Cycling Ireland Announce Recommendations from the Road Working Group

Aimed to Increase Road Racing Numbers and Quality of Races

Following the establishment of the Road Working Group (RWG) in late 2023, Cycling Ireland is pleased to announce that after extensive consultation with multiple stakeholders, the RWG have proposed a 10-point action plan for road racing in Ireland. 

The recommendations aim to increase the number of participants competing on a regular basis, to increase and standardise racing and to provide a more sustainable future for road racing. 

The key points recommended by the RWG have been presented to Cycling Ireland. These will now be reviewed, and Cycling Ireland will work with other stakeholders to see what will be possible for 2025 and beyond. Cycling will consult groups such as College of Commissaires, the Technical Working Group and other leading stakeholders.

Established to review Irish road racing and to provide Cycling Ireland with recommendations for the improvement of the sport, the RWG is made up of representatives from around Ireland.  

The RWG includes ten Cycling Ireland members consisting of riders, commissaires, event promoters, coaches and commission members, following an open invitation to all Cycling Ireland members. The group is facilitated by Cycling Ireland’s Operations and Events staff.

Recommendations include a reform of racing categories from four to three, and re-model competition licences, the creation of a tiered race categorisation structure and grading points adjustment. This will apply across all riders from Junior up. Cycling Ireland has established separate working groups with a focus on youth competition and participation.

In line with standardising racing, the RWG have proposed the implementation of new technology to modernise racing. Changes to the events calendar are also recommended.

The recommendations made by the RWG are based on a detailed data-driven analysis examined issues pertaining to rider numbers, racing structure, administration and event costs as well as considering feedback from various stakeholders including riders, race promoters, race administrators, provincial representatives, and governing bodies.   

Speaking about the proposed changes, Cycling Ireland CEO, James Quilligan said: 

“This is a very exciting time for road racing in Ireland. The Road Working Group have put in an extensive body of work to get to this point. The recommendations aim to increase participation in road racing and to standardise racing. I look forward to implementing these changes for 2025 and beyond.”

Road Working Group member Cathal Dillane described the action plan as a project aiming to rejuvenate road racing. 

“This 10-point action plan is a comprehensive attempt to rejuvenate road racing. By categorising races to suit the different rider motivations, building bigger peloton sizes, establishing season long competitions, centralising race promotion and results, and building security for race promoters we hope to build a stronger more fun racing scene for all. Ultimately, it’s about building a better sense of connection and identity within the sport for our members.”

Road Working Group member Niall Doggett outlined the aims and objectives of the action plan. 

"The time has come to re-structure things in a way to serve Cycling Ireland members better. Our aim is to ensure road racing gets through this difficult period, before we can see it grow again. The appetite and drive for change is certainly out there within the Irish cycling community. We hope this can be a springboard to a booming sport in the coming years. Our goal is to create an improved system to make road racing more organised, competitive, and enjoyable for riders, along with being more financially viable for race organisers."

The 10 points recommended are as follows; 

1. Migrate Full Licence Racing Categories from 4 to 3 & Modify Limited Competition Licence

2. Create a Tiered Race Categorisation Structure 

3. Changes to the grading points in line with Race Categorisation

4. Continued work towards a more balanced calendar based on Race Categorisation

5. Encourage promotion of a Women's Calendar Annually

6. Create Opportunities for Masters Racing

7. Create ‘Road Cycling Cup' at each Category replacing the National Series.

8. Centralised Interactive Cycling Ireland System for Race Promotion in one place.

9. Modernisation of Road Racing

10. Set out minimum standards of Medical Cover & Race Facilities for National Events

Road Working Group Members:

  • Jennifer Bates (Longcourt Hotel - NCW Wheelers) 
  • Matteo Cigala (Team Dan Morrissey - Primor by Pissei) 
  • Cathal Dillane (Galway Bay CC)
  • Niall Doggett (Navan RC)
  • Vinnie Gleeson (Greenmount CA) 
  • Orla Hendron (Orwell Wheelers)
  • Drew McKinley (Newry Wheelers) 
  • Ronan McLaughlin (Foyle CC)
  • Stephen O’Shea (Orwell Wheelers)
  • Aaron Wallace (Banbridge CC)

Click here for the full presentation of the RWG findings and recommendations.