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Castlewellan hosts SSEC2014!


Over two hundred and sixty mountain bikers from more than nineteen different countries descended upon Castlewellan last weekend to take park in one of Europe’s most unique mountain biking events, the Single Speed European Championships.

Hosted by Outdoor Recreation Northern Ireland and the Northern Ireland Mountain Biking Alliance with funding from Down District Council, Castlewellan Forest Park was the scene of the weird and wonderful as mountain bikers from all over Europe took on the Castlewellan Mountain Bike Trails dressed up as everything from Captain America to Superman, leprechauns and clowns.   

Speaking at the opening of these European Championships, Down District Council Vice Chairperson, Cllr Gareth Sharvin welcomed mountain bikers to Castlewellan and explained how the council was immensely proud of the new network of trails within the forest park.

Cllr Sharvin explained, “Since their launch, the Castlewellan Mountain Bike Trails have been visited over twenty thousand times by mountain bikers from all across the UK and Ireland. To now host these iconic championships which reach the wider European market whilst the trails are still under a year old highlights just how important this activity tourism product is for Castlewellan and the wider Mournes region.”

Organisers of this year’s Single Speed European Championships engaged with local cafes and pubs throughout the weekend which helped to create a unique atmosphere in Castlewellan for participants, spectators and the local community.  

Speaking on the final afternoon Chris Armstrong from MountainBikeNI.com explained “This weekend was a fantastic celebration of mountain biking and the new trails here in Castlewellan.” Mr Armstrong added, “It was great to see so many people down watching in the forest park and we were delighted to also see local businesses embracing the fun-loving ethos of the mountain biking community throughout the entire weekend.”

Check out photographs from this year’s Single Speed European Championships on the SSEC2014 Facebook Page

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