The eyes of Ireland’s cycling world will be on Clonmel and its spectacular countryside this weekend as it plays host to the most important cycling event in the calendar; the 2012 National Cycling Championships. More than 250 cyclists will participate in this year’s championships, which will comprise a number of events over a four day period.
The event which takes place from 21st to 24th June will attract thousands of spectators and visitors to the town, while the event itself will feature some of the top names in world cycling including Nicolas Roche, son of Ireland’s famous cyclist Stephen Roche.
Clonmel Cycling Club made a bid for the 2012 championships over eighteen months ago and it was a major vote of confidence in the club’s abilities when they were selected to host the national event. In the past they have hosted five successful Suir Valley three-day events, which are fast gaining popularity and prestige each year. They also hosted the World Military Cycling Championships in 2009.
Rory Wyley, President of Cycling Ireland, was present at the launch last week where he described South Tipperary as the ‘hot-bed of Irish cycling’. A host of special guests also attended including Olympic bound Martyn Irvine who will be competing in the Time Trial on the Thursday evening in Cahir and Denis Twomey, manager of the Irish Paralympics cycling team.
Declan Byrne, Organiser of the event said - “To be chosen to host the 2012 National Cycling Championship in Clonmel is an honour bestowed upon Clonmel Cycling Club and the town of Clonmel itself. We have made every effort to ensure the events run smoothly and safely and have received tremendous support from everyone. South Tipperary boasts some challenging cycling routes that we can ensure the 250 cyclist visitors will enjoy.”
To launch the 2012 National Cycling Championship, the National Time Trial Championship will begin on Thursday 21st June. The start point is at Morrison’s BMW in Cahir at 5p.m. This event will also feature Nicolas Roche and will offer a rare opportunity for people to get up close to a world class cycling star. Another competitor in the Time Trial will be Martin Irvine who is using the event as a warm up for the London Olympics where he will compete in August.
Friday will be a rest day for the cyclists. Saturday will see the National Veterans Road Race and the National Women’s Championship take place and will include amongst its competitors the recent World Track Championship Bronze medallist Caroline Ryan.
Sunday will bring with it the Elite & under 23 race. The elite race is held on an 18.5km circuit over nine laps totaling 166.5km. It will start and finish on Clonmel’s O’Connell Street, right in the heart of the town.
For more information on routes and start times please visit www.natchamps2012.clonmelcc.com or contact Declan Byrne on 087 9369628