Entries have just opened for this year’s Giant’s Causeway Coast Sportive in association with Chain Reaction Cycles Flagship Store in Belfast and already cyclists from all over Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and Great Britain have booked onto this much anticipated event on the Irish cycling calendar.
The Giant’s Causeway Coast Sportive is one of the biggest leisure road cycling events in Northern Ireland and with event numbers reaching higher than ever last year resulted in it being sold out.
Event organisers Outdoor Recreation NI, a not for profit organisation charged with promoting outdoor activities for Northern Ireland, run this tourism event in order to showcase the area to visitors and to drive cycle tourism. Last year’s event injected an impressive economic benefit of £221k into the local economy.
The event starts and finishes in Ballycastle and not only provides participants with a great opportunity to cycle along one of the most spectacular stretches of coastline in Europe and part of the 2014 Giro d’Italia route but has also been created with every level of cyclist in mind. The shortest route which is 35 miles is an excellent way for beginners to complete their first sportive whereas the two longer routes of 80 miles and 115 miles are ideal for the more serious cyclists with testing hills of up to 20% gradients.
To capture the area’s most famous attractions, the shortest route, the ‘Causeway Coaster’, takes in Bushmills Distillery, Carrick-a-rede Rope Bridge, the Dark Hedges and the Giant’s Causeway UNESCO World Heritage Site. The most popular 80 mile route brings participants through the mythical Glens of Antrim before following the spectacular Antrim Coast Road with the option of taking on or bypassing the gruelling Torr Head Road. The longest route at 115miles in length incorporates both of these shorter distances and provides the ultimate cycling challenge which is widely regarded as one of the toughest sportive routes in Ireland.
Although the event is not set up as a charity event, organisers have teamed up with Marie Curie to encourage participants to fundraise as an extra motivator when tackling the tough hills on the day.
Entries are now open at www.giantscausewaycoastsportive.com. All previous participants will receive a discount code for £5 off the entry fee which is valid until the end of June. There are also two early bird offers if you enter before the end of March entitling you to a £15 off voucher for Chain Reaction Cycles Flagship Store in Belfast plus you will get entered into a competition for a chance to WIN a £300 voucher for the Delphi Resort, courtesy of Volvic!