Tara Fay and Saoirse O'Regan from Navan.

Over 3,000 take to their bikes for 'Tour de County'

Over 3,000 cyclists of all ages, abilities and nationalities donned their cycling shorts and helmets to take part in the fourth An Post Meath Heritage Cycle Tour on Sunday. There was a wonderful atmosphere in grounds of Trim Castle for the event and all four cycling routes began and ended in the town. Cyclists had the option of taking part in the 11km family spin, the 50km Tara Loop, the 100km Royal Tour and the 160km Royal Challenge. Feedback from everyone who participated was very positive - from the very young who participated in the 11km family event to the seasoned campaigner on the 160km route. Cyclists suggested that the tour was a huge success, with most saying the event was well marshalled and signposted, well organised with routes challenging but very enjoyable. A number of overseas visitors took part in the longer distances, with some even comparing the excellent organisation to that of the Tour de France! A special mention goes to the 20 male Philipino nurses from the Mater Hospital who participated in the 50km and 100km routes. Event organiser Mary Murphy said the event would not have been possible without the hard work of over 350 volunteers who marshalled junctions, gave directions, provided refreshments and most of all gave much needed encouragement to cyclists along the route. She added that particular praise must go to the community areas that opened up their facilities to cater for the cyclists: Ryan's of Gormanlough; Maguire's Café, Hill of Tara; Jack Quinn's, Scurlogstown; Bohermeen Community Centre; Battle of the Boyne Heritage site and Drumconrath Community Centre. Ms Murphy expressed particular thanks to An Post, the Irish Sports Council, the Gardai, Civil Defence, Trim Town Council, Meath County Council, Meath Tourism, OPW, Trim Castle Hotel, Vittel, Dunnes Stores, Club representatives, Cycling Ireland, Cycleways, Artisan stall holders, Aura Centre, Physios, the Meath Heritage Cycle Tour committee and the Board of Meath LSP for working together to ensure that the An Post Meath Heritage Cycle Tour of 2012 was truly a memorable event. A special thank you went to the MC, Eamonn Duffy. Water for the event was provided by the 2012 An Post Meath Heritage Cycle Tour Official Water Partner, Vittel. The winner from the family spin participants of the €250 voucher from Navan Cycle Centre was Aaron Grimes, Stackallen, Slane. The nominated charity for the event was the Meath Alzheimer Society who were very happy with the funding they received from the day. Meath is one of five counties to participate in this year's An Post Cycle Series, run in association with the Irish Sports Council and five Local Sports Partnerships.