Cycling Legend Sean Kelly joins 9th Annual Tour de Munster on their 600km Charity Cycle for the Chernobyl Children’s Project International

Cycling Legend Sean Kelly joins 9th Annual Tour de Munster on their 600km Charity Cycle for the Chernobyl Children's Project International

Today cycling legend Sean Kelly led 80 amateur cyclists from the City Hall in Cork on a 600km Charity Cycle around the six counties of Munster in four days. The cycle known as the Tour de Munster is now in its 9th year. This year all proceeds raised will go toward the Chernobyl Children’s Project International for the “Chernobyl Heart Appeal” which seeks to save the lives of children born with heart defects as a result of the Chernobyl disaster. 

Sean Kelly has been an avid supporter of the Tour de Munster for the past three years. He will cycle with the group for the four days of the tour, an average of 150 km per day. The cyclists are delighted that infamous Sports commentator Phil Liggett will also be joining them for the Saturday and Sunday stages of the tour as he warms up as commentator for next week’s Tour of Ireland.

Supporters joining the gathered crowd to wish the cyclists off on the tour included Miriam Forde, Fundraising and Communications Manager with the CCPI team and also Deputy Lord Mayor Cllr. Laura McGonigle

There are huge logistics involved in organising a tour like this but having nine years of experience has stood to Tour Organiser Paul Sheridan. He says

“Endurance cycling is a tough sport and you need to have a goal in mind for when times get tough, for when you’re feeling the strain going up the Connor Pass or when the rain is lashing down.  Our goal is to save as many of the children born with Chernobyl Heart as we can and our suffering is nothing compared to what these children and their families go through. A simple operation to correct the heart defect costs €1,000 so we aim to save as many lives as we can.”

Many of the courageous cyclists have cycled the Tour de Munster with Paul year after year. Some cyclists are also involved in triathlons, marathons and even undertake cycling holidays while abroad, navigating tricky passes in the mountains of France and Italy. However, for some, this is their first Tour de Munster and completing this journey will be a spirited achievement. The cyclists involved come from all parts of Ireland as well as Belgium, France and even South Africa.  They have been training for months and all are united in the common goal of finishing the tour and raising as much money through individual sponsorships and also through the bucket collections which will take place over all stages of the Tour de Munster. It is worth nothing that each cyclist covers their own expenses so that all money raised goes directly toward the Chernobyl Heart Appeal.

The Irish Examiner, Red FM and Spin South West who are the Official Media Partners of Tour de Munster 2009, will cover up to date information running up to and during the event.  Information is also available on www.tourdemunster.com or on the blog http://tourdemunster.wordpress.com/

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