It is a big weekend for cycling in Northern Ireland as 'The Grande Partenza' - or 'Big Start' - of the Giro d’Italia  will take place over three days from 9-11 May 2014. 200 elite cyclists will ride around Belfast city centre on Day 1 before moving on to the dramatic Causeway Coast and Armagh the following day before finally leaving the province and heading south to Dublin on Day 3.
Ahead of the big race, CTC's Tim Edgar was asked to be a Ride Manager to a small group of club standard cyclists who had won their places in a competition to ride with Irish cycling great Stephen Roche .
BBC Northern Ireland came along for the ride, with journalist Thomas Kane cycling the route with a lot of encouragement from Tim. You can watch the group riding the Giro route on BBC Sport .
Tim Edgar said: "It was a perfect day for a ride, there was a head wind but the sky was blue and the scenery inspiring. Thomas said he was planning to cycle a few miles and then jump in the TV truck for a rest - but with a bit of encouragement he was able to cycle the whole 40 miles - the longest ride he has ever done. Yes, we were in the slow group and Stephen Roche led the rest of the pack up ahead - but it was a great route and I'm looking forward to seeing the pro riders take on the same climbs."
Thomas said he was planning to cycle a few miles and then jump in the TV truck for a rest - but with a bit of encouragement he was able to cycle the whole 40 miles - the longest ride he has ever done."
CTC Instructor and Trainer
One of the competition winners, Richard Lloyd from Phoenix Cycling Club in Belfast, told The Belfast Telegraph : "The whole experience was fantastic, from the Q&A session with Stephen to riding with the others along the beautiful Causeway coastal route and making some memories that will be talked about for a lifetime."
Find out more about the route by watching Stephen Roche  in action: