200km Selfsupported Audax event, for more details see www.audaxireland.org
The Birr 200 is designed as a route suitable for winter riding, it sticks to fairly flat roads with good surfaces and has a control about every 40-50km. The biggest challenge at this time of the year is usually the weather and lack of training. The route starts in the historic Georgian town of Birr, Co. Offaly and heads North towards Banagher where it crosses the Shannon into Co. Galway, there is a small climb out of Eyrecourt over Redmount Hill before reaching the first control in Ballinasloe after 42km.
The next leg is fairly flat through Galway to the second Control in Loughrea at 78.8km.
Leaving the control you cycle past the shores of Lough Rea and towards the foothills or the Slieve Aughty mountains where there are a few drags, but nothing too hard before reaching the next control in Portumna at 113.4km where you cross the Shannon again and into Co. Tipperary.
The third leg of the route heads to Nenagh along the main road where there is a control at 141.5km, riders then head to Cloughordan along quiet roads and into Roscrea and back to Birr via a small climb at Leap Castle.
Good lights are essential and riders will not be allowed to start without them.