Ten cycling enthusiasts from across Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland got on their bike for the cycle of a lifetime after winning a competition organised by the Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB) to ‘Ride the Route with Roche’.
Cycling legend and NITB Ambassador Stephen Roche led the group along part of the second stage of the Giro d’Italia which almost 200 of the world’s elite cyclists will follow when Northern Ireland hosts the first three stages of the world’s second largest cycle race from May 9 – 11.
The group visited the Giant’s Causeway where they departed for the 65KM cycle which has been described as ‘one of the world’s great road journeys’ passing the Carrick-a-rede Rope Bridge, the Vanishing Lake, through Cushendall and finishing in Carnlough.
Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB) PR Officer Marie-Therese O’Neill, said: “To ‘Ride the Route with Roche’ really was the chance of a lifetime for this group of cycling enthusiasts. It’s not every day you get to ride part of the Giro d’Italia route with one of the competition’s previous winners. It was a fantastic day and the sun was shining which really added to the whole experience, showing off this stunning route in all its glory, giving everyone memories that I have no doubt will last a lifetime.”
One of the competition winners, Richard Lloyd from Phoenix Cycling Club in Belfast, said: “”The whole experience was fantastic, from the Q&A session with Stephen to riding with other competition winners along the beautiful Causeway Coastal Route and making some memories that will be talked about for a lifetime! I’m really looking forward to the start of the Giro d’Italia now in May.”
The Giro d’Italia is supported by NITB and part funded by the European Regional Development Fund under the European Sustainable Competitiveness Programme for Northern Ireland.
For further details or to attend the Giro d’Italia ‘Grande Partenza’ contact the Northern Ireland Tourist Board by clicking on www.discovernorthernireland.com/giro2014 and by using hashtag #Girostart2014.