Massive Wild Atlantic Way cycling event to launch this year; hopes to get 1,000 cyclists out each day

A new cycling event is aiming to generate €13m and 50,000 nights for hotels and B&Bs.

The Wild Atlantic Way Cycle Sportif will hold its inaugural event this September. Cyclists will travel 2,000kms from Kinsale in Cork to Muff in Donegal over 17 days with an option to complete one or more stages.

There will be two events every year - one in April and one in September.

Fáilte Ireland is hoping it will encourage people to think of Ireland as a destination for a cycling holiday.

Tour director for the Wild Atlantic Way Cycle Sportif Michael O'Boyle said there was huge demand for an event such as this, in Ireland.

"There is no multi-day sportif in Ireland," he said. "A lot of cyclists would typically go to Spain or Mallorca, and that doesn’t suit everyone."

He said they expected the September event would appeal to the leisure cyclist who may have taken their bike out in March and will have got fit over the summer.

Fáilte Ireland will invest €650,000 between now and 2020 with the aim to grow the event to 1,000 cyclists per day

CEO Paul Kelly said there was a huge cycling community out there. It is hoped the event will eventually generate €13m and 50,000 nights for hotels and B&Bs, and encourage repeat visits

"This is a way to grow tourism in the off season all along the route of the Wild Atlantic Way into many areas where tourism isn’t developed as much," he said.

"We're hoping it becomes a must-do bucket list item for cyclists."

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