Bikes at the ready for An Post Tour of Sligo

The 2013 An Post Cycle Series was launched by this years ambassadors comedian PJ Gallagher, former Cork hurling star Se�n O hAilp�n and Paralympic tandem cycling medallists Catherine Walsh and Fran Meehan. Five events will be held across the country, monthly between May and September, starting with the An Post Tour of Sligo on Sunday, May 5. Visit www.anpost.ie/cycling for more information. At the launch are, from left, Deirdre Lavin, Sligo Sports Partnership, Martin O'Hara, Eire Og Cycling Club Sligo, Catherine Walsh, Fran Meehan, John Delorey, Innisfree Wheelers Cycling Club, PJ Gallagher, and Se�n "g " hAilp�n. Photo by Brian Lawless / Sportsfile
Cyclists from all over Leitrim are already working hard on their bikes as they get ready for the extremely popular An Post Tour of Sligo which takes places this year on Sunday, May 5.

Cyclists from all over Leitrim are already working hard on their bikes as they get ready for the extremely popular An Post Tour of Sligo which takes places this year on Sunday, May 5.

The An Post Cycle Series, supported by An Post and the Irish Sports Council, encourages communities throughout Ireland and further afield to get on their bikes. It has been running since 2009 and over 40,000 people have taken part to date. The launch for the 2013 Series was held recently in Dublin and cyclists of all levels of experience are invited to get training for an event of their choice. Last year 95 visiting cyclists from County Leitrim took part.

With routes catering for everyone from the serious amateur to the enthusiastic beginner, the Series is a great way for family, friends and work colleagues to spend a day of fun together while the serious rider can follow a more challenging route.

The An Post Series has one event around the country each month between May and September in the counties of Sligo, Clare, Meath, Waterford and Cork.

The series gets underway with the An Post Tour of Sligo on the May Bank Holiday weekend, with a 10km Hazelwood Spin for All and Family Fun Day on Saturday, May 4. This is followed by the 60km Lough Gill Circuit, 100km Innisfree Tour or 160km Ox Mountain Challenge on Sunday, May 5.

The An Post Tour of Sligo is undoubtedly one of the most scenic cycling events on offer with cyclists treated to an abundance of spectacular views ranging from the iconic mountains of Ben Bulben and Knocknarea to the rugged Atlantic coastline and the Lake Isle of Innisfree. While the views may be pleasing on the eye there is also some serious cycling to be done with cyclists on both the 100km and 160km events cycling through the Ox Mountains and in the process negotiating the challenging Ladies Brae climb.

All events start from the Knocknarea Arena, Institute of Technology, Sligo and cyclists en route cyclists are guaranteed good signage, friendly marshalling, mechanical back up and quality food and water stops. Friends of Sligo Regional Hospital is the nominated charity for the event.

A record 2,000 people took part in the 2012 An Post Tour of Sligo including many visiting cyclists from Leitrim so why not get training and be part of a great cycling experience on the May Bank Holiday weekend 2013 !

Check out www.tourofsligo.ie , the numbers are capped at 2000 so be sure to get your entry in on time.