The increasingly popular cycling sportive, the Tour de Conamara, will take place on Saturday May 24, and Skoda Ireland will again be the title sponsor.
This year, to mark the starting of the Giro d’Italia in Ireland, the event will include a vintage bike category, which will involve classic racing bikes and participants competing in heritage cycling clothing. Cyclists dressed in vintage cycling gear from the 1970s and 1980s will lead out the event, the first of its kind in Ireland. The sportive, starting and finishing in Clifden, offers 140km and 80km routes.
The year the event will give many cyclists a glimpse of the newly launched 'Wild Atlantic Way' designed to attract more cyclists to the event from overseas.
The Tour de Conamara, the only Irish event in the international Celtic Cycling Series, is already in high demand with registrations for the event already up three times on this time last year.
Monaghan & Sons, Skoda’s Galway dealership, will also host a pre-tour event to take place ahead of the sportive with further information to be announced closer to the event.
Speaking at the launch of the event Leo Monaghan of Monaghan & Sons Galway told the Advertiser: “Skoda is delighted to renew our sponsorship of the Tour de Conamara. We have a rich tradition in cycling and are the official partner of the Tour de France.
“To be able to get behind a local event such as this is a great fit for us and we were particularly impressed with the success of last year’s event. Last year, we hosted a pre-tour VIP event in Monaghan & Sons and gave participants an evening to remember and we are hoping to do something special this year too.”
The event has already attracted considerable international interest with registrations already received from cyclists in Britain, France and the USA, according to event organiser Padraic Quinn.
“We are hoping to build on the success of last year’s cycle and in the past few months have received extensive cycling media coverage in Britain that generated a lot of interest. One cyclist journalist described the route as the finest and most picturesque he had ridden in the world and we will highlight the Wild Atlantic Way this year as it represents a significant sports tourism opportunity for the country.”