Denis Toomey and Ciarán McKenna vie for role of CI president

It took outgoing vote of former president Rory Wyley to separate the two men last time

The identity of the next Cycling Ireland president will be determined at the governing body's AGM tomorrow, with outgoing incumbent Denis Toomey competing with Ciarán McKenna for the post.

The tussle was originally a three-way one, but Down candidate Anthony Mitchell has withdrawn from the running.

Toomey became CI president in 2013, winning an extremely tight battle with McKenna. The duo were deadlocked after votes were counted, but outgoing president Rory Wyley had a deciding vote and gave his backing to Toomey on that occasion.

McKenna was frustrated to miss out but resolved to run again. He has had a long involvement in cycling, racing internationally and also working as press officer, national children’s officer and head of high performance within Cycling Ireland.


Tandem pilot

Toomey is also a longtime member of Cycling Ireland and formed Tandem Cycling Ireland in 2000. Four years later he competed as a tandem pilot in the Athens Paralympics. He then went on to manage the Paracycling team at the 2008 and 2012 Games.

Laying out the case for his re-election, he has focused on the surge of CI membership to just under 28,000, the introduction of a five year strategy at the end of last year plus the ongoing campaign for the country’s first indoor velodrome.

McKenna's letter to federation members points out that he was CI representative to the Irish Sports Council for six years and helped bring about a 300 per cent increase in funding during that time. He has said that he believes the federation lacks visibility and accountability at present and doesn't focus enough on members' needs.

He also wants to address the cancellation of a number of events due to issues with Fingal County Council. Meanwhile Mitchell has said that he is standing again as a board member, as is John Horgan.

A number of motions will also be considered and voted upon, including rules governing the licence categories junior riders will be able to compete in once they turn senior.

The Irish Times understands that the AGM will feature updates on the situation relating qualification for Rio 2016, as well as on the campaign to secure funding for a velodrome.

l The organisers of the An Post Rás na mBan have confirmed a move to Co Kilkenny in 2016. The race is the biggest for women in Ireland and has attracted strong international fields in recent years, as well as Eurosport coverage.

“We’ve had three successful years in Co Clare,” said race director Valerie Considine. “The ethos of this event is to move it around the country and the time has come to move to a new location.”

The race route will be announced closer to the event, which will be held in September 2016.

Shane Stokes

Shane Stokes

Shane Stokes is a contributor to The Irish Times writing about cycling