Cyclists gearing up for stunning Mourne event
The majestic Mourne mountains will provide the dramatic backdrop for hundreds of cyclists as they take on the Etape Mourne Cycling Sportif this weekend.
Supported by the world's largest online bike store, Chain Reaction Cycles, and powered by Newry, Mourne and Down District Council, the event gets into gear on Sunday at Annalong Community Centre.
With two routes to choose from on the day, both offering stunning views of the mountains, the Sportif will provide a great challenge for riders of all abilities. Route one will see cyclists cover 65.5km and climb 1,190m, while route two offers cyclists a 79.5km path and an impressive climb of 1,364m.
Both routes start and finish in the coastal village of Annalong and wind their way through the Mournes, providing riders with breathtaking views and backdrops.
Riders can also avail of a professionally mapped event, well stocked feed stations courtesy of Lidl NI and mechanical support on the day.
All riders will receive a finisher's medal upon completion of their route. A percentage of the £21.48 entry fees will be donated to charities.
Launching the event, Councillor Charlie Casey, chairperson of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council, said: "The iconic Mourne mountains are the perfect location for a number of outdoor activities, especially cycling.
"Cyclists and visitors alike can enjoy world-class views alongside a mix of terrain, trails and plains on their routes on our flagship cycling event - and given the praise and attention that the area continues to receive from both local and further afield visitors, it is safe to say that this event will be well supported."
Stephen Laird, store manager at Chain Reaction Cycles, added: "We are delighted to be a part of the Etape Mourne Cycling Sportif this August - it's safe to say this event has the potential to be a real stand-out fixture for not only the Mourne region but in cycling calendars across the country.
"We will have mechanics on the road during the event and at key points to provide support for any issues which riders may have."
- To register, go to www.eventbrite.co.uk