Liam Walsh, JJ O’Flynn, Paddy Kelly, Pauline Sparling (Committee), Betty Byrne (Secretary), Joe Griffin (Committee), Seamus Gladney, Tommy Lanigan (Chairman), Mick Battle PICTURE: Vicky Comerford
Below the beautiful setting of Kilkenny Castle, Marble City Cyclers launched the Tour De Kilkenny which will take place on July 30, 2022. This will be the 13th year of the event which has become one of the highlights of the Cycling Ireland sportive calendar.
It is expected that over 700 cyclists will descend on Kilkenny Rugby Club for an early morning start that will take them over many parts of the county.
Our regular visitors come from Kerry, Cavan, Monaghan, Galway, Wexford, Dublin and all parts of Ireland. In this way the sportive contributes to the local economy with many participants making it a family weekend in the City. Kilkenny County Council have been hugely supportive of the event in past years as they see such promotions as part of the city
and county cycling strategy.
The local clubs, Kells Angels, Callan CC, Deenside Wheelers, Kilkenny Triathlon Club, and Kilmacow CC are great supporters of the occasion.
Since its inception the Tour has been a significant fundraiser for local charities and has raised close to six figures for a wide variety of local good causes.
This year the recipients will be the Samaritans, Amber Womens Refuge, Irish Pilgrimage Trust, Thomastown Mens Shed and WaterGarden and Tullogher Community Group.
Volunteers from each of these organisations will help to marshal and feed the cyclists en-route and in turn will earn valuable funds for their respective organisations.
There are three distances and one can enter for any route for a fee of €40. Entry is online
only via eventmaster.ie.
The website tourdekilkenny.com has a wealth of useful information about the event and about the demands and needs of sportive cycling.
Indeed there is plenty of time to get fit and ready for the Tour, if you have not already done so. The club is running beginners / back to cycling evenings every Monday at 7pm starting from Laharts Garages.
This fee covers the cost of food, route marshalling and a hefty contribution to each nominated charity.
The 160km route is considered by the experts as one of the very toughest cycles on the sportive calendar and thus attracts a host of hardy cyclists.
Many find to their surprise that Kilkenny is anything but a flat county and veteran route-maker Brendan O’Reilly has managed to find lots of challenging ascents.
77k Route: Kilkenny (via ringroad) - Gowran- Goresbridge - Graiguenamanagh-Thomastown-
Knocktopher-Kilkenny. This route is for cyclists with a reasonable level of fitness.
Refreshments will be available at the car-park near the top of Coppenagh.
120k Route: Kilkenny (via ringroad) - Gowran- Goresbridge- Graiguenamanagh-Inistioge-
Listerlinn-Mullinavat-Kilkenny. This route is quite challenging and a good level of cycling
fitness is required. It tackles several steep climbs, Coppenagh, Woodstock, Brownsford and
Listerlin. The main food-stop is located in Listerlin before riders head back to Kilkenny from
160k Route: Kilkenny (via ringroad) - Gowran- Borris- Graiguenamanagh-Inistioge-Listerlinn-
Mullinavat-Templeorum-Kilmoganny-Callan-Kilmanagh-Kilkenny. This is one for the
hardened cyclists and we expect over one third of entrants will attempt it. The climbing
continues from Mullinavat over Ballygowan to Piltown, then tackles the 7.5km climb of
Templorum, 3km climb over Kilmoganny to the Slate Quarries and north to Kilmanagh via
Callan. The final sting after 150km of tough cycling is a short but very steep climb over
Ballykeeffe before a descent and flat route back to Kilkenny Rugby Club.
The pasta party at the end will be very welcome. For further information about the event contact any of the Marble City Cyclers who will be more than happy to help.
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