The Great Rugby Cycle 2021

The inaugural Great Rugby Cycle 2019 covered 1,133 miles in March 2019 from John O’Groats to Land’s End in support of the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation.

The Great Rugby Cycle 2020 due to the COVID19 pandemic had to be postponed for a year. The Great Rugby Cycle 2021 will cover over 1000 miles in an anti-clockwise direction around Ireland in ten days from the 1st of July, taking in some of the finest scenery Ireland has to offer. The peloton will be joined along the route by rugby legends, sporting stars and celebrities from TV and Film to raise awareness and funds for the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation.

THE LONG WAY! 1,133 MILES Around the Island of Ireland

  • Scenic route avoiding the main roads to take in some of the most picturesque scenery the ‘Emerald Isle’ has to offer.
    ▪ Fully supported cycle lead by experienced riders with mechanical assistance.
    ▪ Full nutritional support on the ride.
    ▪ Cycle with and get to know some legends from the world of rugby.

The Itinerary...

Thursday 1st July
Leaving from Stormont Estate , home of the Northern Ireland Executive the peloton will head through the outskirts of Belfast along shore road to Larne, where it will then follow the stunning Antrim coast before climbing over the Glens into Ballycastle. Take in the views along the North coast as the group heads via Bushmills and into Portrush.

Friday 2nd July 
The second day follows the North coast from Portrush via Castlerock and Limavady following the border south though Strabane and the counties of Tyrone and Fermanagh before we cross into the Republic of Ireland at the North end of Lower Lough Erne before heading West to the Coastal town of Bundoran and the destination of our second night’s accommodation.

Saturday 3rd July 
The majestic Atlantic Ocean will be in view for the majority of the ride as the group heads south out of Bundoran towards Sligo and then follows the coastal route until Ballina then we head West passing through Crossmolina before we head south with Lough Conn on our left, with Castlebar only a few miles South.

Wednesday 7th July 
We are on the home straight now. Day seven is a long 110 miles from Cork into Wexford. A relatively flat start to the ride before the 40-mile mark as we cross into County Waterford when a few climbs test the legs. Following the coast we head through Dungarvan before a few more climbs around Killmacthomas. We take the ferry at Passage East and cross over in County Wexford for the final 25 miles into Wexford.

Thursday 8th July 
The peloton now heads North as it follows the coast along the Irish Sea with views across to Wales (weather permitting!). Crossing into County Wicklow just outside Akrow before we head through Wicklow, Greystones, Bray and the Southern districts of Dublin.

Friday 9th July 
The penultimate day is a nice flat 100 miles from Dublin up to the coastal town of Newcastle, home to the world famous, Royal County Down Golf Club. The route passes through Malahide, Balbriggin, Drogheda and Dundalk before crossing the border just before Forkhill. A climb up to Newry before we descend into Warrenpoint and follow the coast in the shadow of the Mourne Mountains before arriving into Newcastle.

Sunday 4th July 
The peloton leaves Castlebar heading South passing Lough Mask and Lough Corrib before stopping off in Galway for some lunch. Hopefully some of the Connacht Rugby Management team can join us for a few miles. Taking in the view of Dunguaire Castle before entering Burren National Park before getting to Limerick after a relatively flat 105 mile in the saddle.

Monday 5th July 
We are not taking the direct route from Limerick to Killarney instead the peloton will head West along the coast, passing through ‘Gin’ but not stopping for a Gin and cycling past the front door of Ballybunion Golf Club but no time to stop for 18 holes on their Championship course. Views to our right of the Atlantic Ocean and Tralee Bay as we cycle into killarney. Well deserved Guinness awaits as we are now half-way through the challenge.

Tuesday 6th July 
Day 6 is the biggest elevation climb. Heading through the stunning Killarney National park we take on Molls Gap or Ceim an Daimh, the mountain pass on the N71 road, which is also of the ring of Kerry route, offering views of the MacGillycuddy’s Reeks. Its an impressive 260 metre elevation gain. One more climb on the Manister North as we move from County Kerry into County Cork then it’s a flat cycle into Cork.

Saturday 10th July 
The ‘ceremonial’ 82 miles on the last day is a beauty. The group will follow the coast out of Newcastle turning right at Clough and follow the the coastal route through Ardglass before catching the ferry at Strangford over to Portaferry. Now on the Ards peninsula we head south and then up the outside through Millisle, Donaghadee and round past Groomsport. One last climb up Craigantlet before the peloton rolls back into Stormont.

My Name’5 Doddie Foundation

Who setup the Charity?

Doddie Weir OBE is one of rugby’s most recognizable personalities. He earned 61 caps for Scotland during a successful playing career, represented the British and Irish Lions on their successful tour to South Africa in 1997, and won championships with his two club sides, Melrose and Newcastle Falcons.

The total cost of the trip is £950 which includes:
– 9 nights accommodation during the challenge with dinner
and breakfast included.
– Full nutritional support during the ride.
– Event branded apparel:
Cycle shorts, Jersey & Jacket. T-shirt and hooded top.
– Guided support for the ride lead by three professional
– Van support to transport all kit and available for a ‘lift’ if
– Full mechanical support and bike checks before and after
each day’s cycle.
Not included:
– Travel to and from Belfast.
– Travel insurance.
– Drinks and any additional food not included in the daily rides.

The total cost of the challenge is £950:

£300 deposit required to secure your place.

Final payment of £650 is due by the 1st June 2021 – you will be invoiced.

The Foundation would like the cycle to raise as much money as possible for the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation and you can join up to the group Just Giving page here

Sizes for the apparel and any dietary requirements by the 1st June 2021.
For any questions are further details please contact:

Stuart Thom
Chief Executive
The Royal Belfast Golf Club
M: 07913 611680



The Inaugural Great Rugby Cycle 2019 covered 1133 miles in

The Long Weekend

Disappointed that the 40th Great North Run was postponed subsequently

The Long Weekend 2020

Disappointed that the 40th Great North Run was postponed subsequently

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