Whether you’re a cycling fan or not, the advice being given out ahead of the Giro d’Italia’s arrival in the town next month is ‘be prepared’.
Northern Ireland will host ‘The Big Start’ of the race, welcoming 200 of the world’s top cyclists, from May 9-11 and they will pass through Ballymena on their journey around the North Coast and back to Belfast on Day Two (May 10).
Attracting over 140,000 visitors with 42,000 expected to be out of state, it is a huge event capable of generating a minimum £10m media coverage which will be viewed by an estimated 800million people worldwide.
Speaking at a media briefing in Ballymena last Tuesday, Eddie Rowan of the Northern Ireland Tourist Board, which made the successful bid to bring Giro to the province, said he believed it to be “the biggest event that has ever happened to this country, bar none”.
Estimated road closures and timings:
BALLYMONEY & MOYLE:
Dunloy A26 - Drumadoon Road - Killagan Road,
A26 - Kilraughts Road,
Portrush Road Roundabout/A26 Frosses Road.
(10am-1.30pm) Portrush Rd Roundabout/B62 Ballybogey Road;
Ballybogey, the B62 Ballyrashane Rd- Benvardin Rd and Cloyfin Rd -Priestland Rd;
Bushmills, the A2, The Diamond/Dunluce Rd.
(10.30am-2.30pm) Bushmills, The Diamond/Whitepark Rd
Ballycastle, Clare Rd/Quay Rd.
(11am-3.30pm) Ballycastle, Mary St/A2,
Cushendall Rd A2,
Waterfoot Garron Rd-A2,
Carnlough Ballymena Road North.
(12noon-4pm) Carnlough Ballymena Road South,
Caravan ETA in Ballymoney is 11am with Peloton (body of race) ETA 12.35
Bushmills Caravan ETA 11.40 and Peloton 13.10
Ballycastle Caravan ETA is 12.10 and Peloton 13.40
Larne Caravan ETA is 13.45 and Peloton 15.15
Carrickfergus Caravan ETA is 14.15 and Peloton is 15.45.