WILD WAYS: Brothers Donnacha Cassidy (foreground) and Benny Cassidy pictured leaving home in The Park on Wednesday for the epic challenge.

 

EXCLUSIVE

By Sean Moriarty

 

Three Killarney men set off from Derry on Thursday in an attempt to cycle the entire Wild Atlantic Way.

The famed 2,500km driving route passes through nine counties and three provinces, stretching from county Donegal’s Inishowen Peninsula in Ulster to Kinsale, County Cork, in Munster.

Brothers Benny and Donnacha Cassidy from The Park, and Tom Daly who is secretary of Killarney Cycling Club, have set a target of between 300 and 500kms of cycling a day and hope to arrive in the County Cork tourist town within six days. Their daily target will depend on weather and other prevailing conditions.

Benny is no stranger to ultra-cycling events and only last weekend finished fourth on the Cycling Ireland sanctioned Donegal Atlantic Way Ultra Cycle. He completed that event in 19.5 hours and only stopped for a total of 20 minutes.

Last weekend’s route started and finished in Letterkenny and covered the Inishowen Peninsula as well as the entire coastline of County Donegal.

HILLS OF DONEGAL: Benny Cassidy passes through Mamore Gap on last weekend’s Donegal Atlantic Way Ultra Cycle with his father Brendan driving their support vehicle.

His brother Donnacha, and Tom, revisited most of last weekend’s route on Friday before heading south from Donegal town.

The brother’s father Brendan acted as support vehicle driver last weekend but this week they are on their own.

“Cycling Ireland events require a support vehicle, especially for the night sections,” Brendan told the Killarney Advertiser. “I know how hard it was as I had to drive for those 19 hours. This week’s event is about personal challenges rather than a competition.”

The trio hope to arrive in Kinsale by Tuesday. Their finish estimate is based on Benny’s previous solo attempt in 2018 when he took six days to complete the challenge.