Three Mayo men were among a group of five cyclists who completed a five day 2,000 km ultra cycling challenge from Lourdes to Knock over the weekend.

Alan Heaney from Swinford, Jonathon Verry from Crossmolina and Gary Bigley from Kiltimagh were joined by Maurice Dore from Mullingar and Gerry Powll from Armagh on the challenge, in aid of Down Syndrome Ireland's regional resource centre in Swinford and mental health charity Pieta House.

The five men spoke to Midwest News last Monday, ahead of the start of their challenge early on Tuesday morning when they set off from Lourdes, cycling through France, crossing the English channel by ferry, cycling through England and Wales, crossing the Irish Sea by ferry and cycling west to Knock in just 5 days.

Alan Heaney says it was a tough mental and physical challenge, with a lack of sleep and cycling against the four weather seasons the toughest parts of the challenge.

The five men were welcomed home by hundreds of supporters on Saturday evening at a homecoming party in Swinford.




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