44mm of rain fell on Saturday making it the wettest day of the summer but this didn’t stop 550 cyclists from descending on Kilkenny for the 6th annual Tour de Kilkenny cycling event. Despite the torrential conditions, the event was very well supported and cemented its place as one of the top one day cycling sportives in Ireland.
The event HQ was once again Kilkenny Rugby Club at Foulkstown and the venue was a hive of activity from 7am as cyclists from all over Ireland and a few from the UK and US arrived to sign on. Of the 4 routes available, from 40km to 160km, the 110km distance was most popular, yet a considerable number of hardy souls took on the 160km route.
Three cyclists from Rhos-on-Sea in Wales participated for the 3rd consecutive time and were honoured by Marble City Cyclers, the host club. The 3 were each presented with the limited edition Tour de Kilkenny t-shirt in recognition for their ongoing support for the event. The highlights of the day for many were the warm welcome and plentiful grub at the food stops, the hot showers and the Barbeque at the finish.
Marble City Cyclers raised over €10,000 for local charities and this year six will benefit. Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association, Samaritans Kilkenny, Irish Diabetes Association, Camphill Community, Compassionate Friends and Irish Pilgrimage Trust all share the proceeds of this year’s event.
Gerry McGovern, MCC Chairman expressed his thanks to the 550 participants, the numerous volunteers who manned the food and water stops, Listerlin Parents Association, Tullagher Rosbercon GAA Club, the marshals, the Gardaí, and Kilkenny Rugby Club. He also acknowledged the support of Glanbia, Optimum Nutrition, Breens Transport, Laharts Skoda, Walls Cycles, Caulfield’s SuperValu, Mayor Andrew McGuinness, George Candller, Sonix Entertainment, MyStuff.ie, KCLR, Gain Feeds, Kilkenny People, Paddy O’Granola, Custodian Consultancy, Prestige Print and Glaxo Smith Kline.
McGovern said that it was encouraging to see the event continue to gain in popularity and that in spite of the weather it was great to see so many people enjoy the event. He said that the Tour has now raised over €70,000 over the last few years and all of this has been given to worthy charities.