Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way Cycle Sportif is a salt-breezed cycling experience like no other.
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IThe Wild Atlantic Way is one of the world’s great bucket-list cycling destinations, and now a multi-stage sportif is offering the chance to soak up all the route can offer with everything from accommodation to road marshalling taken care of.
Taking place twice in 2018 (20 April–8 May and 8–26 September), the Wild Atlantic Way Cycle Sportif will see up to 1,000 cyclists take to the road each day to enjoy the ride of a lifetime along Europe’s longest coastal cycling route.
The 2,152km route hugs Ireland’s rugged western coastline, delivering stunning climbs, sweeping descents and awesome coastal scenery around every bend.
It is broken into four blocks, each having four stages, and cyclists can sign up for a single stage (one day), one or more blocks, or even the entire route.
With the organisers looking after all the logistics, from overnight stays, meals and luggage transfers to providing paramedic cover, laundry services, massage therapists and bike mechanics, the sportif riders are free to immerse themselves in an exceptional cycling experience.
Block 1 starts in Kinsale, County Cork, and includes the famous Ring of Kerry in the route which winds its way to the charming town of Dingle.
The iconic Cliffs of Moher and the lunar landscape of The Burren feature in block 2 which also takes in vibrant Galway city.
Connemara’s otherworldly landscapes provide the breathtaking backdrop to block 3. The route includes a stop at the heritage town of Westport and the chance to visit Drumcliffe in County Sligo, famous for being Yeats country and where the Nobel laureate is buried.
With some challenging climbs, the final block through County Donegal in Ireland’s majestic northwest is not for the fainthearted. But the reward for all that uphill pedalling is outstanding views over sublime, unspoilt countryside.
The Wild Atlantic Way Cycle Sportif route ends in Muff on the remote Inishowen Peninsula, where cyclists dismount and are taken to lively Letterkenny for a well-earned celebration.
As well as the camaraderie among cyclists and the excellent support from the organisers, the sportif is notable for the great welcome given to participants in the host towns which provide meal and overnight stops.
Cycling and sightseeing rolled into one exhilarating experience, the Wild Atlantic Way Cycle Sportif is an unmissable event for all cycling enthusiasts.
"The 2,152km route hugs Ireland’s rugged western coastline, delivering stunning climbs, sweeping descents and awesome coastal scenery around every bend."