Fantastic Routes announced for Polkadot leisure cycle

polkadot 2014

Full details of both routes are on the links and maps below, the short route suits all abilities and the longer route will cater for those who like a challenge with 6 climbs (hence the name the Polkadot challenge) but will all the climbing condensed into 110k its still not going to take all day and participants will be back in plenty of time for the start of Stage 2 of the Giro in Belfast.

Short route:           65k

Polkadot 65k short route 2014


Long route:   110k


Skoda Cycle Series Sligo Saturday 5th April

The first of our Škoda Cycle Series events ‘Sligo Champions Sportive’ takes place next weekend on Saturday 5th April.  Burns Car Sales, Sligo will be hosting a pre-registration ‘Pasta & Power Up’ evening on the eve of our inaugural Škoda Cycle Series-‘Sligo Champions Sportive’ on Friday 4th April; I have attached a flyer for further information.

Sligo sportif

Entries for the first of our two events Sligo Champions Sportive & The Tour of Wicklow are going extremely well and are on target to achieve our expected number of entries.

We’re delighted to announce that ‘Good 4 U’ have come on board as the official Health-Food sponsor for the overall series. They’re a very progressive company and we have a good relationship with them down through the years. They primarily produce different tubs of health-foods (nuts, seeds etc) but they’re also in the process of launching a health-food bar in May

Our dedicated Face Book page is reaching a huge audience and is extremely active with live posts and updates daily, so please forward any updates or posts that you would like us put up in the coming weeks.  Please do not hesitate in contacting me should you have any queries.

Look forward to seeing some of you at our first event here in Sligo.

Cycling Sligo Champ 25×4

Polkadot leisure cycle May 10th


The annual Polkadot Cycle Challenge, promoted by the Western Lakes Cycling Club, takes place on Saturday 10th May 2014.  This sportif has become established as a major event in the leisure cycling calendar, and over the past number of years has attracted cyclists from every corner of the country.  This year the club has revamped the routes to attract the ever growing numbers of newcomers taking to the roads, while taking in the breath-taking scenery around the beautiful Lough Mask.

This year, there are two routes on offer. You can choose from a 65km or 120km route, depending on your level of fitness and experience.  The 65km route, designed with newcomers to the sport in mind, is a circuit around Lough Mask taking in the Maamtrasna climb. The longer 120km route takes a wider sweep around the lake to encompass “Lally’s Mountain”, a climb well known to every cyclist in the area and also this year taking in Aldubh Mountain.  The 120km route rejoins the shorter route after the half-way mark at Tourmakeady where refreshments will be available to both groups.

You don’t have to be experienced or a club member to take part, just have a willingness to complete the route of your choice, the views are spectacular and the roads are generally very quiet, the short route could easily be achieved by a novice or young cyclist so ideal route for all the family.

The event starts and finishes at the Western Lakes Cycle Centre in Ballinrobe, Co. Mayo.  Sign in from 8:30am, with both groups heading off at 10.00am.  There is a food stop at O’Tooles pub in Tourmakeady and a BBQ for all participants after the event in Inches Bar Ballinrobe, where live coverage of the Giro d’Italia in Belfast will be shown so no excuse to miss the Irish stars in action on home turf. Club members are always available to lend a helping hand or a word of encouragement to newcomers. The route will be well marked and marshaled with support vehicles available for assistance. All you need is a well serviced bike, a helmet, water bottle, spare tube, and plenty of miles in the legs between now and then!

For further details contact John Hughes (087-648 5863) or go to or for additional details, including route maps. Entry: €25

Route maps to follow.


Smashing time by Western Lake riders

Racers from the club were scattered around the country at 3 different venues last weekend, with some good performances recorded, especially by Kieran Heneghan in Sligo where he sprinted home for 6th overall, JJ Flaherty was unlucky in Sligo when he crashed out while in the leading group.

Padraic Hughes and Shane Gilligan performed well in Lucan but were outside the prizes, in Carlow on Sunday at the first classic of the year, Janis again performed well on the tough circuit to get a top 20 result in the A4 race but in the A1 race a  Puncture put the end to Sean O Malley’s hopes of a good finish. In the A3 race Cathal Usher broke his chain on a steep section of road and Padraic Hughes seat post clamp broke also again while in the leading group.

Racing can be cruel, luck is a big part of getting a good result, the guys will have learned from these mishaps.

Next weekend the team is racing in the Tour of Connacht 2 day, in Castlebar

Club Enrolment and Jersey Fitting.

On Wednesday the 26th of March the club will hold its final club enrolment night. This is an ideal time to get your license sorted with the Sunday spins up and running and the Thursday spins about to commence.

Also on the night the club will be taking orders for the new club kit. We will have sample sizes there to try on to make sure the fit is right.

