(Image by Sean Rowe)
Following 3 very successful editions of our Open TT event, kindly sponsored by Terrace Bar at McCormack’s Naas, we have decided to push the boat out a little further by using the 2016 National TT route for this year’s race. With a change in the road configuration the start/finish is further down the N78 than would allow for the full 40km. At 38.3 km, it still presents quite a stiff challenge. The Kilcullen-Athy-and-back-again route has been used for many decades for road testing so it was fitting that it was finally used for the National Championship last year.
While not noted as a fast route, it still didn’t stop Nico Roche from posting a fantastic 47m 14s (48.635kmh) in taking gold. Anna Turvey took her first Irish title by over 3 minutes in setting the women’s best of 54m 28s (42.16kmh). It remains to be seen if these times can be beaten.
Riders who can dip under 50 minutes will have put in a mighty effort to do so. While another interesting fact is that in a local league TT event last year, only 2 riders out of 60 managed to ride the course in less than an hour “Merckx-Style” on standard road bikes.
The rolling road is however very well surfaced; hard shoulder runs for a good portion of it and except for an exposed section near the turn, it is well-sheltered by high hedges throughout.
Strava File for Naas CC Open Time Trial
Heading south-westerly into the prevailing wind, it is essentially downhill to Athy with the harder portion naturally on the return leg. Heading out, two stiff drags at Hacklow (7%) and Rathsillagh (9%) are thankfully short – 60 second efforts – before the benefit of the long descent follows in both cases. It is after the roundabout at Athy that riders then face the first longer drag at Ardscull. Coming at 23km this is a crucial point and pre-empts a series of uphill rolls back towards Ballyshannon. At 6km to go, riders pass Dowling’s pub and the start of a final 3km ramp that may well decide the final outcome. Never more than 4 or 5%, it is a real power test. Mentally this is also very tough so far into the race. Once over the top, riders can sweep downhill towards the outskirts of Kilcullen and the slightly downhill final km should see fast speeds at the finish line.
This is a pre-entry event: entry closes at 9pm on Friday June 9th. A start-list will be created after that. Please get your entry in as soon as possible. Details below – as well as on our dedicated Facebook event page