Time Trial 2018 – Route Preview
Naas CC has again decided to use 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 traditional 40km. At 38.3 km, it still presents quite a stiff challenge. The Kilcullen-Athy-and-back-again route is a good test before this year’s Nationals in Sligo.
While Nico Roche’s fantastic 47m 14s (48.635kmh) from 2016 is unlikely to be beaten, it will be interesting to see if the times from last year’s champions, Ian Richardson (48m 56s) and Eve McCrystal (56m 28s), can be topped.
Riders who can dip under 50 minutes will have put in a mighty effort to do so. 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.
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 8pm on Friday June 15th. A start-list will be created after that. Please get your entry in as soon as possible. Details on our dedicated Facebook event page.