This will all take place in Inches Bar from 8pm. For any details on enrolment please contact Sean O Malley(




Western /Covey League 2014

 The 2014 Western Covey league kicks off on the 27th of March. This is a great chance for all cycling enthusiasts to get a taste for racing in the safety of small numbers. Like past years the league offers riders a chance to experience the different types of racing: road racing and time trialling.  


The format for the 2014 Club League is as follows:

Starting with a Hill Climb, 4 Road Races, a Time Trial and a Team Time Trial.

The league will start with a Hill Climb on 27th March in Westport.

7 events count towards the league for the individual and Team/club competition overall.


League dates 2014

Thursday March 27th           Hill Climb                  Westport

Thursday April 24thRR H/cap                  Ballinrobe

Thursday May 22nd RR Mass Start           Westport

Thursday June 26th RR Mass Start           Ballinrobe

Thursday July 24th               RR H/cap                  Tullycross

Thursday Aug 21st               TTT                             Ballinrobe

Thursday Sept 4th                 TT                               Westport

This year there will be prizes for the following categories:


1.      Overall Winner

2.      Ladies Winner

3.      The top 10 overall.

4.      Team Prize  perpetual cup

5.      Most Improved Rider

6.      Most Aggressive Rider

7.      Category prizes

8.      Young Rider.

9.      Fastest TT, Fastest HC                   



€50 Entry fee for the 7 races Or €10 entry fee per race. 

Mayo cycling league 2014

The local racing scene kicks back into life with the commencement of the Mayo League. Last year the young sprinter from Castlebar, Karl Benson, won the league by winning 3 of out the 9 rounds. This league has become a hotspot for young riders to showcase their talents and put a few seniors to shame in the process! But don’t think the youths had it all their own way, Padraig Marrey and Chris Troy (both definitely in the Vets category) both showed there was still life in the old dog by finishing 2nd and 3rd respectively.

In the ladies category Noreen O Toole with 5 wins blazed to the ladies category title. This is a growing area of the sport and hopefully we should see even great numbers of Ladies taking part next year.

Castlebar CC rode strongly all year to take the team title from Wesport Covies and Western Lakes.

Again this year the league is broken into a few different disciplines. There will be 6 road races, 1 hill climb, 1 flat TT and after a being a major success last year the Team Time Trial is included again.

The league runs from the 2nd of April until the 30th of July and this year for the 1st time you can sign up online.

Entry fees
Senior: €60 for 8 races (€10 per race on the night)
Junior: €40 for 8 races (€6 per race on the night)
U16: €30 for 8 races (€5 per race on the night)



Race dates
1. Wed 2nd Apr – TT – 16k – 6.30pm – Westport
2. Wed 16th Apr – RR – Mass start – 40k 7.00pm – Ballinrobe
3. Wed 30th Apr – RR – H/Cap 40K – 7.00pm – Ballina
4. Wed 7th May – RR – Mass start 50K – 7.15pm – Ballaghdereen
5. Wed 28th May – RR – H/Cap 50K – 7.15pm – Swinford
6. Wed 11th June – RR – Mass start 50K – 7.15pm – Cong
7. Wed 18th Jun – RR – H/Cap 50K – 7.15pm – Ballyhanuis
8. Wed 2nd July – HC – 7K – 7.15pm – Castlebar
9. Wed 30th Jul – TTT – 40K – 7.15pm – Westport


Calling All Leisure Riders

The weather has been absolutely disgraceful for the past 12 weeks!!! Hands up all of us who are sick of our Turbo Trainers?
How about some fresh air and open roads?
Calling all Leisure cyclists, your hibernation period is over. Next Sunday sees the return of the Sunday spins, at the new time of 9am.
I have a number of routes outlined for tackling over the next 10 weeks, starting with a nice and easy spin around Lough Carra. A plan of Sunday spins will be put up on Facebook each week and also on the club website.
We are planning to participate in a number of events such as the Sligo Champions Sportive(part of Skoda Cycle Series), April 5th, An Post Tour of Sligo, May Bank Holiday, as well as a number of local events.
The club bus should be available for these weekends, but booking early is strongly advised.
As one of our main events of the year, The Polkadot Challenge, will take place on May 10th, any member who wants to comfortably complete the Polkadot should commence training NOW!!
So let’s make these events and a big day at the Polkadot Challenge an early season goal.
Please ensure that bikes are checked before Sunday morning, and bring along spare tubes!
The Thursday evening spins will commence early April when the time changes.
Looking forward to seeing as many as possible on Sunday.

Also for those of you who have not renewed your membership yet please do so as soon as possible through the Cycling Ireland website or by contacting Sean O’Malley.

