Earlier today Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Patrick O’Donovan, TD officially launched the 2017 Sport Ireland Cycle Series (previously known as the An Post Cycle Series). The Cycle Series will continue in 2017 as the Sport Ireland Cycle Series and will continue to be managed by the Local Sports Partnerships who organise the high quality events in each host county for which they are renowned.

Celebrating its 9th year, the Sport Ireland Cycle Series encourages people of all fitness levels to get physically active by getting on their bikes and taking part in fun cycling events across the country between May and September.

The Sport Ireland Cycle Series will take place in five locations in Sligo, Clare, Meath, Waterford and Cork and is coordinated by Local Sports Partnerships in conjunction with their city, county and cycling club partners. Whether you want to take part in one event or fancy challenging yourself to compete in all 5, the cycle series has routes for everyone to enjoy. Family routes will be approximately 10kms while short, medium and long distance routes will be approximately 60kms, 100kms and 160kms.

Since 2009 Sport Ireland and the Local Sports Partnerships have been supporting recreational cycling across the country through the Sport Ireland Series. Last year over 15,300 riders from all over Ireland took part in the Cycle Series and participation is expected to grow even further this year. Participants are encouraged to sign up early with family and friends to avoid missing out. Registration is now open at http://www.sportireland.ie/Participation/Sport-Ireland-Cycle-Series/.

From May until September cyclists of all levels can enjoy the relaxed or challenging cycles on offer at each event, these include:
– Sport Ireland Yeats Tour of Sligo (April 29th & 30th)
– Sport Ireland Tour de Burren (June 17th)
– Sport Ireland Meath Heritage Cycle Tour (July 29th & 30th)
– Sport Ireland Sean Kelly Tour of Waterford (August 19th & 20th)
– Sport Ireland Rebel Tour of Cork (September 9th)

Over the years, cycling has moved from being a minority activity in Ireland to that of a broad popular activity which appeals to all ages. The 2015 Irish Sports Monitor revealed that approximately 195,000 adults take part in cycling for sport or recreation at least once a week. With routes catering for everyone from the serious amateur to the enthusiastic beginner, the Series is a great way for family, friends and work colleagues to spend a day of fun together while the serious rider can follow a more challenging route.

Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Patrick O’Donovan, TD, said: “I am delighted to announce the launch of the 2017 Sport Ireland Cycle Series. It is great to see the series returning for a 9th year and this clearly demonstrates the growing popularity of cycling as a sport. Each event has a great selection of routes for all levels to enjoy so I would encourage everyone to sign up and get out on the bike over the summer months.”

Speaking at the launch, John Treacy, CEO of Sport Ireland explained, “We are delighted to be bringing the Sport Ireland Cycle Series around the country for the summer. I would encourage everyone, no matter what your ability of cycling to take part. There is a fantastic array of routes to choose from and I have seen what a great day out this can be for family and friends. I look forward to seeing you all over the next few months.”

Source: Irish Sports Monitor 2015 – Sport Ireland and Ipsos MRBI
· 5.5% of Irish adults aged 16 years and older take part in cycling for sport or recreation at least once a week. This is the equivalent of approximately 195,000 adults regularly taking part in cycling in their leisure time.

· Cycling is relatively popular across all age groups up to age 64 years.

· Cycling is a popular sporting activity to take up right across the life course. When asked what age they were when they took up their current participant in cycling for sport or recreation, 55% of cyclists reported that they were 24years or younger while 45% took up the sport when they were 25 years old or older.

· Almost half of those who cycle for sport and recreation also cycle for transport.


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