Tour of Ireland

tour of ireland bicycle race sign in athlone's burgess parkI spotted this sign in Burgess Park here in Athlone yesterday.

The fifth and final leg of this bicycle race starts at the strand here in Athlone at 11a.m. on Sunday (tomorrow) heading to Merrion Square in Dublin. The time allotted for this 147.7 kilometre leg of the race is 3hr12min. Wow – that’s pretty fast.

The Tour of Ireland means to be the Irish equivilent of the Tour de France, but this is its inaugural year.

Nevertheless it’s got some serious media coverage and professional cyclists from around the globe are participating. The race consists of a 5-day 864 kilometre race across some of the more scenic (and well-paved) areas of Ireland.

It’s quite obvious that the race is intended to promote Irish tourism as well as give the Irish cycling community a world-class race to call their own.

The impressive Tour of Ireland website is here.

Check out RTE’s coverage of the race here.

And don’t forget to check out how to plan your own cycling tour of Ireland, too!