The Giro d’Italia route through Dundalk has been finalised following a visit by Irish organiser Darach McQuaid of Shadetree Sports, along with his Italian colleagues and event organisers.
On Sunday 11 May Giro d’Italia cyclists will sprint into Dundalk. The race for the coveted Red Jersey will pick up pace as the cyclists approach Dundalk and will end at St Nicholas’ Green Church.
This means that spectators will get to see cyclists taking a gentler pace up through Church Street, Clanbrassil Street, the Market Square, Francis Street, Park Street, Dublin Street and onto the Dublin Road.
The Giro logistics crew were welcomed to Dundalk by town council cathaoirleach Eamonn O’Boyle, Town Clerk Frank Pentony, and Cuchulainn Cycling Club’s Pat O’Shaughnessy.
Also putting their best foot forward for the town were Fiona Cunningham of Dundalk BIDS and Dundalk Tourist Officer Sinead Roche.
Pat O’Shaughnessy said that the crew were impressed by what they saw as they took a walk along Clanbrassil Street and pinpointed locations for the sprint finish.
“Dundalk will be the place where thousands can gather at the Market Square,” said Pat, “and see the only sprint in the southern leg of the race as the riders approach Dundalk.
“It will be on the big screen at the Square and people can watch the competitors’ arrival through the town centre.
“It’s going to be an amazing sight given the speed of the sprint, in contrast to the much slower pace they’ll cycle at through the remainder of the town route.
Cathaoirleach Eamonn O’Boyle said Dundalk is in the enviable position of being the only town centre to feature prominently on the Irish route. Everyone involved in Giro Dundalk, including myself, is delighted that the cyclists will now travel the full length of the town, highlighting Dundalk on a global platform.”
The Giro d’Italia route for Sunday 11 May is as follows: Starts in Armagh via Keady, over Keady mountain, Newtownhamilton, Lislea, Longfield Road, and into Louth on the Carrickasticken Road, on its journey past Forkhill, into Kilcurry and joining the R177 Armagh Road, onto Lisdoo and into Dundalk town centre.
When it leaves Dundalk, it travels on the R132 (old Dublin Road) via Castlebellingham, Dunleer and Drogheda to Dublin.
Dundalk Chamber of Commerce is encouraging businesses in the town to get into the spirit of the Giro d’Italia by doing any of the following:
1. Put up flags on your business, Irish to the left or above all others.
2. Put up hanging baskets and pots- think PINK the official colour of the Giro.
3. Email in your special offers to firstname.lastname@example.org and Dundalk Chamber will upload them on to the site and their social media pages.
“This is an excellent business opportunity for you and the town,” a chamber spokesperson said. “We need to give tourists a reason to base in Dundalk rather than Belfast or Dublin.”