Ireland's biggest race returns to Gorey
FOR THE 45th consecutive year, Mr. Cycling, Sam D'Arcy, will bring Ireland's biggest race, the An Post Gorey 3-Day, to North Wexford. What began from humble beginnings, in 1967, has gone on to be one of the premier cycle races in the country.
In fact, only the Rás Tailteann is older, but the Rás is a smaller race. The excitement, the flash of colour, the chance to see top-class cycling close up, is something the people of the Gorey area have enjoyed every Easter for, as referred to above, 45 years.
Sam, who has been involved in cycling all his life, didn't just organise this fantastic race and sit on his laurels. Instead he has worked tirelessly, as a cyclist himself, as a coach and as an official to promote and encourage cycling as a sport and a pastime in the country.
Sam started with the Irish Road Club, in Dublin, and he continues to be involved with that club to this day. He carried on his work in the North Wexford/South Wicklow area when he moved to live in Gorey in 2000. He was always a regular visitor to the town as his late mother, Margaret, and wife, Betty, both grew up there.
When he came to the town, cycling was at a low ebb with hardly anybody actively enjoying the pastime and only a few hardy souls competing in races.
He, along with people such as Michael Considine, was one of the founding members of the South East Road Club, which services the whole region, and he didn't stop there as he then helped to start Gorey's own Slipstream club. Both these clubs continue to go from strength to strength and they will compete in the 3-Day race.
The organising committee of the An Post Gorey 3-Day cycle race, with Sam as race director, invite everybody, young and old, to come out over the Easter weekend and enjoy the colour, spectacle, speed, bike handling and non-stop thrills of top-class racing. As this is the 45th running of the event, we will endeavour to make the race as enjoyable as we can for everyone.
The committee is deeply appreciative of the sponsorship of An Post, James Tomkins, Suzuki Dealership, Gorey, Wexford County Council, Gorey Town Council and the local traders, and very grateful for the help and co-operation it receives from the Gardaí, the Red Cross, the local helpers and the people of Gorey, without whose goodwill the event could not happen.
Please note the race route every day and try to avoid it if possible. If you intend making a journey which crosses the race route over the Easter weekend, expect delays. Also, would the owners of animals be mindful not to let them stray out, as they are a great source of danger.
Stage 1: The race commences on Easter Saturday with sign-on from 9.15 a.m. in St. Kevin's Community Hall in Blessington. The race then starts outside St. Kevin's Hall, at 12 noon. It proceeds on through Baltinglass, Hacketstown, Tinahely, Carnew, Camolin and finishes on the Ballycanew Road in Gorey, at the Amber Springs Hotel.
Stage 2: On Easter Sunday morning there is a 6.4 km. individual time trial which commences at 9a.m., 6.4 km. out on the Enniscorthy Road, and finishes at the 50k speed limit sign just outside the town.
Stage 3: On Easter Sunday afternoon there is a massed start race, which begins at 2.30 p.m. at the Monument and is raced over four laps of the Craanford, Camolin, Gorey circuit, finishing again on the Enniscorthy Road at the 50k speed limit sign.
Stage 4: The final stage starts on Gorey's Main Street on Easter Monday at 12 noon. It travels through Carnew, Shillelagh, Tullow, Rathvilly, Baltinglass and finishes five kilometres on the Dublin side of Blessington.
The prize presentation ceremony follows the final stage on Easter Monday in St. Mark's G.A.A. club, Tallaght.