Following an intense period of racing the Irish Para-cyclists are in a key training phase ahead of their ultimate goal, the Rio Paralympics. The squad will ride An Post Tour de Burren on June 18th as part of their preparations. An Post Tour de Burren is one of five An Post Cycle Series events and it happens during National Bike Week (June 11th-19th). Event ambassadors, the Irish Para-cycling squad will hit the road with over 2,000 An Post Tour de Burren cyclists as part of their preparation for the Paralympic Games.
With the final selection for the Paralympic Games due to take place over the next couple of weeks, the competition for a place on the Paralympic Team is hot. Ireland has qualified four male bikes and two female bikes for the Games in Rio and current race results shows that Ireland will be going to Rio as strong contenders for medals in several events.
There is plenty of opportunity to cycle with one of the riders. On the Para-cycling squad the riders span a range of categories, which means there should be a member of the squad participating in each of the distances, the 10km family loop, The Burren circuit (62km), the Heart of the Burren (110km) and the Burnin Burren (160km).
Cycling Ireland National Performance Coach Neill Delahaye is happy with their preparations so far saying; “The National Para-cycling Squad have a big year this year, with our main goal of the Rio Games now less than 100 days away. The final Paralympic Team has not yet been selected but the riders in contention for Rio are currently in a key preparation training phase, having just completed two very successful competitions at the UCI World Cups in South Africa and Belgium.
The An Post Tour de Burren offers them a great opportunity to get in some challenging training miles in a fun and social atmosphere. We have a busy programme this year, with plenty of intense competition, so being part of such a well organised event in the spectacular, unique terrain of the Burren makes a nice change and gives us a great environment to mix with the other participants and build our fitness while having some fun too!”
Eve McCrystal, pilot for the women’s tandem, has a few tips for those of you who might be new to sportive riding:
“Make sure you hydrate and eat on the spin. If the weather is hot like it has been you will need to keep the water in, and wear sun screen. What I recommend is to stop for fuel and drink at every stop that you see on the route. There’s no harm to stop, refuel and go on again at your own pace. Also, make sure you have spare tubes and the equipment necessary for changing the tyre. You don’t want to be stuck with a puncture.”
If you are attending the An Post Tour de Burren on the 18th June in Clare, make sure you keep an eye out for our Para-cycling riders and say hello.
An Post Tour de Burren was voted Cycling Ireland Leisure Event of the Year in 2014, and it won the European Sports Tourism Award in 2015. Find out more about the An Post Cycle Series HERE.