10 June 2011 No Comments by The Northern Standard

kevin carney

Cycling enthusiasts in county Monaghan can expect a feast of action towards the end of this month when Emyvale Cycling Club hosts the Irish National Cycling Championships.
The event takes place between June 23rd-June 26th around the roads of Emyvale, Tydavnet, Knockatallon, Scotstown and Ballinode and so far over 250 cyclists have been entered, including some of the sport’s luminaries.
Run under the aegis of Cycling Ireland and with Town of Monaghan Co-Op stepping in as the main sponsor, the Championships were launched on Tuesday evening last at the Slieve Beagh Hotel, Knockatallon.
The attendance at the launch included Geoff Liffey, CEO of Cycling Ireland along with Tommy Lamb of Cycling Ulster plus various representatives of some of the leading cycling clubs in Ireland.
Peadar McMahon acted as Master of Ceremonies at the launch and also among
the speakers on the night were Stephen McKenna, Road Commissioner of Cycling Ireland and Patsy Brady, Race Director who stated:
“This is a big honour for Emyvale Cycling Club to be staging the national championships for the first time,” said the long-time cycling afficionado.
“Although the club hosted the B Championships three years ago, this is a much bigger event and we are grateful to Town of Monaghan Co-Op for their sponsorship.
“There has been massive interest in the national championships this year with Irish cyclists based in the UK, continental Europe, and the USA making enquiries.
“We look forward to welcoming them all to Monaghan at the end of June.”
Around 120 riders are expected to take part on Sunday (June 26th) in the national senior road race championships for men.
The winning elite rider wears the national champion’s jersey for all road races in the folowing 12 months. The first of the men under-23 in this elite race receives a separate award for this category.
With the 2012 Olympics fast approaching it’s certain these competitors will be out to impress the selectors of Ireland’s Olympic cycling team.
County Monaghan will have two riders taking part, Conor Murphy from Clara near Emyvale who has just finished the 8 day FBD Milk Rás.
Another local competitor is Monaghan town’s Ryan Sherlock, current national hill climb champion.
Last year’s winner, Matt Brammeier, a Liverpudlian who holds an Irish passport, wears the national champion’s jersey.
As a result of his victory he signed a professional contract with
The silver medallist is better known, Nicholas Roche, son of former champion Stephen Roche.
He has already won this race twice and rides as a professional with a French team, Ag2r-La Mondiale.
Roche has won a total of five professional races, finishing 15th in last year’s Tour de France and 7th in the Tour of Spain, raising him to 32nd position in the world rankings.
Roche’s cousin, Daniel Martin, is the 2010 bronze medallist and is a professional with the Garmin-Cervelo team, currently ranking 49th internationally. Fresh from his exploits at the recent Giro D’Italia, Letterkenny’s Philip Deignan of Team RadioShack could well lead the Ulster challenge to win the race.
The participation of these riders along with all the Irish elite competitors is set to make the upcoming north Monaghan cycling extravaganza one of the top sporting events in the country this year.
All the events, including Sunday’s elite race and the individual time trial (Thursday), ladies and para-cyclists (Thursday and Friday), Veterans, over-40s (Saturday) plus Junior Ladies and under 23s, can all be viewed free from the many safe vantage points around the courses.

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