Inner Ring 200

Date: Saturday 24th June, 2017, Start 8.00 am

Entries open: 24th May, 2017, Limited to 25 places max – No Exceptions !

Closing Date: Friday 16th June, unless previously full

Difficulty/Climbing (from * to *****)   *****

Organiser: John McElligott

E-Mail: johngmcelligott at gmail dot com

Address: Oakfield Lodge, Killowen, Kenmare, Co. Kerry

Entry fees:

€5 for CI/IVCA members

€10 non CI/IVCA members, to include 1-day Licence

€5 for optional ACP and/or Audax Ireland medal if required

Payment Options: PayPal only please, to:

The route is available as a Permanent any time of the year at a cost of €5, payable to Audax Ireland by PayPal.

Start/Finish: start and finish have been changed and the event will now begin and end at the car park on Railway Road in Kenmare (across from Catholic Church next to town square). There are ladies and gents toilets in the car park.

Please do not mount your bikes on the roof as there are barriers entering and leaving the car park.

There are a lot of accommodation, food and drink options in Kenmare and it is well worth staying in the area.

Download Standard Entry Form: New Entry Forms

Facilities: The event is unsupported and riders should prepare accordingly in terms of sustenance, hydration and on the road repairs. There are public toilets available at start.

Route Map:

Route Description:

A challenging 200km with a significant amount of climbing and descending on some of the quietest and most spectacular roads that Kerry has to offer.

The ride begins in Kenmare before heading South of the Kenmare suspension bridge in the direction of the Caha Pass and Bantry Bay. Very quickly you come off the main road and take narrow twisty back roads for the first 19km. At this point riders rejoin the N71 for a 3.5km ascent to the tunnels that separate Kerry from Cork. The tunnels are unlit and riders would be well advised to have lights. A stunning 8km sweeping descent follows into Glengariff. From here you skirt around Bantry Bay before commencing the 8km climb of the Borlin Valley. In all of Ireland this is my favourite climb. The descent is twisty and technical in a narrow pothole strewn road populated by sheep. At the bottom riders will head back toward Kenmare using narrow sparsely used roads.

Upon reaching Kenmare you will have covered 79km and now would be a good time to take in some supplies. There are numerous coffee shops and cafés in Kenmare that cater for cyclists. I would particularly recommend:

La Maison Gourmet, Jam or Purple Heather, all on Henry Street

Poffs – off Henry Street

Rose Garden – Sneem road after Brook Lane Hotel.

On leaving Kenmare you head out the Sneem Road before reaching the climb at the crossroads to Rossacousane. The climb is 5k @ 4.5%. At the top turn right heading toward Molls Gap before heading down to the Black Valley before taking the climb up to Lough Brin where the descent is steep, narrow and full of sheep. Take extreme care.

From here there are more back roads before taking on the wall that is Ballaghbeama – a fierce 1km at 11% with no let up. Before getting to it there is a bit of a drag for several kms but we don’t count that as climbing.

Thankfully the descent is mostly downhill to Glencar where you can stock up at the pub called the Climbers Inn which is appropriate.

From there you head around Caragh Lake for a full loop of the lake. Then the ride takes you around the base of Carrauntouhil before tackling the Gap of Dunloe. While there are only two climbs left in the final 30km one of them in Dunloe is short but brutally steep (0.5km @ 15%).

Going through Dunloe and onto Black Valley be extra careful with hikers and especially horses and carts. The guys driving the horse carts will give no quarter to you and I have never known them to stop or slow down for a cyclist climbing or descending.

All that is left from the top is an undulating ride through the Black Valley before taking in the last climb of the day (which you descended earlier). At the top by Molls Gap you have a gentle 9km descent into Kenmare.

The route is brutally tough, but is absolutely stunning and very rewarding. Makes for a great challenge for climbers and those that love roads that are off the beaten track with very little in the way of car traffic.

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