There are some brilliant and thrilling mountain biking events lined up for 2018 in Ireland. So get the diary out, it’s time to start planning what events you’re going to enter. 

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. From downhill, cross-country, enduro, mountain biking marathons and everything in between, mountain biking is where it’s at this year. And with world-class events on our doorstep, there is no need to venture abroad to compete, here are eight of the best mountain biking events in Ireland for 2018.

1. Biking Blitz

Date: 11 Feb, 25 Feb, 11 March, 25 March 2018

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The Biking Blitz series offers mountain bike races for all levels – from juniors to adults to hard-core bikers! Kicking off the 2018 biking season with a bang, the first event will be held in Ballinastoe, Co Wicklow, and will offer 14km and 28km races. There are two categories to choose from; Baggy Shorts and Super PRO. Racers will then battle it out in Ballyhoura, Limerick (26 Feb – 17km and 35km), Derroura, Galway (11 March – 16km and 32km) and Ticknock, Dublin (25 March – 14km and 28km). The overall winners will be crowned King and Queen of the Irish mountain bike trails centres.

More info: Biking Blitz 

2. Gravity Enduro

Dates: 21-22 April, 19-20 May, 16-17 June, 4-5 Aug, 8-9 Sep 2018

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The Gravity Enduro Series is the original national Enduro series in Ireland offering a series of five (possibly six in 2018) two-day mountain bike events held across the country. This year’s locations include Ballinastoe, Mt Leinster, Ticknock, Ballyhoura, and Djouce. Gravity Enduro combines cross-country riding and the technique of downhill racing. Courses are approximately 25km long and include five mainly downhill ‘special stages’ running simultaneously. The downhill sections are timed. The 2018 season is set to include new age categories to align with the Enduro World Series, the return of Ballyhoura to the calendar, a new hardtail class, plus the possibility of two women’s categories.

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4. Irish Cross Country NPS

Date: TBC 2018

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The Irish Cross Country National Points Series is always worth signing up for if you are looking to really compete. It holds five mountain biking events in the season, across the country in Tracton Woods, Slade Valley, Ticknock, Bellurgan Estate and Union Wood.

More info: Irish XC NPS

4. Irish Downhill Mountain Bike Series

Dates: 10-11 March, 14-15 April, 5-6 May, 9-10 June, 21–22 July 11-12 Aug 2018

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The IDMS is Ireland’s Downhill Mountain Bike Series with a number of rounds in the National Points Series and a National Championships being run by Irish Cycling Clubs in association with Cycling Ireland and the Offroad Commission. In 2018, there will be six rounds and the National Championship, with locations around the country including Bree, Co Wexford, Tralee, Co Kerry, Dunmanaway, Co. Cork, and Roscrea.

More info: IDMS

5. Da Cooley Thriller

Date: TBC August 2018

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Da Cooley Thriller is not as big or as well known as the other mountain bike events on the list, but it is 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

Date: TBC Sept 2018

Mountain Bike Events in Ireland
Image: Ultimate Burren

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

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7. Nire Valley Drop

Date: TBC Nov 2018

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

Date: TBC Oct 2018

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The Red Bull Foxhunt is your chance to test your bike riding skills against the pros. In 2017 it was 2x Downhill World Champion, Gee Atherton as well as pro mountain biker Loic Bruni. 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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By Orla O'Muiri

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