The Fort 2 Fort 120km Challenge (scroll down for maps)
The Fort2Fort 120km challenge route has got everything to challenge the strength, perseverance and stamina of the experienced rider.
Departing from Trabolgan holiday Village the route will initially take you along the eastern shore of the beautiful Cork Harbour along the R630 through Whitegate village and Aghada and into Saleen village. Here you will meet the first climb of the day, out of Saleen village before descending past the village of Ballinacurra and onto the Lakeview Roundabout in Midleton. From here you will cycle west 2km on the N25 before taking Exit 5 onto a minor road that will take you in a westerly direction through flat countryside to Ballintubbrid and on to Barryscourt Castle – there is a refreshment stop here. From Barryscourt Castle, you cycle in a westerly direction to Fota where you will join the R624 road and continue along the Fota Road to Belvelly bridge.
Crossing Belvelly bridge and onto Great Island (Cobh), the route will take you left, past the historical Belvelly Castle. Continuing on in a southerly direction towards Cobh, you will meet the second climb of the day, Ballard Hill, which is one of the challenging climbs of this route. After Ballard Hill, the route continues in an easterly direction through Ballydulea and across the “top” of Great Island with a number of small climbs to Ballymore village. From here the route follows the Valley Road where there are panoramic views of the eastern side of Cork harbour.
The route then descends to Cuskinny inlet on the shore of Cork Harbour -?? plenty of fresh sea air here! After crossing the humpback bridge at Cuskinny, the route continues right in a westerly direction along Tay Road to the Cross River Ferry at Carrigaloe. Here participants can enjoy a brief rest period, meet fellow cyclists and bask in the atmosphere of the day as they cross the River Lee by ferry to Glenbrook. From Glenbrook the route continues on the R610 along the western shore of Cork Harbour to Monkstown and onto Rafeen bridge where you will meet the N28 continuing on through Shanbally to Ringaskiddy. On entering Ringaskiddy the route meets another short climb as it enters the R613 and continues west along to Carrigaline.
From Carrigaline the route changes to an easterly direction along the R612 taking in the beautiful scenery on the road into Crosshaven. Upon entering Crosshaven, there is a climb up to Fort Camden Meagher where cyclists can enjoy a well earned “food-stop” while taking in the breathtaking views of the entire Cork Harbour area.
Following the break, the route continues south with another challenging climb out of Crosshaven and on to Myrtleville, then continuing in a westerly direction along the R612 coast road to Fountainstown situated on the western entrance to Cork Harbour. This part of the route is “??lumpy” and challenging. The route then changes to a northerly direction to Kilmichael West and on to Kileen. The route continues from Kileen with some further climbs before descending back into Carrigaline. From Carrigaline cyclists will continue on the R611 to the Shannon Park roundabout and then on to the N28 for approximately 1.5km before turning off for Rafeen Bridge and Monkstown on the R610 and back to Cross River Ferry at Glenbrook. Here participants can enjoy a small break and meet fellow cyclists as they return across the River Lee by ferry to Carrigaloe for the final leg of the journey home to Whitegate village.
Leaving the ferry at Carrigaloe the route will take a left turn and continue in a north-easterly direction along the R624 coast road to Belvelly Bridge and then onto Fota. Turning right at Fota, the route will head in an easterly direction through Ballintubbrid and on to Midleton. This is flat cycling for this part of the route. You will join the N25 in Midleton for 2km when the route will change to a southerly direction at the Lakeview Roundabout heading along the R630, passing Ballinacurra village. Leaving Ballinacurra, the second last climb of the day is encountered before a rewarding descent into Saleen, which is followed immediately by the final climb of the day out of Saleen. Following this, the riders can breathe a sigh of relief as the final part of route which is a short flat section has been reached and a sense of achievement begins to kick in. The route will take you back along the eastern shore of the beautiful Cork Harbour for the final time, along the R630 through Aghada and on to the finish line in Whitegate village. Congratulations, you have completed the Fort2Fort 120km Challenge!