Irish county council proposal to ban sportives from town, cap cyclist numbers

Posted on: September 11th, 2017

Stephen Roche Atlantic Challenge sportive cyclists

The new plan would cut the Stephen Roche Atlantic Challenge sportive by two thirds. And the new car parking conditions set out sound impossible to comply with. However, it is the plan to curb cyclist numbers that will be of most concern to sportive cyclists and organisers.


Stephen Roche Atlantic Challenge would be hit


A county council in the west of Ireland has heard calls for sportives starting into a local town to be capped at 1,000 sportive cyclists.

The suggestion has come from two councillors in north Clare and it relates to the town of Ennistymon in the county.

Local representatives Bill Slattery and Bill Nagle want a cap on numbers for sportives starting or finishing in the town.

Slattery told a recent council meeting: “You all know the problems we have in Ennistymon, as regards traffic congestion.  Cycling events have taken place in Ennistymon; they park every place.”




His plan, if it were enforced, would badly hit the Stephen Roche Atlantic Challenge. It attracted an estimated 3,000 cyclists this year.

Under the new plans the event would need to reduce in size by two thirds or find another location to start and finish.

The Stephen Roche Atlantic Challenge sportive could still go through the town of Ennistymon even if numbers remained as high as they were this year.

That’s because the proposal the councillors are putting forward only relates to capping numbers for those sportives starting or finishing in Ennistymon.

Slattery and Nagle say they “don’t mind” if large events, of more than 1,000, pass through the town.

And they also want anyone organising a sportive or charity cycle to provide off-street private parking for all cyclists’ vehicles.

The proposals were discussed at the West Clare Municipal District meeting at the end of last week.

“We propose that any organised cycles, charity or otherwise, starting or finishing in Ennistymon, be limited to a maximum number of 1,000 participants,” Cllr Slattery said, presenting his plan with Nagle’s support.

“And the organisers (should) be required to provide off-street private parking for all participants.

“Organisers should also be required to supply the local authority full details of the off-street parking arrangements. (And) a management plan, for the event.”

Sought support for sportive curbs

Furthermore, he claimed there was no consultation between event organisers and anyone in the town. Though no details were available to support that claim.

“We’re asking that this not take place without consultation with Clare County Council. And they be limited to 1,000 (cyclists).

“If they are starting or finishing in the town of Ennistymon, we’d be asking for your support.”