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Cyclists prepare for Drumquin hills challenge

THe Hills Above Drumquin cycle takes place tomorrow Sunday

THe Hills Above Drumquin cycle takes place tomorrow Sunday

Drumquin GAA and Drumquin Cycling Club are hoping the weather holds for the great turnout expected for the annual Hills Cycle Challenge and Leisure Cycle taking place on Sunday..

The Annual ‘Hills Above Drumquin’ Cycle Challenge which started in 1998 celebrates the life and work of Felix Kearney and takes its name from the Felix Kearney song ‘The Hills Above Drumquin’.

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Many of his well-known songs and poems refer to the townlands and features of the area where he spent much of his youth. The cycles have previously welcomed cycling stars such as Sean Kelly, a nine times Monument Classic winner, SKY rider Philip Dignan, the SKY presenter Graham Little, former Tyrone GAA players John Lynch and Stephen O’Neill.

As ever the 45 mile route is a tough test for seasoned riders as it makes its way over the many hills in the area.  The cyclists depart along the Omagh Road before turning left at the Half Way House. The challenge cycle then heads for Bessy Bell, rounds Newtownstewart golf course and heads for Drumlegagh. At Drumlegagh crossroads it turns towards Kirlish before heading to Glenbane, the Glen and finally to the Pigeon Top.

The 35 mile route follows the initial  stages of the Hills Challenge but bypasses Bessybell to the Envagh crossroads before turning right towards Barnscourt. As with the challenge cycle it rounds Newtonstewart Golf course and then heads for Drumlegagh. At Drumlegagh crossroads the leisure cycle heads for Castlederg and turns back just outside Castlederg returning to Drumquin.

The organisers would greatly appreciate the co-operation of the landowners along the route particularly with respect to hedge cutting prior to the cycle and movement of animals on the morning of the cycle. They would also appreciate if dog owners along the route would restrict their dogs access to the carriage way that morning.

Registration will take place at Drumquin GAA club rooms from 9am with the cyclists departing at 10am.

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