Tenth Tour de Munster is Toughest Yet!

Tenth Tour de Munster is Toughest Yet!

This morning, Thursday 12th, 120 amateur cyclists set off from Cork City Hall with cycling legend Sean Kelly for a 600km charity cycle in aid of Down Syndrome Ireland, Munster Branches. This year marks the tenth year of the annual cycle and promises to be the toughest Tour de Munster yet.  The route through the six counties of Munster has changed this year and includes a stint up the steep mount of Patrick’s Hill in Cork on the final day, testing the skill, ability and endurance of the cyclists to the maximum. It is hoped that their efforts will reward Down Syndrome Ireland with €100,000 collected by each of the individual cyclists and support from the public, who are encouraged to come and greet the cyclists, as they travel through Munster over the coming days. All cyclists cover their own costs so that every penny raised goes directly to the charity.

This is Sean Kelly’s fifth year cycling with the Tour de Munster and he will cycle the four days of the tour with the group. His presence lends a notable dimension to the tour which is known for its camaraderie, team effort and as being a challenge worth doing. Michael O’Gorman, of DSI Cork was the driving force in having Down Syndrome Ireland, Munster Branches, as the chosen charity for the tenth year of the tour. He will also undertake the challenging cycle, spurred on by his seven year old son, David, who has Down syndrome. A group of supporters and well wishers including the new Lord Mayor Cllr. Michael O’ Connell and supporters from Down Syndrome Ireland saw off the cyclists. The cyclists will return to Cork on Sunday evening where they will be welcomed by supporters at the Silver Springs Hotel at 5: 30pm.

Paul Sheridan, Tour Organiser, developed the idea of the Tour de Munster. He has overseen 1,000 cyclists over the past ten years, dealing with a plethora of logistics and raising over half a million Euros for different charities. He says “As we cycle around the roads of Munster we hope the Tour will help put people with Down Syndrome on the map for a better future.DSI at both National and local level has embraced the Tour with tremendous energy and volunteers will be out in their droves to collect from the generous people of Munster over the four days. Their hope is our inspiration and we hope it will also inspire people to be as generous possible for this extremely worthy cause”

President of Down Syndrome Ireland Clare Leonard wished the cyclists luck on their epic journey saying “Our slogan, Share the Journey, is particularly apt for this charity cycle and I would like to thank Tour de Munster for sharing their journey with Down Syndrome Ireland. As you cycle through the tough terrain in all sorts of weather conditions I want you to know that your efforts are greatly appreciated by us at Down Syndrome Ireland. With each mile you are making a difference to the lives of people with Down Syndrome by providing them with services which help them to have a more independent life and to reach their goals”

The Irish Examiner, Red FM and Spin South West are the Official Media Partners of Tour de Munster 2010. Information on the tour is available on www.tourdemunster.com or or you can follow the Tour on twitter @tourdemunster.  For further information on Down syndrome Ireland please see www.downsyndromeireland.com

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