by Jeff Lockwood
March 14, 2014
The top mountain bike pros in Europe will descend upon Ballyhoura County, Ireland over the weekend of June 14th and 15th for the 2014 European Marathon Mountain Bike Championships.
The festivities start on Saturday when Women, Expert, Masters, Vets, Classic Vets and other categories of races are held for those not racing in the Elite classes. These races are open to the public, and feature a 75-kilometer course with 1925 meters of climbing. Juniors will race on a 25km version of the course.
Elite men and women take to the trails on Sunday. The women’s course is the same 75km loop used on Saturday, while the men will race on a 93km course with 2199 meters of climbing. At 528 meters, Seefin mountain is the highest point on the course. The first male and female elite racers to reach the summit will split a €528 cash incentive, presumably one pound for each meter of the climb.
All racing takes place at the Ballyhoura Mountain Bike Centre, Irelands first and biggest purpose-built mountain bike park. Designed by Welsh trail builder Daffyd Davis, a whopping 98 kilometers of trail offers a variety of singletrack, wooden trails, technical sections and routes for all levels of riders.
To make things interesting, and perhaps a little more fun, nearby Kilfinane village will be hosting the Rocky Mayhem Music Festival the same weekend. You might recognize the name of that village, as it hosted the 2011 Singlespeed World Championships. Most of the live music will start after the races are over each day. You’re sure to have plenty of time to make it to the shows after your own race, or when you’re finished watching the pros.
More information on the European Marathon Mountain Bike Championships can be found here.