Cycling legend Sean Kelly has used the tour event named in his honour to support the anti-pylon campaign.
The former cycling world number one star has given his backing to three groups battling to ensure a controversial electricity network extension does not use a pylon grid across the Comeragh/Rathgormack/Portlaw route.
His public endorsement of the three groups came as the Sean Kelly Tour of Waterford begins on August 24 next.
The cyclist regularly trained throughout his career in Waterford and agreed to support the campaign following contacts from friends and relatives in the area.
More than 5,000 cyclists annually take part in the 160km Sean Kelly tour and there are fears a pylon route will spoil the area.
CAP (Comeraghs Against Pylons) warned that the pylon route plans to criss-cross the existing cycling tour ruote eight times.
Eirgrid will present two alternatives for the 250k Cork-Kildare/Dublin network - one underground and one above ground. The proposals will be made to an independent panel which will then report to the Government.
A final decision will be made in July 2015.
A CAP spokesman said they were deeply grateful to Sean Kelly for his support.
“The local and national tourism benefit that is spread far and wide by the cyclists, sporting writers, and the cycling entourage is immeasurable and must be protected,” said CAP spokesman John McCusker.
Residents are campaigning against the proposed above ground option due to its reliance on up to 250 pylons, some of which, for topographical reasons,may extend to 75min height.