Green army

Irish cycling fans ready to turn Tour de France's most famous climb green - again

The iconic Alpe d’Huez climb is the penultimate stage of this year’s Tour.

20130718_145518-4 Fans at the Irish Corner in 2013.

WITH THE TOUR de France heading for the iconic Alpe d’Huez on Saturday, the organisers of Irish Corner are encouraging anyone with any Irish connection to make their way to the now famous section of road to cheer on the two remaining Irish riders in the race.

Two years ago, lifelong cycling fans Stephen O’Shea and Ronan Fox established an impromptu meeting point on the climb for fans to congregate and cheer on the Irish riders.

What transpired surpassed anything they’d envisaged as hundreds turned up and they’re hopeful of a similar turnout this weekend.

“Purely through promoting it through Twitter, word of mouth and Facebook, hundreds turned up and it was a great afternoon,” said O’Shea.

“We’re hopeful of a similar turnout again. It’s going to be incredibly warm again and the boys are going to need all the help they can get,” he added.

Dan Martin and Nicolas Roche are the two remaining Irish riders in the race after Sam Bennett abandoned on Wednesday and the former two spoke about what a thrill it was to have such support the last time the race visited Alpe d’Huez in 2013.

“It’s a pity we won’t get to see Sam but he made the right decision.

“We were very disappointed but only for him because we know how much he wanted to get to Paris.

“But it won’t take from it. There’s a huge Irish presence at the race and there’s been so many flags so hopefully they’ll all be here tomorrow. A guy cycled from Dublin to get here so that shows the level of support the Irish lads are getting.

“But it’s a public road and you never know who will turn up.”

Irish supporters are urged to meet on Corner 10 from 10am. You can follow @IrishCorner10 on Twitter for updates.

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