Fancy riding over 800 km in four days? Then this year's Tour of Ireland Cycle Challenge might be for you. The tough cyclosportif event will run between May 11th and 14th, starting in Lisburn and finishing in Dublin. It's open to all riders, ranging from fit novices to ex-pros, and it's expected to attract cyclists from all over Europe. The Challenge will benefit charities which support people who suffer from sight loss in Ireland.
The route of the Tour of Ireland Cycle Challenge route consists of four stages:
Stage 1 - May 11th: Lisburn to Cavan Town, 164 km
Start at 9.45am after sign-on from the Lagan Valley Island Centre in Lisburn through the 'scenic lakelands' of Cavan to the stage finish at the Cavan Sports Complex in Cavan Town. A buffet dinner will be served at one of the top venues in Cavan and accommodation will be close to the finish/start in Cavan Town.
Stage 2 - May 12th: Connaught Stage 2: Cavan Town to Galway City, 228 km
Start at 8.00am from the Cavan Sports Complex in Cavan Town over the 'challenging by-ways' along the river Shannon to the stage finish at the N.U.I.G Sports Centre in Galway City. Dinner and accommodation as above.
Stage 3 - May 13th: Munster Stage 3: Galway to Kilkenny City, 252 km
Start at 8.00am from the N.U.I.G Sports Centre in Galway City taking in the 'renowned areas' of The Burren to the stage finish on The Parade in Kilkenny City. Dinner and accommodation as above.
Stage 4 - May 14th: Leinster Stage 4: Kilkenny City to Dublin City, 175 km
Start at 8.00am from The Parade Kilkenny City through the 'dizzy heights' of Wicklow to the stage finish at Westmanstown Leisure Complex in Westmanstown. A final dinner will be held at the centre where presentations of certificates and T-shirt will be made by special guest personalities.
To take part in the Challenge, riders will have to raise €600 (£400) in sponsorship, which will also cover the cost of their registration. Accommodation, breakfast and evening meals are all included, as well as feed stations, insurance/event licence, mechanical support, kit bag, bike logistics, medical aid, broom wagon and shuttle bus to accommodation, electronically timed certificate of completion, and a completion T-shirt.
Entry details and more information: www.tourofireland.eu.