| 11.1°C Dublin

Second Race Around Ireland aiming to hit heights again

The Race Around Ireland Challenge will kick off for its second year on September 12 in Navan, Co Meath.

The inaugural Ultra Marathon World Cup Event was a complete success, and this time round the organisation aims to scale those heights again.

The Ultra Marathon Cycling Association (UMCA) has sanctioned the event and has included it as part of their World Cup series.

The Irish equivalent will again loop around the entire country. It will pass many heritage sites in various counties and some breathtaking scenery. It is doubtful that the scenery will be a focus of attention for the competitors.

Unlike cycling races such as the Tour de France or the Giro d'Italia, the course is in no way roped off with no marshals controlling traffic flow, and there are no planned rest stops or stages in this event.

In The Race Around Ireland, once the clock starts in Navan, Co Meath, it won't stop until each rider reaches the finish line at the end of the 2,100km circuit.



elements

The 2009 event saw 70 cyclists take part with supporting crew which are the key elements in success or failure.

Six countries were represented with the ladies' and men's Ultra Marathon world No1s both taking part. The men's solo race was won by Derry rider Joe Barr and the ladies solo race was won by Canadian world No1 Caroline van den Bulk.

The fastest ladies' four-person team was the Bikedock Belles and the winning men's four- person team was Team No Prior Experience, which was led by Sky Sports presenter Graham Little.

The route is being redesigned by Joe and Emmet Roche and once again they have included the Ring of Kerry and the Wicklow Mountains, as well as Malin and Mizen Head.

As well as passing through countless towns and villages the race will also pass through a number of major cities and national parks. From rolling farmland and steep mountain climbs to rugged coastlines, the route and the time factor will be the focus of the competitors as they throw themselves wholeheartedly into this showpiece.

Some teams will be extremely competitive in this event and for others it will be an opportunity to take part in an adventure and have an amazing experience to raise funds for the charities they have chosen. The Race begins in Navan, Co Meath, with the solo riders setting off at 8pm on Sunday 12 September and the teams starting at 8pm on Tuesday 14 September.