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SSEC 2014 Confirmed for Northern Ireland

02 May 2012 9:00 AM | Rick McKee (Administrator)

NIMBA, in partnership with Outdoor Recreation NI (formerly CAAN), and supported by NITB and Down District Council, has secured Northern Ireland as the host nation of the Single Speed European Championship (SSEC) in 2014.

Attracting up to 400 competitors from across Europe and the globe, the event centres on a 40 km mountain bike race on bikes with no gears, over several laps of a marked course.  Importantly, it has the wider appeal of a festival weekend and the sharing of fun, friendship and culture, regardless of nationality, skill, age or fitness level; something we do well in Northern Ireland.  Many of the 2012 competitors brought families and friends with them to Floressas, France to enjoy the atmosphere, games, cycling and other activities that form the overall SSEC event.

A NIMBA delegation attended SSEC 2012 in April to make proposals for hosting one of the future events.  Following a multi-faceted bid process involving a number of European nations and the 2012 hosts, the host nations for 2013 and 2014 were selected.  Next year’s event will be in Catalonia, and Northern Ireland will take up the mantle in Spring 2014.

It is proposed that the 2014 race will utilise the new world-class mountain bike trails at Castlewellan, which are part of the wider Mournes MTB trail network currently under construction; work on the Mournes project started on 30 April, with the development expected to take around 12 months, so the trails should be nicely bedded in for SSEC 2014.

This is a significant event for mountain biking in Northern Ireland, and is an ideal opportunity to showcase our mountain biking credentials to many nations across Europe and indeed further afield.  SSEC 2014 will be an important building block in marketing Northern Ireland ultimately as a leading destination for mountain biking and NIMBA looks forward to contributing to its success.
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