Clifden will play host to some of the biggest names in Irish sport this week as the inaugural Tour de Conamara cycle gets underway. Former Irish rugby captain Mick Galwey, former Galway hurling captain Ollie Canning, double All-Ireland football winners Jarlath Fallon and Seán Ó Domhnaill, and former Mayo football manager John Maughan are among those taking part. The sportsmen are participating as part of their upcoming Race the Rás charity event.
The Tour de Conamara, which will be held on Sunday May 15, will give people the opportunity to cycle along with their sporting heroes, and will cater for all levels of cyclists, from those who want to tackle the scenic 160km route along Connemara’s coastal and inland roads, to those who want to partake in the 80km route, or the family cycle of 14km.
The various routes were selected by former international cyclist and TG4 Tour de France commentator Pádraic Quinn, who said: “There will be something in this event for everyone. The scenery along the 160km and 80km cycle will be hard to beat, and we are avoiding busy roads so that riders can enjoy the scenery in a more secure environment.”
Young cyclists, whose parents are participating in the 80km or 160km cycle but who may not be comfortable with a 14km cycle, will have a cycle training session from the Safer Cycling Initiative. The SCI will provide bikes and helmets, but places are limited.
Cost of entry for the 80km and 160km routes is €39, it includes food during and after the event, as well as a Tour de Conamara lightweight cycling jacket. The cost of the family cycle is €10.
The event is organised by TríSpórt who hope to develop the event in 2012 to be part of an international cycling festival.The legendary five-time Tour de France winner Bernard Hinault has hinted that he will be heading to Clifden for 2012. For more information or to register for the event log onto atwww.trisport.ie