Festival Cluain Meala opens this August Bank Holiday Weekend with the Suir Valley 3 Day International Cycle Race which promises to be their biggest and best race yet with 4 continental teams and the famous Sean Kelly’s An Post Team.
There will be race starts and finishes in Clonmel each day throughout this weekend for the public to come along and cheer them on.
The Cycling Festival takes over the centre of Clonmel on Sunday 4th August where there will be a funky bike parade, an evening international criterium and four fun sportives including a 5km family fun sportive.
There will be lots to do for all the family with food stalls, bouncy castles, facepainting and bike fun and games.
Speaking this week the festival organiser Declan Byrne said he and his fellow organisers are very much looking forward to the race, which will take place over the August Bank Holiday Weekend.
“It’s going to be one of the best races we’ve put on in Clonmel and the surrounding areas in recent times,” he said.
The race opening stage is Saturday, 3rd August and is a tricky 115 kilometre trek starting and finishing in Clonmel.
The stage was last used in 2010 and contains a nasty category three climb in Portlaw after about 30 kilometres.
It is followed by two category two climbs in quick succession, at Templeouroum and Kilmaganney and then finishes in Clonmel.
Sunday features two stages that are definitely for the fast men.
The morning stage is one of the most famous loops in the area and is a favourite training lap of Sean Kelly.
Again, the race rolls out of Clonmel and will finish in the town, but not before taking in Ballymacabry, Dungarvan, Leamybrien, Carrick, Kilsheelan and Clonmel.
Sunday’s evening stage is set to bring the crowds back to Clonmel for a highly-anticipated criterium around the centre of the town.
The route will be a 2.1 kilometre lap and this stage is for the fast men and will last just 45minutes and five laps.
The final stage is from Clonmel, back to Cahir, into Mitchelstown will be relatively straight-forward but then the fun really starts when riders tackle the Vee.
They’ll sweep down into Lismore then onto Master McGrath before commencing the ascent of the category two Colligan.
From there, the race swings north for Ballymacabry and will come to a thrilling climax atop the category one ranked Nire climb.
That will come after 130 kilometres and is sure to open up significant gaps in the field. The 3 days promise some great cycling and the public and encouraged to come out and cheer on the cyclists.
The Suir Valley Cycle Festival is also hosting four fun sportives on Sunday 5th August.
The 160km, 65km, 50km and 5km sportives are open to everyone and all entry details are on suirvalleycyclefestival.com.
This is run is support of the charity Cycle 4 Sick Children.
The spectacular event guarantees that Clonmel will hold centrestage for irish cycling this holiday weekend.
Festival Cluain Meala is a trio of the Busking, Heritage and Cycling festivals taking place this weekend.