Belfast Telegraph

Gran Fondo 2017 - videos, pictures and time lapse race

By Staff Reporter

The third Gran Fondo to be held in Northern Ireland attracted record numbers, organisers have said.

Thousands of cyclists took part in yesterday's giant event, a legacy from Northern Ireland's hosting of the Giro D'Italia in 2014.

Some 4,631 riders, including actor Dan Gordon, set off from Belfast's Stormont estate yesterday and took part in two routes, a main one which took in the Mourne Mountains while the other travelled to Strangford Lough.

The mass participation initiative allows amateur riders to cycle alongside some of those at the top in the sport, including renowned Irish road racer Stephen Roche.

The oldest rider in the race was 83-year-old Sam McComb who flew in from Seattle. He is originally from Northern Ireland.

The first Gran Fondo in 2015 attracted some 3,000 cyclists; that number rose to just under 4,000 in 2016 and to a record high this year.

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