THE Kingdom Alliance Sportive has organised a three-stage cycle over the bank holiday weekend in a bid to raise money for six major Munster charities. Around 200 leisure and competitive cyclists will take part on June 1, 2 and 3.
Each stage will start and end in Tralee. Totaling 300 miles overall, there are both long and short routes available each day to cyclists, the former 100 miles and the latter 50 miles.
Stage One will kick off on Saturday June 1 at 10am, at the Tralee Bay Wetlands Centre, and will take in North and East Kerry. Cyclists will travel through Abbeyfeale and Listowel, where the 50-milers will break off to head back to Tralee.
The 100-milers will continue on to Tarbert and Kerry Head, before they descend into Fenit and finish in Tralee.
Stage Two focuses on tackling the MacGillicuddy Reeks. Those taking on the longer route will enjoy some of Kerry's best scenery in their cycle through the Gap of Dunloe, The Black Valley, Moll's Gap, Glencar and Caragh Lake. Stage Three centres on West Kerry, including Dingle, Slea Head, Annascaul and Sliabh Mish. 100-mile cyclists will also face the challenge of the highest climb of the tour: the Conor Pass.
Tralee Cycling Club, one of the oldest cycling clubs in the county, is organising the event. The club celebrates its 60th anniversary this year. Its secretary, Richard McElligott, told The Kerryman that the Kingdom Alliance Sportive is the biggest leisure tour in the country to happen in one region. He recommended that participants "should have some experience of long distance cycling" and "bring a pump and spare tube on the bike."
Many cyclists undertaking the 50-mile route will be using this cyclosportive as preparation for the Ring of Kerry, he said.
The club is to host the National Hill Climb Championships in October and are finalising plans for a club reunion, photographic exhibition and family fun day.
Everyone intending to partake in the Kingdom Alliance Sportive should have pre-registered online. Cyclists will be well looked after with regular rest and food stops on each route and mechanical backup will be available if needed.