The ŠKODA Ring of Clare Cycle has announced the 2020 event is cancelled. The event hosted in Ennis is the largest mass participation sport tourism event held in the region and is part of the country’s largest national cycling leisure series.
The sportive is now rescheduled to take place on Saturday July 17th 2021. The leisure cycling event attracts in excess of 4,000 participants and visitors to Clare annually representing a significant tourism event in the Clare events calendar.
Event organiser Mark O’Connell outlined it was a very difficult decision to take outlining how the event is one of the largest national mass participation events in the country. He said ‘We feel this is the wisest option at the moment with such a level of uncertainty around social distancing, venue capacities and how events need to react to emerging health guidelines. We hope cyclists appreciate our position but public health is the most important consideration at the moment.’
He added ‘The event has been rescheduled for July 2021 and we plan for an even bigger welcome back to Clare for cyclists and supporters of the ŠKODA Celtic Series events. The early decision was taken with the health and wellbeing of our cyclists, event team and host communities as our priority in making this decision. Cyclists who have registered for the event can defer their entry to the 2021 sportive or receive a refund of their registration fee.’
Ciara Breen, Head of Sponsorship and Events with ŠKODA explained all ŠKODA Celtic Series 2020 events have now been cancelled. She explained ‘Together we must all play our part in overcoming Covid 19 and we believe this is the right decision in these uncertain times particularly surrounding large scale mass participation events.’
The ŠKODA Celtic Series events are now among the largest sport tourism events in the country and the cancellation of each represents a significant loss of tourism income to each of the host towns. Ciara Breen noted ‘each of the events attract a lot of participants who make a holiday of the events and we need to support those visitors make new plans. Our event research has shown that the vast majority of participants travel from outside the host county to Ennis and surrounding areas with a large influx from overseas cyclists.’
She added ‘In the past few years some of the ŠKODA Celtic Series events including the Ennis event have welcomed cyclists from over 15 different countries. It is a further blow to the local tourism economies losing sport tourism events such as these that generate between 2,500 and 3,000 bednights for the local economy between national and international visitors attracted to the event.’