And the journey begins… 15th annual 600 km Tour de Munster charity cycle underway in aid of Down Syndrome Ireland

Cycling legend Sean Kelly today led over 100 amateur cyclists from City Hall in Waterford on the four day, 600 km Tour de Munster charity cycle around the six counties of Munster, culminating in Cork City on Sunday 9th August. The Tour de Munster cycle is now in its 15th year, with funds raised going to Down Syndrome Ireland (Munster branches) for the sixth year in a row.

Sean Kelly is an avid supporter of Tour de Munster and will once again cycle with the group for the full four days of the Tour, covering an average of 150 km per day.

Joining the supporters who were there to see the cyclists off on the Tour, were Pat Clarke, Chief Executive of Down Syndrome Ireland (DSI) and Tony Scott, Sales Director of Nightline, the main sponsors of the event, who met the cyclists and their families and wished them all well on what will no doubt be a demanding journey.

Pat Clarke, who spoke at the send off said “It’s fantastic to be here in Waterford this morning to see all the cyclists as they head off on their journey. Down Syndrome Ireland is delighted to once again be the beneficiary of Tour de Munster. Seeing all the families and friends of DSI here today reminds us all why we need to keep fundraising for the fantastic and inspirational people involved in all our Munster branches. It’s vital that the money raised through the cycle goes a long way towards ensuring all our members get the best possible support!”

Tour Organiser Paul Sheridan also said a few words: “There is no doubt that this cycle is a very demanding challenge and I am so grateful to all those who have committed to the cycle, especially as our cyclists cover all their own costs. The commitment from the cyclists is not just for four days, but for the weeks and months beforehand, so seeing friendly faces and receiving warm welcomes from all corners of the province make the sacrifice so worthwhile. Over the last five years, the Tour has raised a staggering €1.35 million for DSI, and it is hoped that funds raised through this year’s cycle will break the €2 million mark raised since Tour de Munster’s inception.”

Paul continued “For many of the courageous cyclists, this will be a return journey as they have committed to support the Tour year after year, while for some this will be their first Tour de Munster. Having new participants each year brings new life to the cycle and helps spur in the cyclists to complete their spirited journey. They are united in their common goal of finishing the Tour and raising as much money as possible through individual sponsorships, as well as the bucket collections which will take place over all stages of the Tour de Munster.”

The Irish Examiner, Clare FM, Tipp FM, Red FM and WLR FM are the Official Media Partners of Tour de Munster 2015.

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