This is the first time the Championships, aimed at cyclists aged 40-plus, has been held in Gorey, all thanks to the sterling work of the local cycling club and its chairperson, Derek Webb.
Competitors and spectators will be treated to two days of highly competitive racing in the form of a Time Trial on the Saturday and a Road Race on the Sunday.
This is also a very special occasion as World Masters Time Trial Champion Greg Swinand will be taking part – he won the Over 50s time trail in Poznan, Poland, representing Ireland, in early September. Uniquely, Greg will be wearing his champion’s Rainbow Jersey – making this the first time since 1987 that a Rainbow Jersey has been in Gorey. The last rider was Stephen Roche, cycling a stage from Dublin to Cork!
Showcase North Wexford
As Gorey celebrates Gorey 400, this is a wonderful opportunity to showcase North Wexford. “The weekend features cyclists in the M40, M50, and M60 category – these are the men over 40, men over 50, and men over 60 road races,” said Derek, who is also race director. “We’ll also have an A3 race aimed at 18-39 year-olds.”
On Saturday, the Time Trial will run on an out-and-back course from Gorey to Arklow along the old N11. On Sunday, the 27km Championship road race starts in historic Craanford, then goes through Camolin, back to Gorey via the Paul Funge Boulevard, up along The Avenue, turns left at the 64 pub, and out the Carnew Road back to Craanford.
“On the Sunday, the M60s will do two laps of the route, the M50s three laps, the M40s four laps, and the A3s five laps, so there will be loads of opportunities to see the riders go past.”
With 400 riders expected to take part, Derek is confident that “both the Time Trial and Road Race will have everything a rider needs as a challenge and we hope all the racers will remember it for years to come”.
Not surprisingly, such an undertaking takes local support to help fund the €15,000 undertaking – Gorey Cycling Club is very appreciative of support from Weatherglaze, James Tomkins, Redmond Electric, Revolve Bike Shop and other local sponsors. “We hope that the event will be a huge success and enjoyed by all the competitors and spectators alike.”
Gorey Cycling Club
Gorey Cycling Club itself has 58 members and was set up just five years ago in 2014. It comprises a kids’ section, a touring section and a racing section and includes both men and women, who meet on Saturday and Sunday mornings at Revolve Bike Shop in Gorey. “Our motto is that all ages, all standards are all welcome,” said Derek, who coaches the Youth Academy on Saturday mornings.
The road racers take part in championships and routinely head off for 50km spins. The touring group meet all year round and head off around the likes of the Ring of Kerry, the Jack and Jill Cycle, the Ferns Cycle and as far afield as Majorca. “It’s very sociable – cycling and a coffee afterwards!”
And it’s that drive to provide an outlet for those interested in cycling that motivates the club and its active committee. In the meantime, it’s all systems go for September 14 & 15 to see the grand masters of cycling fly past the lush green countryside of North Wexford.
14 September 2019 – Masters Time Trial
15 September 2019 – Masters & A3 Road Race