Belfast Telegraph

Gran Fondo Northern Ireland: Routes and road closures

The legacy project from the 2014 Giro d’Italia Big Start is nearly here - we'll keep you up to date with everything you need to know

By Jenny Kirkham

The Gran Fondo Giro d’Italia will see thousands of cyclists tackling some of the most historic and iconic climbs in Northern Ireland. Some roads will be fully closed for the race.

The Mourne route

The 173km route will pass over mountains and hills steeped in Irish history as well as allowing cyclists to take in the beauty of Northern Ireland from some of the best viewpoints in the country.

Upon starting at Titanic Belfast, the cyclists will leave the city on the roads of Co. Down towards the mountain roads that will greet you after 42km. First is the steep Monte Dree Hill, which has the ancient Slieve Croob as a backdrop. After the country lanes descending off the first climb the route will pass through the hill top towns of Rathfriland and Hilltown before nearing the Mourne Mountains.

The gradual climb of Monte Leitrim Hill leads deeper into the Mourne Mountains where cyclists will be met with the climb of Monte Spelga Dam, the highest elevation for the route at its peak.

Riders will stay within the Mourne Mountains as they descend alongside Tollymore Forest Park and into the village of Bryansford before starting the homeward trip. Passing through the wide main street of Castlewellan will give cyclists a breather before beginning the last climb of the day to Monte Slieve Croob.

The last leg will pass through Dromara town and into Saintfield before the gradual descent into Belfast city before the finish at Titanic Belfast.




The Strangford route

The 58km route will prove challenging and enjoyable for all levels of cycling enthusiasts.

Leaving the Titanic Belfast start, the ride will begin with 58km of rolling roads with two categorised climbs. The first challenge of the day will take place within the first 6km when cyclists will tackle Monte Braniel. Completing the first climb will set riders on the rolling roads around some of Co. Down’s villages with Strangford Lough visible on much of this route.

Once leaving the Peninsula will send cyclists through the historic town of Comber before starting the climb of Monte Moneyreagh which will be the last climb of the day. Guided through the rolling hills of North Down cyclists will descend into Belfast city with the view of the famous Harland and Wolff cranes in the distance along with the iconic Titanic Museum which signals the finish of the challenge.







Road Closures

Mourne Road Closures

Titanic Belfast to Moneyreagh: 7am - 9am

Moneyreagh to Dree Hill: 7am - 9am

Dree Hill to Leitrim: 8am - 10am

Leitrim to Hilltown: 8.15am - 11am

Hilltown to Spelga Dam: 8.30am - 12.15pm

Spelga Dam to Castlewellan: 9.45am - 1pm

Castlewellan to Dree Hill: 10am - 3pm

Dree Hill to Moneyreagh: 10.45am - 3.30pm

Moneyreagh to Titanic Belfast: 9.30am - 4pm


Strangford Road Closures

Titanic Belfast to Moneyreagh: 7am - 9am

Moneyreagh to Balloo Crossroads: 7am - 9.30am

Balloo Crossroads to Comber Bypass A21/A22: 8.15am - 10.30am

Comber Bypass to Moneyreagh: 8.45am - 11am

Moneyreagh to Titanic Belfast: 9.30am - 4pm


Access to Roselawn Cemetary

Due to the road closures on Sunday 21 June, special arrangements have been put in place to ensure the public can access Roselawn Cemetery and Crematorium this Father's Day.

Traffic to Roselawn is being advised to travel via the Saintfield Road, Knockbracken Road, Houston Road and Ballygowan Road where signage will be placed showing the route to Roselawn.  On leaving the cemetery grounds traffic will turn left out of Roselawn and travel to Manse Road and then turn either right or left at the Manse Road /Upper Braniel Road race gateway.


Read more:

Gran Fondo Northern Ireland: Weekend schedule 

Team Sky star Richie Porte to ride in our Gran Fondo  

Gran Fondo could open door to Ulster Tour de France 

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