1750 Cyclists Gear Up For Sky Ride Etape Hibernia

From: Dunphy Public Relations
Published: Mon Aug 16 2010

Cyclists from throughout Ireland, UK, USA and various parts of Europe will gather in County Clare next week to take part in the inaugural Sky Ride Etape Hibernia, which will be held over an 82-mile course.

Cycling legend Sean Kelly, British Olympic gold medallist Denise Lewis, Irish comedian PJ Gallagher and Sky News presenter Dermot Murnaghan will also cycle the traffic free roads in some of West of Ireland’s most scenic locations, including the Atlantic coastline and the world famous Burren Region.

The cycle will see riders leave the Shannon Development Information Age Park in Ennis at 7am before travelling through Ruan, Corofin, Kilnaboy, Ballyvaughan, Fanore, Lahinch, Spanish Point, Connolly and Kilmaley. The first riders are expected to arrive into the Market area of the County Capital shortly before 10.30am.

The event is being organised by IMG, in partnership with Sky, Fáilte Ireland, Shannon Development, the Shannon Region Conference and Sports Bureau and Clare County Council. Sky, the UK and Ireland’s leading entertainment company behind the Sky Ride series of events, is the title sponsor of the Sky Ride Etape Hibernia.

Speaking ahead of the event, Jo Dytch of IMG said: "We are delighted with the response we have received from members of the cycling community and wider public since launching the event at the beginning the year. We are confident that the annual event will continue to grow in popularity over the next five years as more people recognise the attractiveness of cycling on closed roads alongside some of the world’s greatest athletes. The event also appeals to cyclists of all abilities as the distance is very achievable with a little training."

Ms. Dytch acknowledged the help and support of Failte Ireland, Shannon Development and Clare County Council in providing the necessary permissions to enable the event to go ahead.

"The organisers are also hugely appreciative of the support shown by local residents, churches and businesses that have made adjustments to their schedule to accommodate the event", she added.

Speaking about the significance of the event, John King, Assistant Chief Executive, Shannon Development said: "We are delighted with the response to the inaugural Sky Ride Etape Hibernia which has attracted over 1,750 cyclists. The number of participants is expected to grow to 5,000 and generate 10 million euro in new revenue for the region over the course of the five year span of the event. A prestigious event like this is a perfect fit with Shannon Development’s strategy of securing more mass participation events, in particular sports events, which can be firmly rooted here in the Shannon Region for many years to come. This high profile event will undoubtedly build on the Region’s growing reputation as a leading sports tourism destination."

Mr. King continued: "County Clare is a wonderful place to cycle and a great location for the Sky Ride Etape Hibernia. I am looking forward to participating in the event myself and enjoying an active day out. The smooth running of the event on the day is vital and the marvellous commitment of the Gardai, Civil Defence and the HSE to this end deserves huge credit. The fact that the 2010 ‘Lonely Planet Travel Guide’ has named County Clare in the top 10 super cycling routes in the world is testament to the amount of work that has gone into the development of the tourism cycling product in the County in recent times."

"We look forward to continuing to work with IMG and our partners in Fáilte Ireland, Clare County Council and the Shannon Region Conference and Sports Bureau to ensure the success of this event in terms of delivering additional visitors and revenue this year and over the next four years," he said.

Mayor of Clare Cllr. Christy Curtin urged the people of County Clare and the surrounding region to come out and support the event participants next weekend.

"This event will provide a much needed boost to the local economy and will also help showcase the wonderful tourism product that County Clare has to offer. I would like to congratulate the organisers for choosing Clare as the location for what will be a truly unique sporting and social event on August 22nd. I also wish the participants a safe and enjoyable day on the roads around the county", stated Mayor Curtin.

Meanwhile, the event organisers have named the three charities that will benefit from the event. Sky Rainforest Rescue, a Sky and World Wildlife Fund (WWF) project to help save one billion trees in the Amazon Rainforest, has been nominated as the international charity. DEBRA Ireland and Clare Crusaders have been chosen as the national and local charities respectively.

For more on the Sky Ride Etape Hibernia, including details of road closures, visit www.etapehibernia.com, see www.twitter.com/etapehibernia, email info@etapehibernia.com or call 0044(0)2082335900.


Notes To Editor:
- Interviewees are available on request. Please contact Mark Dunphy of Dunphy PR on 00353-868534900 or media@dunphypr.com
- Members of the media wishing to be accredited for the event should contact 00353-868534900 or media@dunphypr.com
- Sean Kelly was one of the world's most successful road cyclists of the 1980s, and one of the finest classics riders of all time. Turning professional in 1977 he won nine monument classics, including two wins at the Paris-Roubaix race, and 193 professional races in total before his retirement from the sport in 1994.
- Denise Lewis, whose participation in the event is being sponsored by Adidas, won the gold medal in the heptathlon for Britain at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
- PJ Gallagher has become one of Ireland’s best-loved comedians following the huge success of his hit TV show Naked Camera. The graduate of the Gaiety School of Acting is a Vicar Street regular and has appeared at the Cat Laughs festival in Kilkenny. He is currently on a nationwide comedy tour of venues across Ireland.
- For more information about Sky Ride visit: www.goskyride.com. For more information on IMG mass participation events visit: www.challengerworld.com
- For more information about Team Sky visit: www.teamsky.com
Company: Dunphy Public Relations
Contact Name: Mark Dunphy
Contact Email: media@dunphypr.com
Contact Phone: 00353868534900

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