This year's Gas Networks Ireland Visit Nenagh Classic cycle race will have a couple of added dimensions.
Details of the event were released last week in Cloughjordan, which the race will visit for the first time in its five-year history as part of the village's commemoration of Thomas MacDonagh's role in the Easter Rising and as a signatory to the Proclamation.
And the event's time trial on Saturday, April 16, will form the Munster Championships, another first for Visit Nenagh. The classic itself will be held on Sunday, April 17.
In a quirky twist, the race will pass the MacDonagh Heritage Centre on Cloughjordan's Main Street after 19.16km, where a sprint will be take place.
“I was approached by the Cloughjordan commemoration committee to see about coming to the village and discovered the race hit the 19km mark outside the centre. I decide to pull the race start back at Nenagh to make the 19.16km point,” race director Rene van Dam revealed at the launch.
Mr van Dam thanked race sponsors GNI, Tipperary County Council, Breo Jewellers, Procter and Gamble, the Abbey Court Hotel and new sponsors Fila, who are sending their team from Holland for the fourth time. He also thanked 3 Nenagh for coming on board with TV coverage and the race will feature live on You Tube.
Visit Nenagh chairperson Virginia O'Dowd highlighted the family fun cycle on Sunday, April 17, which leaves Pearse Street at 11am for an 8km cycle around the town's bypass.
While wondering if MacDonagh had cycled around Cloughjordan looking for inspiration for his poetry, Ms O'Dowd was told by commemoration committee member May Casey that MacDonagh was an avid cyclist, so much so that he was known as “Fear an Rothar” when visiting the Aran Islands.