By Tommy Campbell
The TQ International Ladies 2-Day, based in Balbriggan, Co. Dublin, will be the centrepiece of cycling in Ireland this weekend, along with the Junior road race cycling championship in Ballinrobe on Sunday. Also fitting comfortably in to the fixture list on Sunday is the Klondyke Cup.
Spokesman for the TQ Paper Ladies 2-Day Paddy Fitzsimons said: "Fortunately, we have our A-Team in place for the event. It is equally important that all the nuts and bolts are in place. The event has funding from the Irish Sports Council, along with the sponsors TQ Papers. Both look on this race as a catalyst for future races of this standing."
The 2-Day has attracted a very strong overseas presence, however, last year's winner, Louise Moriarty, is said to be very much up for defending her title. Racing gets under way on Saturday, from the Ring Sports Centre in Balbriggan at 11:00am. In the afternoon, there is the time trial, which inevitably shakes up the leaderboard. On Sunday, the TQ finishes up with a 45-mile road race.
Originally, the Junior Championships were down for July, but they were changed to suit a number of individuals who were involved with track racing in Italy. Hopefully, Western Lakes, promoters of the event, will be rewarded with a healthy turnout. It's tipped that Maurice O'Brien of the Kanturk Credit Union CC will take back-to-back championships and put himself in the record books. Hopefully, Ciaran Kelly will be home from his base in Belgium, where he has excelled this year. Sign-on will be held at the cycling centre on the Kilmaine road in Ballinrobe from 10:30-11:30am, with the race start at 12noon.
The Klondyke Cup will also go ahead on Sunday with all the categories being catered for. The scheduled start is 2:00pm in Robinstown.