Euro MTB Champs

Euro MTB Champs

The European Marathon Mountain Bike Championships rolled 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 was made as this is the first time Ireland has ever hosted an official UCI Championship mountain bike event. Admission to the venue was 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 was 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 were in attendance including former World Champion Christophe Sauser, UK champion Sally Bingham and 2013 Irish National Champion Jenny Fay.  Irish International road riders Ryan Sherlock and National Road Champion Mel Spath lined up along with a full domestic field. Up and coming riders Leah and Jonathon Maunsell, who ride with the local club Team Ballyhoura, were 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 was not all about the professionals.  Saturday's support races are open for all categorized into Expert, Masters, Vet and Classic Vet and featured a course of 75kms and 1925 metres of climbing.  There was also a Junior and Fun race on 23kms of trails. The main event on Sunday 15th saw the Elite Men tackle a course of 93km with 2199 metres of climbing while the Elite Women's field took 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 was clover leaf in shape and all senior categories rode through the start/finish area three times during their respective races making it an ideal race for spectators.  The course was 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 was assisted by Ballyhoura Failte and formed part of the Limerick City of Culture festivities. 


For further queries contact info@biking.ie or 083-4173899.  The official website is www.euromarathonchamps.com
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