Kelly, one of the finest classics riders of all time, was in Cork last night to announce details of the 12th annual Tour de Munster.
About 150 amateur cyclists will embark on a 600km tour around the province’s six counties from Aug 9 to Aug 12.
And for the third year in a row, all funds raised will go to Down Syndrome Ireland’s Munster branches.
Kelly, who won nine monument classics and 193 professional races including the Paris–Nice seven years in a row, said he was delighted to be involved in the charity cycle for a seventh time.
“Over the seven years I have participated in this cycle, I am always amazed by the great sense of camaraderie among the group, with everyone supporting each other, not just on the four days of the cycle, but in the months of training beforehand,” he said.
“It’s such a worthy cause and I’m delighted to be cycling again for Down Syndrome Ireland.”
The Tour de Munster fundraiser, which was developed by Paul Sheridan, has managed to raise over €1m for various charities in the past few years
“This is without doubt a demanding four days of cycling,” he said.
“I would like to thank each cyclist for their commitment to the cause, as they all cover their own costs so that every penny raised goes directly to the charity.
“To have reached over €1m over the past 11 years just proves that the generosity of the Irish people is unbelievable.”
Last year, cyclists set a fundraising record for the event, breaking the €300,000 mark. They hope to match that figure this year.
Pat Clarke, the head of Down Syndrome Ireland, said all the money raised would be used for existing necessary services and in developing new ones.
The event is supported by the Irish Examiner, Red FM, Spin South West, Clare FM, Tipp FM, and WLR FM.
* Tourdemunster.com and follow the tour on Twitter: @tourdemunster.