Foyle International Cycle welcomes bumper entry

The Foyle 3-Day International Cycle Race hosted by Foyle CC will see the very best cyclists in Ireland compete on the roads of the North West from this Friday August 3rd to Sunday August 5th.

This year’s race will see top riders and Teams from all over Ireland, GB, and beyond racing over three road stages for final overall glory and a host of other categories.

The race route will take riders from Derry into the magnificent scenery of the Sperrins, the Inishowen Peninsula and County Tyrone.

Over the course of the three stages riders will cover a grueling 230miles/368km and some of the fiercest climbs including the legendary Mamore Gap.

Ronan McLaughlin, who hopes to compete is also part of the race organisation, HE told Oisin Kelly it's an exciting time for the Foyle club...

Stage details:

Stage 1. Friday evening’s stage is an undulating 88kms with 841meters of climbing. Starting at the Ebrington Square, this stage takes riders through Newbuildings, Donemana, the outskirts of Claudy, Park, Feeny, Dungiven, and onto the main challenge of the stage, the Ballyhadedin Rd climb. The race proceeds onto the Carnamuff Rd before a rapid descent towards the main A2 taking a left turn heading towards the finish outisd the EHA Group building at Campsie Industrial Estate where the first stage winner and overall leaders of the race will be decided.
Stage 2. Saturday mornings stage is 141.1kms with 1716 meters of climbing. Again the Foyle Arena in Derry is the starting point for this tough hard stage, which will finish back in the scenic Culmore Point on the outskirts of the City.
The 151kms of tough roads will take in some famous climbs including the iconic Mamore Gap and this may well decide the final overall victor. The route will take the riders out of Derry across into Donegal through Muff and on towards Moville. The riders will then head for the villages of Gleneely and Culdaff, Malin Town before tackling the second climb, Black Mountain a Cat 1 at 60.9kms. The race then descends to Malin head and further down to the Five Finger Strand, the riders wont have time to take in the stunning views as they speed on towards Carndonagh, Ballyliffin, Clonmany and the famous jaw dropping incline of Mamore Gap. “The Gap” a Cat 1 climb of 1.7km at 104.9 kms into the stage could provide a launchpad for any eventual stage winner, but with tough roads taking the riders down into Buncrana and onto the last climb of the day a Cat 2 up Grainne’s Gap, any breakaway riders will need to be on form to stay away. After Grainne’s Gap there is a very sharp descent with a hidden junction the riders must take a right turn at to descend down to Burnfoot and a quick left towards Muff and back across the border onto a flat final 3km to the finish at Culmore Point.

Stage 3. Sundays 140km stage with 1580 metres of climbing will be no walk in the park either. The Neutralised roll out from Foyle Arena will take the riders through the city centre, before crossing the Foyle Bridge for the official start. The route heads first for Greysteel, Eglinton, Tamnaherin Rd, Burntollet Bridge and into the first climb, Ballyartan Rd a Cat 2 at 36.1 into the stage. The riders then descend to Donemana before tackling a Cat 3 climb at 47.6km, on then to Plumbridge and up the Category 1 “TV mast” climb at 70kms. A sharp descent dropping down into Strabane Town, leads the riders onto a short loop including Victoria bridge, Clady and back into Strabane. The route then takes the riders up to Artigarvan, Donemana again and back towards Derry on the Trench Road. The riders will then tackle 3/4 of next years Irish National Championships circuit before coming into the short but steep kick to the finish line on Church Brae. With some last minute KOM points available on the Cat 3 climb to the finish line, could the KOH jersey or even the overall win be won or lost in the final sprint for the line?