No they always went up it and to be honest it is far better to do it this way.
Remember registration was free with an optional donation to charity so anybody half thinking of doing it will sign up. There won't be 3000 but weather permitting I wouldn't be surprised if they break previous attendance records.
I'm biased because I live local but think its a great sportive and route.
Any suggestions for good places to park the car? The town will be pretty busy if weather is good and there are big numbers.
See in the email there is an agreement with council not to charge in public places. There are always some spots in the church car park (over bridge and on lahinch road) and the road outside.
Other local spots are the Daktronics (previously Data Display and still what it is known as by most locals) carpark from which it is 1-2 mins on bike to the start and there are a few spots in Deerpark Industrial Estate (3-4 min to start on bike).
And on the road in from Ennis there a are a few spots on the left in the Motor tax office and health center carparks.
There are quite a few housing estates around as well, with all these suggestions just apply the usual common sense guidelines..... there is an enthuasiastic traffic warden workin in the town :-)