It is regarded as one of the most picturesque leisure cycles in Ireland, and a large number of cyclists are again expected to descend on Achill for the fifth annual Tour de Achill. The cycle, which is hosted by the Achill Wheelers Cycling Club, takes place on Saturday, September 7.
Cyclists can choose to complete one of three route – a 38k, a 65k or a 110k cycle – with views of Clare Island, Blacksod, the historic Deserted Village and all of Achill’s Blue Flag beaches, including Keem Bay, recently voted one of the best beaches in the world.
Since the first Tour de Achill, the cycle’s popularity has grown every year, with over 200 cyclists taking part in last year’s event. As well as offering participants stunning views, the route is also favoured by some serious amateur cyclists looking to test themselves against some of the island’s hilly terrain.
Seán Lyons, Chairman of Achill Wheelers Cycling Club, said that the Tour de Achill has routes to suit cyclists of all abilities and that this is one of the reasons why it is attractive.
“Every year the numbers taking part grow with cyclists from clubs from all over Ireland travelling to Achill. The tour has so much to offer for cyclists of all standards, from the flat scenic route around Currane with views of Clare Island to the stunning cycle around the Atlantic Drive and the climb and descent down to Keem Bay. Regardless of the conditions, every cyclist who returns at the finish comments on how stunning the route is and how they enjoyed the day. The most important thing for the club is that cyclists have an enjoyable experience,” he said.
Seán added that the club looked forward to meeting returning and first-time cyclists to Achill.
The cycle begins at the Achill GAA clubhouse in Polranny at 9.45am, and the first 38k leg will see cyclists pedal around the Currane Peninsula towards Mulranny and return back to Achill.
Cyclists continuing on the 65k will cycle around the Atlantic Drive, but this year organisers have decided to change direction, with cyclists to now cycle around the Atlantic Drive in an anti-clockwise direction. Those continuing on with the 110k route will continue towards Keem Bay before returning to the finish at the GAA clubhouse via Dugort.
At the end of each cycle, cyclists will be provided with complimentary hot food, sandwiches and other refreshments while drinks and refreshments will also be available at the start and during the cycle. This year each cyclists will also receive a custom-made Tour de Achill buff.
MORE To register for Tour de Achill visit the website www.active.com or alternatively register before the cycle at the GAA clubhouse with registration opening at 8am. More information on the Achill Wheelers Facebook page.