Riders will be forced to wait a little longer to begin the new season because popular early events are called off or postponed to the end of the season (Photo: Sean Rowe)
The start of the coming road racing season will be delayed for many riders after news that two traditional curtain-raisers are not now taking place on their scheduled dates.
The Ned Flanagan Memorial which had been scheduled for next month in Co Kildare is off.
And the Traders Cup in Dundalk had been pencilled in on its usual date of the second weekend of the season but has been put back until September.
The Ned Flanagan Memorial, which was due to be the first event of the season, had been scheduled for Sunday, February 12th.
However, promoting club Newbridge CC has said on its Facebook page that the race is off and while it hoped it could be run later in the season, this remains unclear.
The club did not give any reason for the race being scrapped from its scheduled date though stickybottle understands some of the sponsorship for the race has been lost.
“Unfortunately the 2017 edition of the Ned Flanagan in February had to be cancelled,” Newbridge CC said in a statement.
“We are working closely with the sponsor to try run it at a later stage if possible and will keep cycling Ireland and all club secretary’s informed. Apologies for any inconvenience.”
Cuchulainn CC is running its popular Traders Cup fixture on Sunday, September 3rd, which will be the final race of the season for many riders.
Only Rás na mBan and the A3 and junior road championships, along with some hill climb events, take place after that date.
The Traders Cup had initially been pencilled into the calendar for the second weekend of the campaign; Sunday, February 19th.
With those two races out of the running in the open weekends, the first event of the season will now be the Travers Engineering Annaclone GP, promoted by Banbridge CC, on Saturday, February 18th.
That will be followed the next day by another race in the north; the Phoenix GP run by Phoenix CC.
The following weekend, the Mick Lally Memorial and supporting races run by Dublin Wheelers CC, will be the first race in Leinster. It takes place on Saturday, February 25.
The following day – Sunday 26th – there are three races: the Lacey Cup in Kerry, John Haldane Memorial by Newry Wheelers CC and Cycleways Cup in Navan.