on the Irish Invacare squad. Domestically he has broken the 50Mile TT with Aidan Reade & has taken the coveted National team pursuit Championship with Black Rose.
Gareth McKee – Banbridge Cycling Club
2015 Irish XC Olympic National Champion
2015 Irish XC Marathon National Champion
Sean McKenna – Team Aquablue
Great all round rider, with great results, topping the rider rankings.
Murt Rice – Sundrive Track Team
Murt is a pivotal member of the Sundrive Track Team and was central to their success in winning the Team Pursuit Title in 2014. He showed that with belief and application to training and working together as a team, that it doesn’t take superstars to win a national title. This year he was the only domestic rider to podium at International Track Grand Prix against an elite International field. He also regularly features in the results at criteriums which very much suit his particular track strengths and bike skills.
Damien Shaw – Team Asea
For the win at the National RR and two podium spots on the Rás, against full time international riders. For being a genuinely pleasant, genuinely hard-working, and genuinely talented guy, and still managing to be a fireman on top of all that!
Paidi O’Brien – Osborne Meats/McCarthy Cycles
Paidi has had a super season with a total of 10 wins throughout 2015. He put his stamp in this years Rás Mumhan with 3 stage wins over the weekend & this against much larger teams who specialize in winning sprints. Paidi showed his class with these wins along with taking the overall green jersey. He also took 1st place in some of the bigger one day’s races which included the Visit Nenagh.ie Classic, B. Power Memorial/T. Sheehan Memorial. Paidi also took a silver medal in the National Criterium Championships later in the year. He achieved all this in a year that he completed his final exams in CIT.
BEST DOMESTIC BASED FEMALE RIDER
Sacha Bickerstaff – Unattached Ulster
At 16 years of age she is quick becoming a force to be reckoned with on the local and British downhill race scene! With solid performances in 2015 including a win at the British downhill series round at Fort William, Scotland.
Eileen Burns – Ballymena Road Club
Eileen Burns – broke the 10M TT record, finished 4th in the TT stage of Rás na mBan, won the Ulster TT league and held her own against the men this year
Ciara Doogan – Errigal Cycling Club
For dominating performances at Junior level and continuing to hold her own at Elite level nationally, this young rider’s ability has been recognised at home and abroad.
Siobhan Horgan – Team Aquablue
Has been off the cycling seen for some time and then takes the title of Irish National TT Champion.
Ciara MacManus – Summit Mountain Biking
Came from behind to win the Elite Women at the 2015 National XC Champs on the last lap.
Leah Maunsell – Team Ballyhoura
Leah Maunsell is a 16 year old MTB rider, who is one of Ireland’s brightest new talents. Since the age of 11 Leah has been racing competitively, and has been sponsored by Kona Bikes. The 16 years old studying for her junior cert this year she still has a number of podium results including winning a round of the Enduro World Series. Enduro is a full days racing consisting of around 5 stages.
Eve McCrystal – Garda Cycling Club
Aside from podiums with stoker Katie George Dunleavy at International events Eve in her busy International schedule managed a 2nd place in National TT & 4th in National RR and also won the Gas Networks Visit Nenagh.
Eimear Moran – Sundrive Track Team
Eimear has made a quite sensational transition from her sport of rowing within the space of a year. She went from rookie to consideration for National Squad within twelve months, taking 6 National Track titles, two outdoor records and a couple of wins on the road enroute. It has been quite a steep learning curve, but the experience of riding track league throughout the year, and under the direction of her coach Mark Kiely, she has learned to apply her accumulated strength into winning performances on the track.
Katie O’Neill – Lucan BMX Club
Katie has a steely determination to make it in a male-dominated sport, where the rough and tumble of BMX racing can put most females off! She has battled hard in 2015 in domestic competition and also at UK Nationals events and the UCI Worlds. Katie has to be recognised for the steadfast commitment to her racing career. Time and time again she has proven she will remain focused on achieving her goal of Elite ladies competition, which the BMX Commission acknowledges and encourages.
BEST CLUB COACH
Paddy Davis – Usher Irish Road Club
Paddy brings a wealth of experience as a track rider and coach to our volunteer coaching panel at the Sundrive Velodrome. He has shared his knowledge over many years, and is very often for many riders first experience of riding track as in recent years he has taken charge of all Accreditation sessions at Sundrive. He would also work as coach for visiting clubs and he has the knack for raising riders to quite a competent level with one session. He is at the heart of all that happens at the Sundrive Velodrome and would be on hand to help out at every Track Championship.
Orla Hendron – Orwell Wheelers
For never giving up on anyone. Organises domestic and international camps for Junior riders, looks after their overall development (academics, nutrition, off-bike fitness), not just their cycling. And goes on to medal at the World Masters herself! An inspiration to all.
Shay McNally – Ratoath BMX Club
Every Friday Shay McNally and his team (Tom Campbell & Eugene Jackson) run coaching sessions at Ratoath BMX track. This is an invaluable exercise to develop and nurture BMX talent, and also encourages new and aspiring riders to BMX. The BMX Commission recommends clubs offer coaching as often as possible, which Shay duly does on a weekly basis. His commitment to coaching has seen the installation of flood lighting to their track, offering ‘all year round’ coaching – a dedication, which is typical of Shay and his coaching team.
Cathal Miller – Clontarf Cycling Club
Cathal has been at the hub of what is described as the fastest growing club in the Country with Clontarf CC with over 180 members. Cathal has integrated the Club into support for the Family Cycle fun day in St Anne’s Park & Corkagh Park Para Cycling days with both training & family fun days among other events. As National Development Coach Cathal has travelled voluntary to Spain with the largest Para Development Squad ever to attend an event from any Country with a total of 13
Anthony Walsh – Team Aquablue
Very good results from top riders like Sean McKenna and Siobhan Horgan from A1 Coaching.
Sinead Waters – Connemara MTB
Getting Youth riders into mountain biking on a massive scale!
To vote for who you deem to be the most suitable recipient in the each category please click here.