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'An Epic Adventure'

2015 will be the 3rd Annual Étape Connemara.  The event is proving to be a popular challenge for riders from all over the country and even overseas.

The Inaugural ‘Etape Connemara’ took  place on 1st September 2013 with local cycling club, Galway Bay Cycling Club taking top honours, having club members finishing in the top seven,  joint first being Nigel Forde and Darach Behan with  Galway Bay FM’s Donal Mahon, finishing in overall 3rd place.

The real hero of the day was Galway man, Bertie Flaherty, who completed the course in just under 7 hours. One year ago, Bertie, who is originally from the Aran Islands and now living in Galway City, suffered life threatening injuries in a city road accident. The cycling enthusiast, was knocked from his bike and suffered near fatal head and brain injuries. So determined was he in his recovery, that he completed the 150km Connemara cycle yesterday just 12 days short of the anniversary of his accident.

In 2014, the event doubled in size and there was a great mix of experienced and leisure riders who took up the challenge. For the second year running, Nigel Forde took top spot and was closely followed by World Para Cycling Champion Eoin Clifford and Darrach Behan.

More about the event:

‘Etape Connemara’ is a new Croi fundraising initiative, modelled on similar events in Europe, and taking on the immense scenic cycle routes that Connemara has to offer.

Speaking after the inaugural event, organiser Barry McCann said “Hopefully the Étape Connemara can become a very big cycling event here in the West of Ireland. What’s unique about this event, is the fact that it is ‘not a race’, but an individual challenge to secure a personal  time over a challenging cycle route through scenic Connemara. The idea is that cyclists will seek to improve on their times each year. We are indebted to so many volunteers who marshalled the route and provided back-up support, ensuring that all cyclists had an enjoyable and safe morning on the road”.