Biesty's rider Steven McAllister in action at Mullingar
Biesty's rider Steven McAllister in action at Mullingar

Earlier this year Ballymoney geared up to welcome world elite cyclists to its area on 10th May.

It was a real team effort and Council held an event on Wednesday evening to celebrate the success of the event and to acknowledge the contribution made by its key partners - Ballymoney Cycling Club, Dunloy Cycling Club, Sheans Horse Farm & Heritage Centre, Ballybogey Community Association, Biesty’s Centa., Ballymoney Rugby FC, Ballymoney Chamber of Commerce, local schools, Roads Service and PSNI.

At the event, hosted by Mayor, Alderman Bill Kennedy, representatives from the groups received a visual presentation on the preparations for the event, the dressing of the route, activities and events by its partners, race day video and certificates were presented.

Addressing the gathering Mayor Kennedy said: “The giro route through our town and borough was decked out in pink, the official race colour. We had window boxes and window displays, family fun and Italian themed menus to whet the appetite.

“The GIRO created a lot of buzz and we had enthusiastic support from our partner organizations, great community engagement along the route as well as a huge number of visitors. I record appreciation to the Tourist Board who provided imaginative marketing materials to dress the route.”

Concluding the Mayor commented: “The Giro provided a brilliant opportunity to showcase this beautiful part of North Antrim and the breathtaking causeway coastal route.

“775 million people from 165 countries, watched. The Tourist Board estimate £10M of positive media coverage, 140,000 visitors and £2.5m of economic activity.

“With the positive coverage received we hope that this beautiful part of our province will be on everyone’s destination list this year.

“We also look forward to the legacy created by the visit of the world’s elite cyclists”