Martin has unfinished business in Asia


CYCLING: ALTHOUGH MANY of his fellow riders have brought an end to their season, Dan Martin will compete for a further fortnight. He didn’t equal his second place of last year in last Saturday’s Giro di Lombardia, finishing 16th, but has further opportunities to clock up some late-season results.

He has flown to China and will begin the five day Tour of Beijing on Tuesday, riding there as part of his Garmin-Sharp squad.

Martin will aim to perform well on what is a much better route for a climber than last year’s race, and could improve on his collection of important WorldTour points. He is 37th in the rankings.

He is then scheduled to ride in the Japan Cup on October 21st.

Martin soloed to victory in last year’s event and will be wearing number one as defending champion.

Nicolas Roche won a stage in last year’s Tour of Beijing but will not return this time round as he ended his season after the world road race championships.

Cycling fans will have a chance to ride with two big names this weekend. First up, Roche will lead off the first Nicolas Roche Classic cycle tomorrow. The non-competitive event features three distances, 90, 50 and 12kms and will support the Meath Youth Federation.

It starts and finishes in Tayto Park in Co Meath, with the longest ride beginning at 9.30 am.

Greg LeMond, who won the Tour de France in 1986, 1989 and 1990 and also twice won the world road race championship, will lead out the Greg LeMond ADHD Cycle on Sunday in Trim.

The cycle is aiming to highlight Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, which LeMond has had from a young age and which can be alleviated somewhat by practising sport.

A 40 kilometre event begins at 12.30 pm while the 10 kilometre ride starts 30 minutes later.

In other news, the Irish hill climb championships will take place tomorrow. The timed event starts in Laragh, heads part way up the Wicklow Gap and then continues up Turlough Hill.

Finally, the 2013 FBD Talent Team 2020 for young riders has been named for next season.

The following 16 riders have been confirmed: Mark Downey, Eddie Dunbar, Dylan O’Brien, Shane O’Hara, Fintan Ryan, Stephen Shanahan, Matthew Teggart, Declan Mulholland, Michael O’Loughlin, Aaron Swan, Jake Gray, Dion McCarthy, Adam Stenson, Adam Thatcher, Dillon Corkery and Ronan Twomey.


Saturday: National Hill Climb Championships, Laragh. First race at 10am; Nicolas Roche Classic, Tayto Park, Co Meath, first event at 9.30; Knockfierna Challenge, Ballingarry, call 087-6646281 for details.

Sunday: Greg LeMond ADHD Cycle, Trim, Meath, starts 12.30pm; Castleblaney Cycle, starts 10am; Tour of Breffni, Leitrim, sign on 9.30am; Age Concern NI Tour, starts 10am from Scotch St car park, Dungannon; Sam’s Cycle, Derg Arms, Castlederg, starts 10am.

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