Western Lakes Cycling News

Hi all, its mid season in the cycling world, the weather has improved. One of the biggest cycles of the season the Wesportif was held last Saturday. It was a great event and well attended.

Lesiure Report

The Tuesday and Thursday spins are continuing, the weather is not always on our side but keep it up.

The Tour De Baile will be the next big event after the Wesportif on Sunday the 31st of July.

Racing Report

It has been a busy few weeks in the racing front, with the final round of the Western/Covey league. Congrats to Paul Feaney and Anthony O Toole for finishing 2nd and 3rd in the overall standings. These lads only started racing last season and this year.

The Second round of the WLCC Summer league took place in Kilmaine on Wednesday the 13Th of July. There was a good turn out and a well run event by Gerry Sheridan.

The first group made it all the way to the finish and John Walsh and Donal O Reilly contested the sprint, with John winning out in the end.

WLCC Summer League 2016 R2 15-07-2016

Up-coming events include the

Open Race in Tourmakeady on Friday 22nd of July

The Brian McNamara Memorial Race, see flyer below

Mayo Cycling Club Champs 2016 – Belmullet

Round 3 of the Western Lakes Summer League 10/08/2016 in Ballinrobe


What to expect at Westportif 2016

The Westportif routes are some of the most spectacular in the country, with mountains, lakes, valleys and scenery that will take your breath away.

We have 3 distances to choose from 80km, 120km & 160km

Westportif safety map

Here is a brief look at each distance and what it will take to get around the course.

Remember to eat and drink well the 24hrs before the event and don’t over do the alcohol consumption.

The 80k Warrior route (Known locally as the Ring of the Reek) is pretty flat with only a few drags and one small hill to get over. The food stop comes just after the half way mark at 45k so its nice to know the 2nd half is that bit shorter.

80k route

This route is easily doable for a beginner, the key is pacing, while at the start you will be fresh and eager this is the time to hold back and not to get carried away by following the faster sportifers.

Key is to drink before your thirsty and eat before your hungry!

Take a drink every 10-15mins, eat a HIGH 5 bar or piece of fruit in the first hour this will keep the energy levels topped up.

At the Food stop, there will be a variety of snacks, sandwiches, fruit and teas &Coffee, our recommendation is have a sandwich and cup of hot drink, avoid the temptation to over eat because if you do you will feel slow and sluggish when you get back on the bike and make the return journey home very long…

Remember to keep warm at the food stop, you will be quite warm after cycling 45k and once you stop your body temperature drops quite fast, make sure to put on a gilet (sleeveless jacket) or rain cape.

Once you get back on the bike after the food stop give yourself a few kms to get going, our recommendation is to wait to Ashleigh falls then pull in and take off your cape or gilet and while you’re at it make sure to take a picture of the lovely falls.

The last 28k home is pretty flat and hopefully you will have a tailwind home.

The last 2k home is neutralized so heed the warning signs and marshals.         When you finish enjoy the Westportif village and relax and enjoy the banter outside the Clewbay hotel.

How long will it take me ?

If you are a regular cyclist that is out 2-3 times a week we reckon under  3 hours

If you only cycle occasionally but also partake in other sports we reckon 3.5 hours

If you are new to cycling your aim should be to complete it in 4 to 4.5hours

The 120k route

If you have signed up for the 120k distance, even though its only 40k longer this route is a great cycling test.

120k route

Even though there is six climbs on this route the real climbing doesn’t starts until 57k in when you turn left at Leenane village. For the next 20k the roads are either up or down and remember to keep your wits about you as there are dangerous descents and always sheep on the roads! Once over Maam Trasna you will see Lough Mask and the roads flatten out for a while and you’ll get a small break.

At the Village of Tourmakeady (95k) you will get your last chance to refuel (Take this opportunity as the next 25k are hard). Once you turn left you are climbing for 5kms with sections as steep as 18% so pace yourself, the view at the top of Lally’s mountain makes the hard work worthwhile and if you have the time stop and look back at the majestic Lough Mask. The descent of Lally’s is fast, bumpy, windy and narrow so feather the brakes.

The last 13k home is up and down and very energy sapping so save a HIGH 5 gel for this.

Once back in Westport heed the neutralized section and make your way back to the leisure park on James st.

What’s it going to take to finish it and How long will it take me?

Firstly put a food and hydration strategy together, what we mean here is drink and eat regularly and remember pace yourself, go off too hard and we guarantee you will pay the price, we don’t want to see you looking out from inside the broomwagon as you approach the finish !!!

If you are a strong cyclist who raced we reckon about 4hrs

If you are not as fit as you would like we reckon 5hrs

If you think it is going to take you longer than 6hrs we recommend that you stick with the 80k for this year.

The Legend 160k route.

160k route

This is a real challenge, not only are you breaking into the century (100miles) you are also cresting 7 categorized climbs.

This stage is as hard as anything that a Pro peloton will tackle, are you up for this? Better be sure as its very unforgiving.

