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Gran Fondo 2015: You can take part in cycle race around Northern Ireland alongside Team Sky's Richie Porte

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Cyclists at the Giro d’Italia Big Start at Titanic Belfast in 2014

Cyclists at the Giro d’Italia Big Start at Titanic Belfast in 2014

Richie Porte at the Giro d’Italia

Richie Porte at the Giro d’Italia

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Cyclists at the Giro d’Italia Big Start at Titanic Belfast in 2014

Team Sky's Richie Porte has signed up to the Gran Fondo - and you can ride alongside him.

Following the huge success of the Giro d’Italia Big Start in Northern Ireland last year, the Gran Fondo will continue the cycling legacy when it snakes its way around Northern Ireland this month.

Cyclists have until Sunday, June 7 to register to take part.

There will be two routes to cycle at the Gran Fondo Giro d’Italia:

The Strangford Route

A 58km loop achievable for beginner and novice cyclists covering a route around North Down with the beauty of Strangford Lough to keep them company for much of this route.

The Mourne Route

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A 177km ride will challenge the fittest riders by providing tough climbs and take them through some breath-taking scenery including the Spelga Dam and Slieve Croob with views over Lough Neagh.

Both routes start and finish in Belfast, at the iconic Titanic Belfast building.

Register at www.granfondogiroditaliaNI.com

Pauline Gormley of Tourism NI said: “We are thrilled to host a world renowned sporting event such as the Gran Fondo which will take place on Sunday June 21 and give participants a truly authentic Giro d’Italia experience with fully closed roads helping to showcase Northern Ireland’s beautiful landscape to riders from all over the world. "

Top cyclist Richie Porte of Team Sky, winner of this year’s Paris-Nice, Tour of Catalunya and Giro del Trentino stages races, will participate, while famous Irish cyclist legend Stephen Roche will be present over the weekend to welcome riders, tell stories and to cycle the Gran Fondo Giro d’Italia.

Participants will enjoy mechanical support on route, food and hydration stations on both routes, a Giro Gift Bag, a post-ride pasta party with beer and wine and finishers' medals and a closing ceremony on the Sunday at 5.30pm.

If you don’t think you have the stamina to take part in the cycle itself, then head to Belfast’s Titanic Quarter and soak up all the atmosphere with a continental food market, a Giro Expo and family fun events to keep everyone entertained.


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