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Tuesday 23 September 2014

Cyclists to get in gear for the Tour of Kerry

Simon Brouder

Published 26/03/2014 | 05:36

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EXCITEMENT is building ahead of the Kingdom Alliance Tour of Kerry which is expected to attract up to 400 cyclists for three days of fantastic cycling over the June Bank Holiday weekend.

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EXCITEMENT is building ahead of the Kingdom Alliance Tour of Kerry which is expected to attract up to 400 cyclists for three days of fantastic cycling over the June Bank Holiday weekend.

The 2014 Kingdom Alliance three-day leisure cycling tour, sponsored by The Kerryman, INM Regionals and Skoda, takes place from May 31 to June 2 and will see hundreds of riders from across Ireland experience the breathtaking scenery of Kerry. Stage one of the Tour of Kerry will also form part of the new Skoda Cycle Series.

Launched in January, the Skoda Cycle Series which is being run in association with INM Regionals, involves a series of seven cycle sportives around Ireland taking place between April and August and offering two course distances ranging from 50km - 80km and 100km - 160km.

All routes have been chosen to incorporate some of the most breathtaking countryside across Ireland and includes routes that are designed to suit all levels, ranging from leisure cyclists who are looking for a challenge to those who can easily pedal 50km just for fun.

The concept of the series is that all of the events are chip-timed, however the events are not races the idea being to help leisure cyclists improve over the series.

The Tour of Kerry will be divided into three stages, with each starting and finishing in Tralee.

Stage one of the tour will take riders through the McGillicuddy Reeks, stage two will bring the peloton around the Dingle Peninsula with stage three taking in North and East Kerry.

The total distance covered will be 300 miles, and the event will be run as both a timed 'cyclo-sportive' for those who enjoy a test of speed and endurance and as a leisure tour for those who would like to enjoy the event at a more leisurely pace.

Leisure cyclists can enjoy the challenge of the distance to be travelled, while the competitive cyclists can strive to cover the course in as short a time as possible.

The 2014 Tour of Kerry, which follows on from last year's highly successful Kingdom Alliance Sportive, will be hosted by Kerry's newest cycling club, Kingdom CC, which was specifically set up to host the event and to cater for underage riders in Kerry.

The hosts are currently piecing together the final details in a logistical campaign that's set to make this one of the best cycling events in the country.

"Last year was a tremendous success and we had about 250 cyclists taking part.

"This year we're hoping to have around 400 cyclists and already, with more than two months to go we have 65 confirmed entries with more arriving every day," said PRO Dick McElligott.

"The event last year was organised to mark the 60th anniversary of Tralee Cycling Club and the response from all the riders was so good we decided to host another event.

"Since last year the tour has sprouted in a few new directions and we set up a new club to run it, the Kingdom CC, which will also help young riders around the county," said Mr McElligott.

Speaking at the launch, Farranfore Skoda dealer Liam Lynch said he was thrilled to be involved in the Tour of Kerry and the Skoda Series.

"We are delighted to be involved with the Skoda Cycle Series. An excellent route has been selected that will showcase some of the most breathtaking scenery Kerry has to offer.

"Skoda has a strong relationship with cycling, both internationally as an official partner of the Tour de France for over a decade as well as local cycling events.

"Also we urge participants to keep an eye on the Skoda Cycle Series facebook page (www.facebook.com/SkodaCycleSeries) for details on further activities closer to the event," he said.

Kerryman

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