HUNDREDS of cyclists will flood across the University of Limerick’s Living Bridge for the start of the Get BACk challenge, which will start and finish on the Castletroy campus next week.
Elite cyclist Caroline Ryan, who won a bronze medal at the World Amateur Track Championships in Melbourne in April, was on hand to launch the event on the ornate bridge in UL.
The 32 year old Garda from Kildare, who was Ireland’s first medallist in 110 years at the event in Australia, is hoping to go to London to compete in the Olympics this summer in the road cycling event.
Hundreds will follow in her wake as they take part in two different road routes in the Get BACk cycle this year, the seventh consecutive staging of the charitable event.
Cyclists will have the option of two new 70km and 120km routes for the charity cycle that aims to raise funds for sports and activity programmes for children in areas of social disadvantage and for children with disabilities.
Where the event previously ran from Limerick to Doonbeg, this year budding cyclists - in the company of three time Tour de France winner Greg LeMond - will start and finish at the new UL Sports Pavilion and the various routes will bring cyclists into Clare, Tipperary via Lough Derg and back to Limerick to cross the finish line.
Organisers Focus Consulting are hoping that the change of route will attract the biggest number of participants since the event began in 2006.
“The selection of the new route is designed to provide participants with a new challenge,” said Brian McGann, managing director of Focus Consulting.
“Hopefully with the numbers increasing in cycling we can attract a good turnout on the day,” he added.
The event has a number of partners, including Limerick city and county councils.
Registration for the event is €50 and participants must raise a minimum of €150 each. The event takes place on Saturday, June 30. For more information see www.getbackchallenge.com.