Sean Kelly is coming to the Billy Kerr Sportive

19 July 2014
'Cycling is the new golf here' says Sean Kelly

One of Ireland’s most decorated cyclists, former professional road racer, Sean Kelly has thrown his weight behind a major memorial cycling sportive taking place next month.
The Billy Kerr Cycling Sportive is set to take place on Saturday 16th August, with the all three routes traveling along part of the Giro course around the North Antrim Coast.
Organisers, Ballymena Road Club – Chain Reaction Cycles - are delighted to be welcoming Sean as celebrity guest to the event.
Sean himself will be taking part in the sportive and his presence is sure to be a big draw card for the event.
Speaking this week, as he commentates on the Tour de France, Sean said: "Billy Kerr is a guy I remember well on the Irish and International scene, so when I was offered the chance to be part of this, I was always going to make time for it.
"I knew Billy very well. Fortunately, I didn’t get a chance to race with him very often because I was usually on the continent when he was racing and winning here in Ireland. He was always a name I looked out for in the results.”
Known as one of the finest classic riders of all time, Kelly – with 193 professional wins to his name – described cycling as one of the "major boom sports" in Ireland.
"Cycling is the new golf here,” he said.
"The sport is exploding and numbers are growing at a phenomenal rate”
"You only have to look at the Giro for proof of that. When the organisers openly say that they want to come back to Ireland, it speaks volumes. The support for the event was fantastic and with the Billy Kerr sportive taking in some of the route used during the race, it just adds something extra.
"The number of ‘leisure’ cyclists on our roads now is just great to see, and that is what makes a sportive like this so appealing. With different routes for different abilities, there is something for every level of cyclist. There is always a challenging ride out there.”
"If a younger cyclist tries it out for the first time, gets the bug and joins a club, then it’s worth all the effort.” 
"Apart from anything else, it’s a chance to come together, challenge ourselves and raise money for an extremely worthwhile charity in the Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice.” Added Sean.
 
In memory of the legendary Olympian Billy Kerr, the sportive offers three distances on Saturday 16th August: 67km, 115 km and 150km.
Starting location and sign-on will be at the Ballymena Showground’s Car Park - entrance via Ecos centre - and each route will take in the spectacular and stunning scenery around the North Antrim Coast
We proudly welcome Chain Reaction Cycles as the main sponsor and they will be supplying top quality goodie bags, worth £25 for every rider.
Food and refreshments will also be provided along the route and start / finish location as well as a high quality commemorative medal for all finishers. 

For further details and online registration visit: www.facebook.com/BillyKerrSportive or www.ballymenaroadclub.co.uk or register here