The prestigious Tour of Ulster Cycling race, sponsored this year by Victus Energy will be based Banbridge town this year.
One of Ireland’s longest established races, the Victus Tour of Ulster is attracting the top Irish elite riders and teams including Strata3-VeloRevolution, Team Caldwell Cycles & Team Viner Caremark Pactimo, also the UK’s premier teams, Holdsworth Pro Racing, Rhino Velo Race Team & St. Pirian and French team VC Toucy. Facing them will include local riders from Banbridge CC, West Down Wheelers & Dromara CC among many other Ulster riders and teams.
This year’s race see’s the cyclist starting and finishing all three stages on the Newry Road in Banbridge during the 2018 May Bank Holiday weekend.
Stage 1, on Saturday 5th May, departs at 11:45am from Belmont Hotel and follows a 112-mile circuit taking in the beautiful surroundings around Lough Neagh. The 130 riders will be going through Donaghcloney, Magheralin, Moira, Loanends, Antrim, Randalstown, Toome, Ballyronan, Ballinderry, Coagh, Stewartstown, Clonoe, Maghery, The Birches, Portadown, Tandragee, Scarva, Loughbrickland, Rathfriland, Annaclone before finishing back on the Newry Road in Banbridge at approx. 3:45pm
Stage 2 action begins at 9:45am, taking in 98 gruelling miles around the scenic Mourne Mountains. The riders will take in Donaghcloney, Dromore, Annahilt, Ballynahinch, Spa, Clonvaraghan, Moneyslane, Rathfriland, Hilltown, Bryansford, Castlewellan, Leitrim, Finnis, Dromara, Kinallen, Katesbridge and Annaclone before finishing back on the Newry Road in Banbridge at approx. 1:30pm.
Bank Holiday Monday 7th May sees the cyclists rolling out at 9.45 and bringing the action to a close with seven laps of a 10-mile circuit.
The circuit itself starts on the Ballygowan Road and takes left at the crossroads heading for Loughbrickland before making its way back to Banbridge for what is sure to be an exciting finish, once again on the Newry Road. Each lap will pass through Banbridge town centre approximately every 20-25 minutes, with the stage expected to finish at 12:40pm
For full race details, check out www.tourofulster.com for more details on the route and riders or why not follow us on Twitter @TourUlster / Facebook Victus Tour of Ulster for regular updates.