Tour de Meath – out in force!

Now in its 8th year, the An Post Meath Heritage cycle tour was back in full flow around county last weekend. With almost 4000 cyclists participating between the 4 distances, the weekend kicked off with the 11km family spin which saw almost 1000 cyclists, young and old participate.  Having stopped in Jack Quinn’s for refreshments all returned safely to Trim where they basked in glorious sunshine and enjoyed an evening of free activities.

 

Support along the 11km route was provided by the Gardai and the Civil Defence along with coaches from the Moynalty Cycling club who cycled alongside the group offering support, guidance and assistance.

 

The local showers which fell early on Sunday morning and threatened to dampen the atmosphere didn`t succeed with almost 700 hardened cyclists heading off on the 160k route and up the hills of Tara, Skryne and Loughanlea. An Post cycle series Ambassador, Bressie led the cyclists off. Bressie who is currently in training for the Ironman did enjoy the spin but found it challenging having initially thought that Meath was flat! Warm welcomes lay in wait for the 160k cyclists in Ryan’s of Gormanlough, Cormeen Community centre and the Bawn Inn in Athboy.

 

The 1550 cyclists, who completed the 100k route, were led off by the experienced ex-Irish cyclists, Philip Cassidy and Laurence Roche. The relatively new 100k route was very well received by all cyclists even though some struggled around Grangegeeth and Sliabh Breagh; when they had time to sit and reflect, all were delighted with their efforts and sense of achievement. Again a warm reception was extended to the participating cyclists by Senchalstown GAA centre and Wilkinstown Community centre.

 

Dr. Una May, Director of Participation and Ethics with Sport Ireland and her daughter Caoimhe (National Track Cycling champion) led out the 850 cyclists on the 50k route. Cyclists enjoyed the refreshments on the Hill of Tara and the water stop at Kiltale GAA club.

 

The tour would not be a success without the hard work of the 350+ volunteers who give their time to marshal junctions, give directions, provide refreshments and most of all give much needed encouragement to cyclists along the route. Particular praise must go to the community areas that open up their facilities to cater for the cyclists: Ryan’s of Gormanlough; Maguire’s Café, Hill of Tara; Jack Quinn’s, Scurlogstown; Wilkinstown Community Centre; Bawn Inn, Athboy; Senchalstown GAA centre; Cormeen Community centre and Kiltale GAA club.

 

Special thanks were extended by Mary Murphy, Event Coordinator, to the Gardai; Meath Civil Defence; HSE Ambulance service; Motorbike marshals and the many volunteers, organisations and support staff who gave of their time to ensure that the 2016 cycle tour was a success.

 

The An Post Meath Heritage Cycle tour is fast becoming one of the main calendar events in the cycling calendar.  Mary Murphy attributed the popularity of the tour to the countless hours of preparatory work undertaken by a dedicated team of people all intent on providing professional and expert service to all who participate in the An Post Meath Heritage Cycle Tour. Further thanks was paid to An Post; Sport Ireland; Trim Municipal District; Meath County Council; Meath Tourism; Meath Chronicle; LMFM; OPW; Trim Castle Hotel; Dunnes Stores; Glanbia; local Cycling clubs; Bike Fit studio; Cyclize; Navan Cycle Centre; TC Racing; Aura Centre; Physios, the Meath Heritage Cycle Tour committee & the Board and staff of Meath LSP for working together to ensure that the An Post Meath Heritage Cycle Tour of 2016 was truly a memorable event. Particular thanks to the remarkable and entertaining MC – the legend that is Eamonn Duffy,

 

The nominated charity for the event was the Friends of St Josephs Hospital in Trim who assisted over the weekend of the tour by marshalling at the car park area and serving food in the marquee. Friends of St Josephs Hospital provide much needed support towards the comfort needs of the patients.

 

Meath is one of five counties to participate in this year’s An Post Cycle Series and the series will continue in Waterford on the 27th & 28th of August with the Sean Kelly Tour and with the Cork Rebel Tour on the 11th of September. The An Post Cycle Series is run in association with the Sport Ireland, An Post and 5 Local Sports Partnerships.

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