The inaugural Sky Ride Etape Hibernia took place during August and attracted 1800 cyclists from all over Ireland and the UK, as well as from throughout Europe and USA. Thousands of spectators turned out to cheer on participants including cycling legend Sean Kelly, British Olympic gold medallist Denise Lewis and Sky News presenter Dermot Murnaghan.
The 82-mile cycle will once again commence and finish in Ennis as well as take in some of West of Ireland’s most scenic locations, including the rugged Atlantic coastline and the world famous Burren Region.
Sky, the UK and Ireland’s leading entertainment company behind the Sky Ride series of events, is the title sponsor of The Sky Ride Etape Hibernia. The event is being organised by IMG, in partnership with Sky, Fáilte Ireland, Shannon Development and Clare County Council.
Jo Dytch, Project Manager, IMG said: “We are delighted with the success of the inaugural event. IMG is especially grateful for the cooperation and support of local residents and businesses along the route of the cycle for contributing to the overall success of the event in August.”
“Next year we hope to attract everyone from novice cyclists up for a challenge to keen club riders eager to cycle on traffic free roads. Registration is now open on the event website and we would encourage people to sign up as soon as possible for what is already becoming an established fixture on the Irish sporting calendar.”
Mark Deering, Director Sky Ireland said, “We are proud to be the main sponsor once again for the Sky Ride Etape Hibernia. Our Sky Ride initiatives last year encouraged over 200,000 people to get on their bikes. We hope, through events and sponsorships such as this, that 2011 will provide more opportunities and inspiration for people to get cycling.”
Speaking about today’s announcement, Fáilte Ireland’s Head of Business and Sports Tourism, Keith McCormack said: “As a national tourism authority, we are glad to be back ‘in the saddle’ for the 2011 Sky Ride Etape Hibernia following the success of this year’s event. This event is a perfect fit for Fáilte Ireland’s sports strategy and our commitment to promoting all of Ireland’s regions as tourism destinations and allows us to harness the growing popularity of cycling to the natural charms and allure of County Clare and the Mid west.”
Mr. McCormack continued: “With 34% of event-goers travelling from overseas, the event not only brings in visitors and revenue to the area but provides an excellent opportunity to showcase the Shannon region as both a cycling destination in particular and a tourism ‘must see’ in general”, Ms. Dytch added.
John King, Assistant Chief Executive, Shannon Development commented: “Shannon Development is delighted with the success of the inaugural Sky Ride Etape Hibernia event which exceeded our expectations and showcased some of the most scenic parts of the County and its coastline to the worlds cycling enthusiasts and media. The positive feedback from participants and spectators was fantastic. The fact that over one third of participants were from overseas for the inaugural event is extremely encouraging, and we will be working to grow this number for next year’s event.”
“This event shows what real partnership can achieve and we would like to thank IMG and our partners – Clare County Council, Fáilte Ireland and the Shannon Region Conference and Sports Bureau, and all of the people and organisations involved in making the event a major success. We look forward to their continued support for next year’s event,” Mr. King added.
Registration is now open for the Sky Ride Etape Hibernia. For more details visit www.etapehibernia.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Notes To Editor:
- TV / Radio interviewees and event images are available on request. Please contact Mark Dunphy of Dunphy Public Relations on 086-8534900 or email@example.com
- Why Étape Hibernia? 'Étape' is the name for a stage of a cycle race. Hibernia is the Classical Latin name for the island of Ireland
- For more information about Sky Ride visit: www.goskyride.com. For more information on IMG mass participation events visit: www.challengerworld.com
- For more information about Team Sky visit: www.teamsky.com
- About Challenger World: Challenger World owns and delivers a wide range of events across triathlon, running, cycling and intelligent sport categories, attracting over 40,000 participants annually in the UK. More information is available at www.imgevents.co.uk
- More information about Sky Ride can be found at www.goskyride.com
- Challenger World represents five events in the UK and 24 events globally.
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