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OFF-ROAD EVENTS Last Updated: 6 Apr 2018 - 12:06:24 PM

Ireland Hosts European Marathon Mountain Bike Championships
26 Jan 2014,

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The European Marathon Mountain Bike Championships roll into Ballyhoura in County Limerick on the weekend of the 14th and 15th of June 2014 for two days of riding on some of the most picturesque trails in the country.

History will be made as this is the first time Ireland has ever hosted an official UCI Championship mountain bike event. Admission to the venue is free for spectators who can expect to see the World’s best take to the trails for the honour of being crowned European Champion. Racing is over two days with amateur racers able to get a taster on the Saturday before the main event on the Sunday.

Marathon mountain bike racing is an endurance sport, typically taking place over a cross country off-road course of approximately 100 kilometres and ideally in a single loop. The male and female champions get to wear a special European Champion jersey for the following year when competing in Marathon races as well as taking the honour of being the best on the continent.

Many of the world’s best will be in attendance including former World Champion Christophe Sauser, UK champion Sally Bingham and our own 2013 Irish National Champion Jenny Fay. Irish International road riders Ryan Sherlock and National Road Champion Mel Spath will line up along with a full domestic field. Up and coming riders Leah and Jonathon Maunsell, who ride with the local club Team Ballyhoura, will be present. The duo race multiple mountain bike disciplines and Irish development squad rider Leah Maunsell is making waves, competing at senior level in Enduro mountain bike racing where she is a regular on the podium, despite being only sixteen years old.

However it is not all about the professionals. Saturday's support races are open for all categorized into Expert, Masters, Vet and Classic Vet and feature a course of 75kms and 1925 metres of climbing. There is also a Junior and Fun race on 23kms of trails. The main event on Sunday 15th sees the Elite Men tackle a course of 93km with 2199 metres of climbing while the Elite Women's field take on a course of 75km and 1925 metres of height gain.

Riders set off in a mass start with the first to cross the finish line being crowned the European Champion.

Inspired by the location and unique heritage of Ireland, the course is clover leaf in shape and all senior categories will ride through the start/finish area three times during their respective races making it an ideal race for spectators. The course is a mix of wide forest roads, trail centre single-track and natural technical features embedded in some of the most picturesque countryside that Ireland has to offer.

The event is being assisted by Ballyhoura Failte and forms part of the Limerick City of Culture festivities.

For further queries contact or 0834173899. The official website is Media accreditation can be applied for on the event website in the relevant section.

The Rocky Mayhem Music Festival takes place the same weekend as the event in nearby Kilfinane village. No stranger to MTB events, Kilfinane has hosted the Single Speed World Championships in 2011 and the International Bluegrass Enduro Tour in 2013 as well as numerous domestic races in cross country (XCO), Enduro and Marathon including the Irish National Marathon Championships in 2013.


About Ballyhoura Mountain Bike Centre

Ballyhoura Mountain Bike Centre was the first purpose built mountain bike trail centre in Ireland and was
designed by Welsh trail builder Daffyd Davis. The trails were designed with minimum impact on the environment
and maximum use of natural features. They wind through an area of outstanding natural beauty with moss-lined
singletrack, deciduous and coniferous forests and lush countryside. The Ballyhoura Mountain Bike Centre is
Ireland's largest mountain bike park and will act as the event centre for the Championships on the 14th and 15th
of June.

About Kilfinane
Situated in County Limerick, Kilfinane (Cill Fhíonáin in the native Irish language) is surrounded on three sides by
the Ballyhoura Mountains, and on the fourth side by the "Golden Vale" region that
runs through Counties Limerick, Cork, and Tipperary.

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