Cycling star sends best wishes to Kildare charity cyclists

Tom Crean 600 event will raise funds for Enable Ireland and McAuley Place

Conor McHugh

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Conor McHugh

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conor@leinsterleader.ie

Cycling star sends best wishes to Kildare charity cyclists

Irish cycling star Nicolas Roche

Cycling star Nicolas Roche has sent his best wishes to Kildare cyclists taking part in an epic event for charity this weekend.

The event, called the Tom Crean 600, will raise funds for Enable Ireland and McAuley Place and will involve the cyclists going from Naas to Kerry and back over the course of the weekend.

Nicolas Roche, the 33 year old son of the former Tour de France champion Stephen, is one of the world’s top cycling professionals. Although he has won fewer races than his dad, the top teams in the sport have eagerly sought his expertise and experience over a 13 year career.

Now riding with the BMC, he was most recently involved in the business end of the Giro D’Italia.

He is the former Irish National Road Race and Time Trial Champion. The Roche family is renowned in cycling circles. As well as himself and his father, two of Nicolas’s uncles are former professionals, while his cousin Dan Martin is also one of the world’s top cyclists.

Yesterday, Thursday, May 31, he tweeted ‘Good luck to those riding @tomcrean600 especially Padraig and Peter’, a reference to Peter Grady and Padraig Ahearne.

Over the past two years, cyclists from Naas Cycling Club decided to do a one day “300km pilgrimage” to the home of the legendary Antarctic Explorer Tom Crean in Annascual, Co Kerry.

Following the success of this first outing the group decided to seek sponsorship in 2017 for a repeat performance and also to support a local charity.

On that occasion, eight cyclists (including seven from Naas and one from Kildare Cycling Club, John O’Loughlin, undertook the long trek to Crean’s hometown of Annascual.

Last year’s recipient charity was  the Friends of Naas Hospital and €6,500 was donated to help improve the Solace Room facilities for families to stay round the clock with gravely ill patients.

This year, the cyclists are set to go one step further by making the return trip from Kenmare the following day. A start time of 4am on both days will apply.

And already, the online gofundme appeal on behalf of the cycle has exceeded its goal. The goal was €7,500, and as of this morning, it has reached €9,930.

The participants in the Tom Crean 600, pictured last week.

The cyclists are Colm O’Raghallaigh, Peter Grady, Misty Price, Padraig Ahearne, Edwin O’Sullivan, John O’Loughlin, Movanna Sweeney, Joe Lynch, Ray Rowland, Mark McLoughlin, Paddy Bolger, with coordinator  Aisling Byrne.

Anybody wishing to find out more should go to Tom Crean 600 on Facebook , Twitter or to donate click here.

Read more: Kildare cyclists to make epic trip to Kerry (and back)