Guide to road closures for Gran Fondo cycle race

Credit: UTV

Thousands of cyclists are expected to take part in this year's Gran Fondo event which passes through some of Co Down's most picturesque landscapes.

This year marks the 100th Giro d'Italia race and the third time the Gran Fondo or 'big start' has taken place in Northern Ireland.

In 2014, Belfast was chosen as the starting point for one of road racing's most prestigious events, with the Fondo forming part of its legacy.

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This year the Gran Fondo returns, taking place on Sunday 4 June.

A number of roads will be closed to allow the race to pass through.

The race is divided into two routes, with a 174km Mourne Route (below) incorporating such beautiful backdrops as the Mourne Mountains, Carlingford Lough and Lough Neagh.

Credit: Giro d'Italia

A 58km Strangford route travels along the Ards Peninsula, alongside Strangford Lough.

Both routes depart from the Stormont Estate.

The roads highlighted on the maps will be closed. The areas marked with numbers show 'gateways' which will allow traffic to cross the cycle route.

The table below shows the times when roads will be closed.

Credit: Giro d'Italia

Participation has grown steadily, with around 3,200 taking part in the inaugural event and 4,000 last year.

It is open to both amateur and professional cyclists.

Credit: Giro d'Italia

Spectators are encouraged to wear pink, which is the official colour of the race.

Credit: Giro d'Italia