Cyclocross has made a huge leap forward in recent days with groundwork beginning on a state of the art skills zone and course within the National Sports Campus (NSC) in Dublin. The Campus, operated by Sport Ireland, is headquarters to the majority of Ireland’s leading sporting disciplines and cyclocross now becomes part of the campus framework.
Donnybrook Landscape Co carried out the construction works to date and is a welcome partnership at the Campus. Paddy Daly worked closely with the commission to ensure the project was delivered to required specifications in a prompt timescale.
Phase one of the Campus cyclocross project is the construction of a skills zone which contains mounds of earth, running step sections, sandpit and hurdles, all common features of a cyclocross course. Phase one was started last week and is almost complete with 80 tonnes of soil being transferred to the zone and the construction of steps in put place.
Three large mounds of earth form part of the skills area, with a maximum height of 2.5 metres and a length of 30 metres. The long term plan is for the Campus to house a fully operational cyclocross course, based on UCI regulations and events to be staged there within the proximity of the campus. The skills zone should be fully functional by Spring 2019.
Construction on Phase 2, the cyclocross course itself, was also started this week with the clearing of a 3 metre wide channel through dense woodland. This section with link in with additional areas designated to form part of the larger 2.5-3km long course. A purpose built wooden bridge has also been constructed and links the skills area to the first woodland area to provide a loop for riders to train.
Cycling Ireland Cyclocross Coordinator Andy Layhe said, “It’s wonderful news to finally see the work of the last 18 months coming to fruition. I originally visited the site during the Summer of 2017 and an official proposal document was put to Sport Ireland. We are delighted to finally get this amazing project off the ground so a big thank you to Sport Ireland and to Donnybrook Landscape Co.”
“I’d like to thank Sport Ireland for having the vision to progress and see cyclocross as a serious foundation in the development of young cyclists here, a sport where fun and enjoyment is paramount and can be achieved within a safe environment. Not only does the Campus provide state-of-the-art sports facilities to elite athletes in Ireland but more importantly it offers valuable amenities to the local community.”
“We see the development of cyclocross within the campus as a centre for the growth not only for our elite athletes but also a place to grow and nurture young talent and those wishing to be introduced to cyclocross at any level or age group.”
The culmination of the cyclocross zones within the Campus will see it become only the third such site of its kind in Europe behind the Sven Nys Centre in Belgium and the UCI Headquarters in Aigle, Switzerland. The facility is now in a settlement phase until spring 2019, any riding at this stage will cause damage.