This year's annual Dublin to Miltown cycle to raise funds for a dedicated uilleann piping centre in Dublin got off to a flyer today but the participants had an unexpected guest: disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong.
Only a half hour into the cycle, the participants were taken aback when Armstrong joined the group as they passed a wooded area juts outside the capital city. It is thought that Lance had camped there through the night in order to slip into the cycle unnoticed. One cyclist told us of their suprise:
"I couldn't believe it really. He was the last person I expected to see during the cycle, what, with his lifetime ban and all. I think he thought it was a full blown race as he was already wearing the yellow jersey, expecting to win. Bit presumptious I think, I've been training for the last month...We'll see who has the last laugh."
As Lance joined the cycle he appeared quite pumped up and was heard to shout at himself, "Go! Go! Go! Let's do it! Push it! Push it! Push it!". Lance was able to join the cycle due to a loophole in his lifetime ban which doesn't mention amateur cycles. Although there have been unconfirmed reports that at the Tullamore halfway point, Lance was seen injecting Guinness into his veins in the bathroom of a local pub.
The cycle continues tomorrow when the participants finish their cycle in Miltown Malbay in time for the Willie Clancy Summer School.
UPDATE: Lance Armstrong becomes the first to reach Miltown Malbay in a record time. As he arrived he punched the air with his fists while a chorus of boos rang out from the locals watching. Speaking after the race, Lance said:
"I spell victory, 'u-i-l-l-e-a-n-n'!"