Freewheeling Champ, by Cliodhna Cussen, was commissioned at the behest of the bicycle shopkeeper in Dundrum who supplied parts and gave encouragement to the young Stephen Roche. Stephen Roche had a 13-years professional cycling career, during which he won the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia and UCI World Road Race Championship, making himself one of only two cyclists ever to achieve cycling’s Triple Crown. He was given the freedom of Dublin City in 1987 and retired from professional cycling in 1993. Roche was instrumental in bringing the start and first stage of the Tour de France, which consisted of three days of racing, to Dundrum in July 1998.
The sculpture is located in Dundrum Town Centre (opposite the entrance to Roly’s restaurant); the bronze design represents bicycle gears, the lettered granite circle the movement of the cycle wheels.
You can view a map of all the public sculptures in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown, complete with details of the artists and what the sculptures mean, here.