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Offroad to Rio

October 28th, 2011 · No Comments

Offroad 2 Rio is an exciting new project that will seek to establish a high performance strategy for Irish women’s cross country mountain bike racing with the ultimate goal of achieving qualification at the 2016 Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro.  Ireland has a great history of sending riders to the Olympics with Jenny McCauley and Tarja Owens among others representing us in the past.  Unfortunately there is no Irish rider qualified for the London 2012 and with that in mind Ireland’s top female racers have shifted their focus to qualifying for the Rio Games in 2016.


Mel Spath (CycleWays/Specialized) and Cait Elliott (ThinkBike/Trek).  Photo Maciej Staroniewicz.

We say two riders as Mel Spath now has Irish citizenship and will ride under an Irish license going forward making her and National champion Cait Elliott a formidable team.  It should be noted that they are looking for more riders to join the team!

However it is not only riders that they need.  With no current High Performance plan from Cycling Ireland, the duo are left looking for a sponsor.  If you think you can help contact them at info@offroad2rio.com


To represent your country is one of the greatest honours in sport, to do so at the Olympics is the ultimate. The Offroad2Rio project seeks to establish a high performance pathway for women’s cross country mountain bike racing in Ireland. It will inspire increased participation & competition in sport, raise the standard of mountain bike racing in Ireland to world level, stimulate ambition and offer a goal for young athletes to aspire to. Our ambition is to establish a team of world class athletes working towards the common goal of Irish Olympic qualification for Rio in 2016.

Offroad2Rio will stimulate an increased focus on elite mountain biking in Ireland. There are 5 years until the Olympics in Rio with qualification beginning in 2014. For the next 3 years the project will focus on rider progression and increasing experience from development through to elite international level, establishing a high performance strategy, and increasing campaign awareness and financial backing.

The project is an athlete driven initiative set up by current Irish riders racing at elite international level without any assistance from Cycling Ireland the national governing body. These riders have shown the commitment and drive to progress from national to international level over the last few years. They have done so without any of the funding or expertise that comes with a high performance programme, and without any opportunity to achieve the honour of representing their country. We believe that with assistance these riders have what it takes to perform alongside the best athletes in the world at the most important sporting event in the world, the Olympics.

Visit the project website for more information: www.offroad2rio.com

Contact: info@offroad2rio.com

Tags: Cross country · Mountain biking · Olympics · Racing