Cyclists gear up for the 20th annual Tour de Munster charity cycle

Cyclists gear up for the 20th annual Tour de Munster charity cycle
Pictured ahead of this year's tour are Nichola Power and her daughters Caoimhe (front), Cliona (right) and Cara along with Paul Sheridan, Founder and Tour Organiser. Picture: Brian Lougheed

Cyclists participating in the 20th annual Tour de Munster charity cycle are putting the finishing touches to their preparations as they get set to take to the roads of Munster on August 6.

Celebrating 20 years this August, the Tour will see cyclists travel 600km over four days across the six counties of Munster in order to raise vital funds and awareness for Munster’s branches of Down Syndrome Ireland (DSI), as well as individual beneficiaries.

The Munster branches of Down Syndrome Ireland play a vital role in the lives of children and adults with Down syndrome in Munster, and funds are urgently required in order for the branches to continue providing their vital services. 

As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Munster branches of Down Syndrome Ireland have seen the majority of their vital fundraising events cancelled over the past number of months, and are now facing increased costs as they prepare to re-open their doors.

Orla Bane meets Kath O'Regan, Tina Hayes and Afraic O'Riordan, David Baily, Paul Sheridan , Mike Forde and Sean O'Riordan who are taking part in the 20th Tour De Munster charity cycle race in aid of Down Syndrome starting on August 6th after a training spin when they visited Field of Dreams facility at Down Syndrome Cork. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Orla Bane meets Kath O'Regan, Tina Hayes and Afraic O'Riordan, David Baily, Paul Sheridan , Mike Forde and Sean O'Riordan who are taking part in the 20th Tour De Munster charity cycle race in aid of Down Syndrome starting on August 6th after a training spin when they visited Field of Dreams facility at Down Syndrome Cork. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

Since becoming the main beneficiary of the Tour in 2010, over €2.8 million has been raised for the Munster branches of Down Syndrome Ireland, and participants are once again hoping to raise a significant amount this year.

Speaking ahead of the cycle, Paul Sheridan, founder of Tour de Munster said participants are looking forward to the annual cycle. 

"We are very much looking forward to taking to the road on August 6. 

"While preparations for the Tour have been different from previous years, the end goal has never been more important. 

"Over the past 10 years, we have met so many wonderful children and adults with Down syndrome and we have also met their families who have joined us on the Tour," he said. 

"We see how vital the services are that are provided by the Munster branches of Down Syndrome Ireland and we are driven to do as much as we can to ensure these continue. 

Cyclists Patsy Cashman, Billy Barry, Mike Forde meet Adam O'Keeffe taking part in the 20th Tour De Munster charity cycle race in aid of Down Syndrome starting on August 6th after a training spin when they visited Field of Dreams facility at Down Syndrome Cork. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Cyclists Patsy Cashman, Billy Barry, Mike Forde meet Adam O'Keeffe taking part in the 20th Tour De Munster charity cycle race in aid of Down Syndrome starting on August 6th after a training spin when they visited Field of Dreams facility at Down Syndrome Cork. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

"A huge amount of hard work and dedication has been put in by the participants in the run-up to this year’s Tour and we look forward to what will be a challenging, yet safe Tour in order to raise much-needed funds and awareness," Mr Sheridan added. 

Cycling legend Seán Kelly, a huge supporter of the Tour de Munster for the past 14 years, will also take to the road on August 6.

The Tour will start from Cork City Hall on Thursday morning, August 6 and will make its way through Waterford, Tipperary, Limerick, Clare and Kerry, before returning to Cork on Sunday, August 9 when the cyclists will tackle the iconic and demanding St Patrick’s Hill to complete the Tour. 

To support the Tour de Munster and donate visit www.tourdemunster.com.

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