Some of the country’s top names in competitive cycling will lead Comeragh College’s inaugural 60km school cycle through three counties in March.
And the school didn’t to go far to find them.
U-23 National Road Race champion Sam Bennett, who rides with the Belgian based An Post Sean Kelly professional cycling team, is a past pupil and Michael O’Loughlin, a multiple winner of Irish youth cycling titles and member of the Canyon Young Heroes Team comprising 16 of Europe’s most promising youth cyclists, is a 5th year student at the school.
They will be joined by Michael’s father Martin, who was manager of the Irish Cycling team at the London Olympics last year, and Leslie O’Donnell of Carrick Wheelers cycling club.
The Comeragh College cycle will leave from Carrick-on-Suir at 10am on Sunday, March 24 and will cross into counties Kilkenny and Waterford as well as Tipperary.
Cyclists will head out the main Waterford Road to Piltown and then head to Faugheen, Ballypatrick and Kilsheelan where they will cross the river into Co. Waterford and cycle in the shadow of the Comeragh Mountains to Rathgormack before returning to Carrick-on-Suir.
Comeragh College Principal Kevin Langton said the cycle was being run to raise funds for Comeragh College’s sports department but also to promote cycling as a sport and healthy outdoors past-time to students.
“There is huge interest in the cycle among students and teachers. The whole school community is looking forward to it. We hope that once it passes off safely and successfully it will be the first of many school cycles.
“Cycling has put Carrick-on-Suir on the map and if this town couldn’t have a school cycle when it produced Sean Kelly and Sam Bennett we may throw our hat at it,” he joked.
Mr Langton pointed out that the event was open to the wider community as well as Comeragh College students and staff and encouraged the people of the town to take part in the cycle that will travel through some of the most scenic countryside around Carrick-on-Suir.