Get the diary out, it’s time to start planning what mountain biking events to enter next year.
The mountain biking scene in Ireland has exploded in recent years and great events are popping up left, right and centre to keep up with the craze. People are after something a bit more extreme and mountain biking is just the thing. With world-class events on your doorstep, there is no need to venture abroad to compete, here are eight of the best mountain biking events in Ireland.
1. Biking Blitz
This annual series is targeted at beginners but it is also the perfect training opportunity for more experienced riders ahead of the new season. The events take place in February and March in some of Ireland’s best mountain bike trail centres; Ballinastoe, Ballyhoura, Derraoua, and Ticknock. This cross-country mountain bike race has two distances on offer, the Baggy Shorts for beginners and Super Pro for those with more experience. They also have youth categories so it’s the perfect family day out.
More info: Biking Blitz
2. Gravity Enduro
The Gravity Enduro Series is the original national Enduro series in Ireland. A series of five, two-day events held across the country between April and September. This year locations included Ballinastoe, Ticknock, Mt Leinster, Carrick and Djouce. Gravity Enduro combines cross country riding and the technique of downhill racing. The course is approximately 25km long and has five mainly downhill “special stages” running simultaneously. There is also a Challenger Category which is ideal for first-timers.
More info: Gravity Enduro
3. Emerald Enduro
The Emerald Enduro is the Irish leg of Enduro World series. Presented by Biking.ie, the event brings some of the best riders in the world to our shores to take on six timed technical downhill stages in the rally style format. It covers a distance of 46km on Wicklow’s Carrick Mountains and is always a great weekend out!
More info: Emerald Enduro
4. Irish Cross Country NPS
The Irish Cross Country National Points Series is always worth signing up to if you are looking to really compete. It holds five events in the season, across the country in Tracton Woods, Slade Valley, Ticknock, Bellurgan Estate and Union Wood.
More info: Irish XC NPS
5. Da Cooley Thriller
Da Cooley Thriller is not as big or as well known as others on the list, but it’s something special. The route was designed by some of the top local riders. Taking place in the Cooley Mountains in Louth. With a short course and a long course to choose from, it is the ultimate singletrack experience!
More info: DaCooley Thriller
6. Ultimate Burren MTB Challenge
At the start of September each year, mountain bikers flock to Ballyvaughan to take on a 42km or a 70km route through the stunning Burren landscape. This event is something different if you are bored of forestry rides, this will test your skills!
More info: Ultimate Burren
7. Nire Valley Drop
The Nire Valley Drop takes place in and around the foothills of the Comeragh Mountains and the Nire Valley, so expect stunning views and sheer drops. This cross-country mountain bike sportive event in Co Waterford will leave you foaming at the mouth.
More info: Nire Valley Drop
8. Red Bull Foxhunt
The Red Bull Foxhunt is your chance to test your riding skills against the pros. This year it was 2x Downhill World Champion, Gee Atherton. The Foxhunt takes place in Rostrevor in Northern Ireland’s Mourne Mountains. The pro starts at the back of the pack and has to chase down and pass all of the participants. Are you fast enough to beat the elite?
More info: Red Bull Foxhunt
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