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Thousands of cyclists en route to the Burren

More than 2,200 cyclists are expected to join former world number one cyclist Sean Kelly for the fifth annual An Post Tour de Burren, details of which were announced this week.

The 2013 event, now the largest mass-participation event in Clare, will take place in the county’s world-famous Burren Region on Saturday, June 22.

Participants will have a choice of four routes ranging from 10km to 155km. These are variations on previous circuits with a 55km event this year taking in Corkscrew Hill, Lisdoonvarna, Doolin and Black Head.

The event is organised by Clare Sports Partnership and Burren Cycling Club, and supported by An Post and the Irish Sports Council.

John Sweeney, coordinator of Clare Sports Partnership, described the event as “a great opportunity for all age groups and abilities to get out cycling and set themselves an achievable challenge for this summer”.

“I am delighted that we are again involved in the An Post Tour de Burren for the fifth year-in-a-row. It is great honour to work with the Burren Cycling Club in their 10th edition of the event.  This is a real ‘Bucket List’ event that has gained national recognition as one of the best around. There is a route for everyone from 10km to 155km,” he said.

“In 2012, the An Post Cycle Series attracted over 15,500 riders, 2,200 of which were in Clare. The profile of the event participants is changing year on year. We are seeing a marked increase in the numbers of women taking part. We have gone from 19% female participation in 2009 to 25% last year. At the moment, we are on target for a 3% increase again this year,” Mr Sweeney added.

The An Post Series has one event taking place around the country each month between May and September, including Sligo, Clare, Meath, Waterford and Cork.

Maureen Cleary, marketing executive with Clare Tourism Forum, noted the Tour de Burren has helped establish County Clare as one of Ireland’s premier cycling destinations.

“Sports Tourism generates approximately €60 million for the Shannon Region annually. Cycling has made a major contribution to this as evidenced by the success of the Tour de Burren and the establishing of two other national cycling events in Clare this year, namely the 2013 Junior Tour of Ireland International Cycling Race and the Rás na mBan. The Clare Tourism Forum, through www.clare.ie, promotes Clare’s fantastic range of cycling routes many of which were featured in the Lonely Planet Best in Travel guide, which named Clare in its top 10 list of Super Cycling Routes in the World,” she said.

For further details on the An Post Tour de Burren event and how to become involved, see www.tourdeburren.com or contact info@claresportspartnership.ie/(065) 6865434.


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