Brian G

Date Route Distance
09-Mar-14 Lap of carra 40K
16 Mar 14 Brobe Ballygarris,Carnacon Robeen Holllymount Kilmain 50K
23 Mar 14 Lap of Mask Short, left for Finney at bottom of hill 60K
30 Mar 14 Lap of Cloughbrack 50K
05 Apr 14 sligo skoda 100 (WLCC sunday spin should also go ahead) 100K
13 Apr 14 Ballinrobe, Claremorris, Castlebar, Brobe 80K
20 Apr 14 Lap of Mask Long, Aill Dubh 85K
27 Apr 14 Ballinrobe, Castlebar, Newport, Westport, Brobe 95K
04 May 14  An Post Sligo (WLCC sunday spin should also go ahead) 160K

Club News…Club spins, Race season, Committee meeting

Hello All,

The club has been a bit to slow to get club spins up and running properly this year. We hope to get spins at all levels up an running as of this weekend. Please contact your rider representative to get info on club spins and times.

The race season got off to a flying start this weekend as outlined in the following report.marrey1

Western Lakes CC had 8 riders racing at every level at the Loughrea GP organisied by West Coast wheelers.

In the A4 race Janis Blivous had  a brilliant debut getting into a 15 man group that came together after the first climb, Shane Gilligan was also in the hunt getting close to the break shortly after the climb. Up Front Janis was unlucky to puncture out out of the break.Meanwhile Gilligan made determined bid to catch the front  group, but ran out of road before the finish. Both racers will have learned loads and will be much wiser next time out.

In the A3, A1, A2 race the A3’s got a 4 minute handicap over the  20 person A1, A2’s. Up front Cathal Usher, Padraic Hughes and Gert Hack made the most of the gap, chilling out in the big  bunch, behind JJ Flaherty, Sean O Malley and Padraig Marrey contributed to their group so that they would be in with a chance to race.

Just before the climb after about 15k of racing the A1,2 group caught the A3’s with Ballina’s Patrick Clarke doing most of the damage, behind Padraig Marrey, seen in full flight above, and starting his 27th season without a break, managed to drag a group away after 30k of racing which formed the main break of the day. Marrey fresh back from a training holiday in Lanzorita did his bit to keep the break away but when Paddy Clarke put the hammer down on the final climb with 15k to go,  neither Marrey or his 7 breakaway companions had power to chase the in form Fit science rider, at the finish Marrey had enough to win the small bunch sprint for 4th.

The racers will be hard at it for the next few months and I have no doubt that they will put a hard winters training to good use.

A club committee meeting will be held in the next two weeks. If you have any issues that you would like discussed pleas talk to your rider representative this weekend.

Western Lakes Racing News

The race season starts this weekend.Details of this weekends westcoastwheelers race in Loughrae is here its cheaper if you pre-register so worth doing.

The covey wheelers are hosting the 2 day A2, A3 Ras Mhaigh Eo over st Patricks weekend. I know that the event is selling out fast so you should get your entries in fast. A prominent member of the covies is rumored to have said. It would be great to turn up in numbers to this race and throw down the gauntlet to the covies early in the season.

All of our racers have been training hard and it will be great to see everyone out on the road giving it socks over the next few weeks.

Below is a race report from a connacht training race earlier in the year in Bohola. The distance was 86km (broken into 30km race, 5 km race and 30 km race with neutral service in between) and the temperature was just above zero.

All roads lead to Bohola for the final round of the Connacht cycling reliability trials series.

The weather conditions suited a fast open race, once heavy ground frost had cleared; there was a moderate to strong cross wind favouring outbound ride to Carracastle and a cross tail wind home. A total number in the region of 40 riders signed on.

The bulk of the riders were made up of Ballina and Castlebar racers, possibly 30 of the 40 in total.Member of WLCC in attendance were Cathal Usher, John Jennings and Shane Gilligan.The race was broken up into categories with the A3-A4 off first, this was the main bunch with only 6 riders in the A2-A1 bunch.

First race was very much controlled by the dominant clubs with attacks coming from Cathal Usher, Richy Meaney and Shane Gilligan. Once 3 riders managed to get away (2 Ballina and one Castlebar). Some attempts were made to close the gap but they were consistently chased down. The A1-A2 riders came together 4km from the finish line but were unable to bring the gap back.

The second race was a short 5km race with Paddy Clarke and Charlie Prendergast to the fore, with persistent attacks. They pulled a gap on the second of 4 groups of over 50m at the finish. Cathal Usher of western lakes was one of the few riders to hold on to them for some time.

The final race was full distance in from Carracastle, the race started at a phenomenal pace with jump after jump for the first 10-15 km, it steadied up after this but Clarke, Prendergast and a few other eventually pulling away. (Didn’t see the finish as I was out the back in Swinford)!! Cathal Usher was once again in a strong position at the finish.

It is hoped that the return of the international riders of P Marrey, S O Malley,P Hughes and Janis will bolster the club and that everyone will enjoy the early season racing.