Cyclist for Deceuninck-QuickStep
Check out Ireland.com’s listings of the best accommodation in Carrick-on-Suir
Why this trip?
It’s unsurprising that so many great bike riders hail from the sunny south east. I always look forward to getting home to County Tipperary and riding on my home roads. My most enjoyable bike rides aren’t spent on famous climbs or windy descents on the continent, I love a spin at home with long steady climbs up the Comeraghs and great crosswinds along the coastal road between Dungarvan and Tramore. If pushed to pick a favourite spot, I’d have to say the stretch from Bunmahon to Tramore. The undulating road mimics the bergs of Flanders and the winter wind will sort the men from the boys. The views of the Irish coastline are pretty spectacular too, there’s nothing better than seeing the cliff faces and small abandoned beaches on a clear winter’s morning.
Need to Know More?
Route Rating ➤ Challenging
Distance ➤ 160 km
Climbing ➤ 1,890 meters
Heading out from Carrick-on-Suir, this route starts off with Seskin Hill, a signature climb and a nice, tough way to start the day. Once over Seskin, the route continues onwards through the Comeraghs and to Mahon Falls, another good climb. It’s a long and steady one and on a sunny day it’s worth taking the short walk at the summit to see the waterfall.
With the big climb of the day done, head down through the mountains on quiet country roads and over a few small climbs until you drop down onto the main road to Dungarvan.
Dungarvan is one of the most picturesque towns in Ireland with the harbour and Dungarvan Castle at the heart of it all and you’ll have your choice of cafés if you need a pick-me up after the climbs.
Coming out of Dungarvan, you have a choice: you can either take the main R625 towards Bunmahon or hop onto the Waterford Greenway to avoid the traffic. The Greenway is flat, well-serviced and a great way of encouraging people to cycle. You’ll only be on it for a few kilometres but it’s nice to use it if you can.
Follow the Greenway for about 5km and pick up the main road again at the Durrow Greenway Car Park where it’s back onto the main road all the way to Bunmahon along the Copper Coast.
The section between Bunmahon and Tramore is my favourite: cycling-wise, the terrain is like Flanders and the road’s exposed to the elements so you’ll have to keep the head down and work hard, especially in winter when the crosswinds can be fierce. You’ll get caught out if you don’t have the miles done!
The Lemon Tree in Dunmore East is a good spot to stop and refuel, they do great food and coffee and there’s plenty of space to park the bike and take a breather.
Heading onwards to Passage East, you’ll come around the headland to where the River Barrow meets the sea and turn inland towards Waterford. The route skirts around the city, still rising and falling, until you come back into open countryside with the River Suir on the right.
County Kilkenny is on the far side of the river and will dip in and out of view behind the hedgerows. You can start your cool-down here as you come back into Carrick or, if you have energy to spare, push on for a last bit of speed before home.