THREE time Tour de France winner Greg LeMond has seen a lot of scenery over the course of his glittering career but he professed himself â€œfascinatedâ€ by the scenery around Lough Derg as he took part in his fifth Get BACk Challenge cycle at the weekend.
Over 170 cyclists braved the poor conditions on Saturday to take part in the seventh staging of the event and grabbed the chance to cycle with the three time world champion, a legend of the sport.
The event raised over â‚¬50,000 for the Local Sports Partnerships in Limerick city and county and will help children living in socially disadvantaged areas and those with disabilities.
Brian McGann, managing director of Focus Consulting who organise the event, said the event went off without a hitch.
â€œIt was a success. This year was noticeable that the standard of cycling had improved, the amount of people cycling has increased and the standard of bikes, cyclists and fitness levels has really increased,â€ he explained after completing the cycle himself.
The challenge was dramatically different this year with the cycle starting and finishing in the luxurious surrounds of the Pavilion in the University of Limerick, as opposed to ending in Doonbeg.
Participants were given the option of cycling two routes - 70km and 120km - from UL out to Clare and around Lough Derg and then returning to the campus.
â€œFor that reason our numbers were up. The facilities in the new Pavilion are simply stunning. We were well supported, Limerick businesses were fantastic again in coming out to help us,â€ added Mr McGann.
The Focus Consulting boss said he sees a real future for the event in Limerick in the coming years.
â€œGreg LeMond was fascinated with the whole route, he thought it was fantastic. That was a real endorsement and we are definitely going to do the same route again next year.â€
â€œI am very confident that we have something that can be Limerick focused and will grow next year,â€ he added.