Clare Chosen As A Base For The An Post Cycle Series

Ennis, Ireland (PressExposure) April 21, 2009 -- Cycling enthusiasts from across Ireland and beyond are expected to participate in the inaugural ‘An Post Tour de Burren’, which takes place in the Burren Region of County Clare on 20 June 2009. The event is organised by Clare Sports Partnership, and supported by An Post and the Irish Sports Council.

Highlighting the importance of the event John Sweeney, coordinator of Clare Sports Partnership said,” The investment by An Post and the Irish Sports Council is a great opportunity for County Clare and the West of Ireland to be showcased as a natural region for cycling. A wonderful collaboration has been formed with all our local partners including the Burren Cycling Club in order to ensure that this event will be a huge success. It is also a great opportunity for all age groups and abilities to get out cycling and set themselves an achievable challenge for this summer.”

“Leading up to the event there will be a series of training initiatives organised in order to encourage the beginner and improver to prepare for the Tour,” added Mr. Sweeney.

Mr. Sweeney continued, “Our Meet and Train Groups, which are supported by the Burren and Dolmen Cycling Clubs, will bring you from 0-60km in eight weeks. Sessions start in Ennis on Sunday the 26 April at 9.30 am and Wednesday 29 April in Ballyvaughan at 6.30pm. A small charge of €25 will apply for insurance and other costs. All participants will need is a bicycle and a safety helmet.”

Welcoming the event Pat Daly, Tourism Manager with Shannon Development said, “Congratulations to An Post, the Irish Sports Council and Clare Sports Partnership, for initiating this wonderful event which appeals to cyclists of all levels. This event complements our job of developing cycling hubs in County Clare and the Shannon Region, and we wish the organisers every success.”

Speaking at the national launch of the series, Donal Connell, Chief Executive of An Post said, "The An Post Cycle Series offers whole communities around Ireland an opportunity to be part of the fun of a really inclusive day out, to experience close up the beauty of their locality and to rediscover the simple pleasure of getting back on their bikes. The Series promises to be a great way for family to spend a day of fun together, while the more serious rider can enjoy a more challenging route."

As part of the An Post Cycle Series four tours similar to Clare's Tour De Burren will take place in Sligo, Meath, Waterford and Cork between May and September this year. Aimed at recruiting as many people as possible to cycling each tour is being organised by the Local Sports Partnership in co-operation with their local partners within the county. There are routes to suit everyone from cycling enthusiasts to the serious rider with distances between 50k and 150k to choose from. Some Tours also offer a family cycle of 10k. 2009 will undoubtedly be a great year for cycling.

The ‘Tour de Burren’ will involve three routes: the 10km Aillwee Cave Family Loop starting at 12.30pm; the 60km Corkscrew Hill Challenge starting at 11.00 am; and the 160km Burnin Burren! starting at 9.30am. The focus on each event is fun and participation.

About the routes: Aillwee Cave Family Loop The 10 km Aillwee Cave Family Loop is all about fun, enjoyment and participation. The cycle will start from the Sea Front in Ballyvaughan at 12:30 and head out on a loop to Aillwee Cave. There will be a charge of 2 Euro for this cycle. This is to cover Insurance costs and all participants will have to register either by Post or on the day. Participants are only covered by insurance if they have registered and paid the 2 Euro Insurance fee.

Corkscrew Hill Challenge The 60 Km Corkscrew Hill Challenge will start from the Sea Front in Ballyvaughan at 11am. The cyclists then go up Corkscrew hill and meet with the 160 Km cyclists at the Lisdoonvarna Food Stop where cyclists will have time to swap stories of the experience. There 60Km cycle then continues to Doolin, on to Ballinalacken, and home via Fanore and Black Head to Ballyvaughan. Registration is mandatory for insurance reasons and will be by Post or online. Charge for this event is 30 Euros.

Burnin’ Burren The 160 km spin Burnin Burren spin starts at the Sea Front in Ballyvaughan at 9.30am sharp and takes cyclists out of Ballyvaughan on the Galway road, veering left at Bellharbour, up Ballaghtdine, up Corker Hill, and on through Carron Village. Taking a right turn at Sheisamor Cross, back towards Ballyvaughan, at the cross a left turn and on towards the Corkscrew Hill - a grade 2 King of the Mountains climb on the 2005 F.B.D Ras.

Next comes Lisdoonvarna, where there is a food stop in the new Pavilion Theatre. Cyclists then head for Kilfenora, on to Corofin, Ennistymon, Lahinch, Liscannor, up by Cliffs of Moher, another grade 2 King of the Mountains Hill. There is a welcome descent into Doolin, - food stop at Doolin Community Centre - then on to Ballinalacken, and home via Fanore and Black Head to Ballyvaughan. Registration is mandatory for Insurance reasons and will be by Post or On Line. Charge for this event is 30 Euros.

The Tour de Burren is organised and supported by: Burren Cycling Club, Clare County Council, Clare Tourism Forum, Shannon Development, Aillwee Cave, Miko Russell Centre, North Clare Sports and Amenity Park, Rural Resource Development, Clare Sports Partnership.

Further details on each of the Tour de Burren and other events in the Series, and how to become involved, please see http://www.burrencyclingclub.com, http://www.claresportspartnership.ie and [http://www.anpost.ie/cycling] or email info@claresportspartnership.ie (065) 6865434.

Notes to Editor: - John Sweeney (087 9106613 / 065 6865434) is available for interview and further comment - For further information or images relating to this event please contact Mark Dunphy of Dunphy Public Relations on 086-8534900 or media@dunphypr.com. Images relating to this story are also available from Press 22 at (00353) 61-204222.

About Dunphy Public Relations

Mark Dunphy
Dunphy Public Relations
www.dunphypr.com
media@dunphypr.com
00353-868534900

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Press Release Submitted On: April 20, 2009 at 6:49 am
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