Spectacular Giant's Causeway Sportive promises stiff test...

...and a chance to ride with a GT stage-winner

by Mark Appleton   August 8, 2011  

Giant s Causeway sportive.JPG

It promises to be one of the most spectacular sportives in the British Isles and participants in the inaugural Giant’s Causeway Coast Sportive should also have the  chance to ride alongside a Grand Tour stage winner.

The County Antrim, Northern Ireland event wil take place on September 17 and is due to feature Team RadioShack’s Philip Deignan who hails from over the border in Donegal. The Irishman won Stage 18 of the 2009 Vuelta and finished 9th overall in the event.

He endured a frustrating 2010 as a series of viral infections prevented him from racing at the highest level. Now back to fitness, riders who may not be able to keep up with him on the day will have a chance to see him give a talk and present a slide show at a pre-event evening at Ballycastle Golf Club, County Antrim on September 16.

The Letterkenny man was the first Irishman to win a stage in a Grand Tour since Stephen Roche’s last-stage success at the Tour de France in 1992.

The sportive itself will offer the choice of three routes (57km; 126km; 182km). The short route is great for those looking for a leisurely day out, whilst the medium and long routes include some serious climbs with the  longest route being suitable only for those with a high level of fitness.

Entry for the event is £35, which entitles participants to a free Buff along with the usual sportive facilities of electronic timing, feed stations, marshals, event photographer, medics etc.

In the spirit of Irish hospitality and conviviality there will be a post-ride social event at the Ballycastle Golf club where in addition to swapping war stories riders will be able to try their luck in a raffle