Half the national cycling championships - postponed on June 29 after the horrific car crash at Portnashangan which claimed four lives - has been rescheduled for Saturday, September 20.
After a very successful criterium race last year for Destination Sport in Mullingar, the local cycling club Lakeside Wheelers spent the intervening months organising the first ever national championship to be held in Westmeath in the last weekend in June, with a time trial between Tyrrellspass and Kinnegad, and four road races on a circular course based out of Multyfarnham.
However, because of the accident on the morning of the championships, organisers had to cancel both the ladies and veterans races, now fixed for September 20, and again based in Multyfarnham.
“Both races will be held on the route used for the elite men’s race and we are delighted to say we will have closed roads for both events,” said Wheelers spokesman Joe Duffy.
This follows a 17km circuit from Multy, to Ballinafid, to Knockdrin, Taughmon, Crookedwood, and back to Multyfarnham.
“Following the very tragic accident on the morning of the original date for the championships we were forced to postpone the events due to circumstances beyond our control. Since then we have been working with Cycling Ireland, Westmeath County Council, Gardaí, and Civil Defence to rearrange a suitable date on the same race route,” he continued.
“It takes a minimum of six weeks to get a closed road order, while finding a date on the cycling calendar was another challenge. We have successfully negotiated these hurdles and are now looking forward to hosting what promises to be two great events,” he concluded.
The consensus after the elite and Under 23 races was that the Wheelers had produced a challenging and worthy route for the national championships, and so they were very keen to secure the same route for the rescheduled ladies and veteran races.
Rising star Ryan Mullen took both the Under 23 and Elite men’s titles back in June.
Sign-on and parking will be in the same location in Multyfarnham, Co Westmeath on Saturday September 20.
Further information will be announced shortly regarding entries and start times for both events.