Letterkenny’s professional Philip Deignan will be joining hundreds of keen amateur cyclists on Saturday, September 17 for the first ever Giant’s Causeway Coast Sportive in Northern Ireland.
The Radioshack rider will join cyclists from all across Ireland and the UK to cycle a choice of three routes through the spectacular Causeway Coast and Glens of Antrim. The 27-year-old will also be speaking about his pro career so far, his relationship with teammate Lance Armstrong and his gruelling training regime at an intimate pre-event dinner on the Friday night at Ballycastle Golf Club.
“The Giant’s Causeway Coast Sportive is set up to a great event with fantastic scenic cycling along the coast and through the glens with some challenging hill climbs to look forward to,” Deignan said at the recent press launch. “Luckily hills happen to be my own personal strength so it will be a great opportunity to train before I head off to the UCI Road World Championships in Copenhagen.”
Sportives, regarded as the cousin of a runner’s marathon, are long-distance, mass participation events and are fast becoming one of the most popular disciplines in road cycling. They are not races; they simply allow cyclists to challenge themselves against the distance and the clock. The entry level 57km ‘Causeway Coaster’ is designed for those who occasionally get out on the bike but would like to set themselves an achievable target to work towards. The medium distance 126km ‘Glens and Coast’ route is more challenging with some tough hill climbs rewarding your efforts with exciting descents.
Then there is the 182km ‘Giant Killer’. This long distance route contains some of Northern Ireland’s most infamous hill climbs and will really only suit serious cyclists who are used to pounding out the miles on a weekly basis.
The Giant’s Causeway Coast Sportive is an initiative of the Countryside Access and Activities Network (CAAN) in partnership with 26 Extreme and has been funded by the Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB) supported by Chain Reaction Cycles and Moyle District Council. Entry fee is E40 per person which includes a free buff (RRP E15), ChampionChip electronic timing, hydration and feed stations as well as hot food after the event. A dedicated event website has been set up with more information on the sportive including route maps, photos and elevation charts. On this website you can book your place on the sportive and also book a place for the pre-event dinner evening with Philip Deignan for E17. Visit www.giantscausewaycoastsportive.com for more information.