Overview of routes:
160km Royal Challenge – exciting new finish to the 160km distance. The 160km commences at 8am from Castle street in Trim (under the watchful eye of St John`s Castle) and heads out the Dublin road in the direction of Kilmessan, Bective and onto the 1st climb of the day – the famous Hill of Tara. From here it`s across the Old Dublin/Navan road and up to the legendary O Connells pub (made famous in the Christmas advert for Guinness) on the Hill of Skryne (2nd climb).
From Skryne, cyclists make their way across the Navan/Kentstown road, up Brownstown (moderate climb), over Stackallen bridge crossing Navan/Slane road and down to the water stop at Ryans of Gormanlough. From here it`s more or less a straight run through Nobber and onto Milltown Glen, through Ervey and onto Muff before starting the ascent up Loughanlea (view of 9 counties from highest point)! (Check out link for further info about folklore which surrounds Loughanlea: http://www.askaboutireland.ie/learning-zone/primary-students/looking-at-places/cavan/aspects-of-cavan/lough-an-lea/ )
Once off the mountain, cyclists head to Cormeen for food stop and from there onto Moynalty. (New route home from this point onwards). Turning right in Moynalty, cyclists head out the Mullagh road, turning left in Mullagh down to Whitegate cross on the N3 and heading past the famous Forge Restaurant in the direction of Ballinlough. From Ballinlough, cyclists head right and then turn for Crosskiel for the final climb of the day. Water stop is in Kilskyre GAA club and from here cyclists head for Fordstown (crossing N52 at Lynch`s cross); from Fordstown, it`s onto the Hill of Ward and back home to Trim via An Gaeltacht and Dunderry road for well earned refreshments in the Marquee.
100km Royal Tour – remains same as 2016 route. This new route was added in 2016 and does test the cyclist. Even with the new challenges, cyclists last year reported that they were happy with the new route and very much enjoyed it. In brief – 100km route commences at 9.30am from Castle street in Trim (under the watchful eye of St John`s Castle) and heads out the Dublin road, turning left for Bective onto Belinter towards Garlow Cross onto the old Navan/Dublin road. From here cyclists make their way out the Navan/Kentstown road crossing this road, up Brownstown (1st climb) and down to Senchalstown (water stop), before coming out on the N2 and heading up through Slane (2nd climb) out the Collon road turning left for Sliabh Breagh and onto Grangegeeth ( 3rd climb). From Grangegeeth, cyclists head towards Tankardstown house, onto Wilkinstown for the food stop.
From the food stop, it`s home via Stackallen (4th climb), Deanhill (final climb), onto Johnstown Old, to Cannistown, to Bellinter, and Crocketts pub, eventually turning right onto Trim/Dublin road and home for much needed refreshments in the marquee.
50km Tara Challenge – remains same as previous years. The 50k starts at 10.30am from Castle street in Trim (under the watchful eye of St John`s Castle) and heads out the Dublin road in the direction of Kilmessan, Bective and onto the famous Hill of Tara. This is the half way mark for the 50km route. From the top of the Hill, cyclists can enjoy majestic views of Ireland`s mythical east from the Hill of Slane (on your left where St Patrick lit the pascal fire) to the Hill of Slane (St. Columcille founded a monastery in the 6th century) not excluding the Hill of Tara itself (see link for more info regarding the Hill of Tara http://hilloftara.org/ ).
Once cyclists have been fed like a true High King`s, they descend the hill in the direction of Dunsany (passing by Dunsany Castle), onto the Trim/Dublin road heading towards the water stop in Kiltale GAA before turning at Jack Quinns on the homeward journey to Trim. Refreshments await your arrival in the marquee in Trim.
For details regarding elevation, exact location of food/water stops – please see http://www.meathsports.ie/cycle-tour/routes/ . Those using smart or iphones will be able to download the maps to their phones – ensuring that they remain on route.
Don’t forget to avail of the early bird discount closing on the 20th July. Entries close on the 26th of July. Entry for the 11km on Saturday 29th only from 2pm. See http://www.meathsports.ie/cycle-tour/ to register!