New Irish mountain bike stage race coming in April

The new Mountain Bike Challenge, a two-day stage race, is bringing mountain bike stage racing to Ireland in 2011. It will take place in the Lough Derg area over four different courses - one for each stage - within close proximity to Killaloe/Ballina on April 9-10.

"Ireland lends itself perfectly to mountain biking. We have an abundance of rural routes, scenery like no place else and there's a growing amount of people who want to get out on their bikes to enjoy it," said Andrew Deakin of Dolmen Sports, which is organizing the event.

"This is a fantastic route in a spectacular part of the country. The course provides plenty of climbing, fast descents and spectacular views of Lough Derg and the surrounding area - for those who have the time to look," said Niall Davis of "It's very exciting to be involved with an event like this. It's a progressive concept and will provide a challenge for all participants from the elite rider to what we call the 'Weekend Warrior'."

Less experienced riders will have an opportunity to participate in the MS Ireland Sunday Cycle, which will take place on the second day of the event in Ballycuggarrin Forest and benefit MS Ireland.  More experience racers may compete in all four stages of the full event.

For more information, visit

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