With the fine weather starting, at Kinetica HQ we are looking forward to a long summer of great endurance events. To get started we have put together our top 10 list of cycling sportives in Ireland over the next few months. Totally subjective of course – we would be interested in hearing your thoughts? How many are you planning to tick off the list? Do you think we omitted any stand out rides? In no particular order here are our top 10.
The Ring of Kerry Cycle – www.ringofkerrycyle.ie. 35 years old this year, this sportive has raised over €15 million for good causes. Coasting through a 175km of spectacular scenery on closed off roads, this could be one of the most beautiful cycle routes in the world. As it is a voluntary effort, there is a great atmosphere throughout the route with volunteers manning plentiful food and water stops along the way and the atmosphere that evening in Killarney is not to be missed. Still open for registration, this race kicks off on the 7th of July.
The Ring of Beara Cycle – www.ringofbearacyclekenmare.com. Seen by some as the Ring of Kerry’s little brother, like all little brothers it is now growing up to take on the bigger guys. With only a couple of weeks to go to the starting date 26th May and a waiting list to register, it may be one to put on your list for next year. There are two distances – 140k and 110k passing through some of Irelands prettiest towns and villages with start points in Castletownbere or Kenmare.
If you already have bagged the Ring of Beara and Ring of Kerry and are looking for a third ring to add to your list why not consider the Ring of Clare? Open for registration for Saturday July 28th at www.ringofclare.ie. Starting and finishing in Ennis, it offers two distances of 120km and 160km with less climbing than some of the others on the list – this may be for you if you are looking for a longer easy spin out.
The Wicklow 200 (or 100) www.wicklow200.ie offers a tough challenge on both distances with lots of climbing. Registration is still open for the 10th of June so if you want a shot at one of Ireland’s toughest one day sportives this one is for you. The 100k and 200k run together until Laragh, so if the conditions are not right to go for 200k glory you can always head back and get your 100k in the bag.
Many of us remember the glory days of the 80s when Ireland’s cycling heroes Kelly and Roche ruled the world. Channel your inner Sean Kelly and take on the Comeragh tour on the 26th of August www.comeraghtour.com. For those, for whom no cycle is complete without a gruelling, swear inducing climb they can add on some additional climbing loops of the spectacular Mahon Falls and Tincor with gradients of up to 15%.
Staying in the South East the Tour de Kilkenny offers four routes 44k, 77k, 110k and 160k. This event is put on by the Mable City Cyclers so it is an event for cyclists organised by a fantastic club where all profits go to charity. Check out www.tourdekilkenny.com for more details.
With Brexit top of mind, how about taking in the Giants Causeway Sportive www.giantscausewaysportive.com. Offering three distances of 35, 85 and 115 miles there is something for all grades of rider through some breathtaking scenery starting and finishing in the lovely town of Ballycastle.
So, we have covered North, South, East and now for the west – why not add the Tour de Conemara to your bucket list – but if you are not already registered you will have to wait till next year as it is full. The 80k and 140k routes travel through the pristine wildness of Connemara taking in mountains, lakes and coast through Connemara National Park – starting and finishing in the lively town of Clifden.
Lots of the rides we have mentioned so far are out amid glorious rural and coastal scenery – for those looking for a more urban challenge why not think about the Great Dublin Bike Ride www.greatdublinbikeride.ie. This September race takes in a lot of lovely north county Dublin scenery, however starts and finishes in the city. With 60k and 100k options and a relatively flat course, this is a great ride for those looking to try their first sportive.
Those with a bit more time, might fancy extending their range from the more common one day sportives to the www.wildatlanticwaycyclesportif.ie which takes place in September. Running over 8 days and in 4 Blocks it starts in Kinsale and finishes in Donegal.
Whatever sportive you choose, make sure to stay hydrated and keep your energy levels up. Click here to see a range of our products ideal for making sure you enjoy your next sportive.