Not only do you cover the same roads as the 80 and 120k courses but you also cycle along the famous Killary Fjord and cycle down the Innagh Valley before crossing the Maam turks.

The biggest difference on this route apart from the increased distance is the wind. Yes you read that correctly, the wind! The wind along the exposed cost road to the top of the Innagh valley is legendary, it can blow you sideways in an instance…

By the time you get to Maam at 105k you will be fit for bed never mind 55 more kilometers.

Take your time in Maam, gather your thoughts then go for it.

With an action packed 55k left to complete this is what all hardy cyclist thrive for, the pain and burning in the legs, the ecstasy of getting over the climbs with your mates and the joy of descending down hill with the wind blowing through your hair.

The last 25k will be a do or die effort, those who pushed too hard in the early Kilometers will now wish they held back, the last 10k back to Westport will decide if this is a character building day or one for folklore. The decision is yours.!!

How will you get through the 160k.

First by using the group smartly and be exact in your planning and food strategy while taking into account the weather conditions. But most importantly remember to PACE yourself,160k is a long day on the saddle for the best of cyclists.

How long will it take?

If you are a serious sportive rider or ex racer we reckon 5,5hrs is excellent.

If you are strong fit and prepared under 6hrs is very good.

If you think you have what it take to finish it, then we will give you 8hrs but no longer. We have time limits in place, if you are not in Leenane by 12noon then no Killary Fjord or Innagh valley, you be re directed to take the 120k route.
If you are not in Tourmakeady by 3pm then no Lally’s mountain, you will be redirected to take the flat route home . Same goes for the 120k participants.

Westportif safety guidlines 2016

Westportif 2016 Event Details

 Westportif start times

  • The 160km cycle starts at 9.00 am
  • 120k cycle starts at 9.30am
  • The 80km cycle starts at 10 am

Both cycles start from Westport Leisure Centre, James Street in Westport town.

Westportif Finish times (Estimated)

  • 160km between 2-4.30pm
  • 120km between 1-3.pm
  • 80km between 1-2.30pm

 Westportif sign on times and locations

There are three options for participants to sign on for the event.

  • Friday 15th July at Monaghan’s Skoda Showroom, Castlebar from 3.30pm-7pm
  • Friday 15th July at Westport Leisure Park, Westport from

8.30pm – 10pm

  • Saturday 16th July at Westport Leisure Park, Westport from

6.30am – 8am for 120/160k

  • Saturday 16th July at Westport Leisure Park, Westport from

7.30am – 9.30am for 80k

.Westportif Sponsors

A big thanks for all our Sponsors.

  • Monaghan & Sons Skoda Castlebar
  • High 5 Sports Nutrition
  • Destination Westport
  • Smarter Travel
  • The Clew Bay Hotel
  • Westport Leisure Park
  • Delphi Adventure Resort
  • The Mayo News

Westportif Organisers
Westportif is a voluntary run dual venture between Westport Covey Wheelers and Western Lakes Cycling Club . Both clubs use Westportif to fund and develop the sport at grass roots.

Westportif Charity

The Mayo Roscommon Hospice Foundation’ is Westportif ‘s 2016 chosen charity

Frustration for Para Cyclist Jerry Towey missing out on Para Rio games

Jerry targeted  Rio selection after being selected to the 2013 World Cup held in Segovia Spain.  He returned in 2014 to the same venue taking 13th position in the Time Trial.

Jerry Towey Podium

Towey amassed the fourth highest points tally for Rio in the male section, he competed  in events in Germany, Spain, Czech Republic & the UK just missing the third step of the podium on three occasions. However Paralympics Ireland criteria stated it would be the two best results on the UCI scoring system that counted for selection.

Jerry goal was always to get a top 10 in a World Cup in the Time Trial  but in an event in South Africa that there was very little interest in from Nations other than Ireland  Towey returned with two Bronze medals.  Unfortunately this wasn’t enough with almost all Irish riders making the podium in a medal frenzies with a small fields in all categories including Jerry’s.  It was always going to be a battle for the third or fourth slot for the Kilmovee man with Eoghan Clifford of Galway Bay CC & Colin Lynch of Manchester having medalled at World Championships securing selection in different Categories.

2016 has been a tough year on the Kilmovee man  with him crashing out on the first race of the season in March breaking his nose, fracturing his cheekbone & spending the night Drogheda hospital with concussion.  Jerry dose what he does best comes back…  and was back on the bike three days later.  The untimely death of his father the following week knocked him for six but rumor has it there is a big man in a big gear doing early morning hill reps on the Airport Hill & we expect the form he showed early this season in the Ireland West Dualathon series to come to light later on this season in the Time Trials….


Western Lakes Cycling Report 24-06-2016

Hi all, there was a load of events last week and more to come.

Leisure Report:

The Cornamona 50Mile Challenge took place last Saturday and it was well attended by WLCC members, they cycled back to event and home after it, so over a 100km cycled in total. Good food stops and event overall.

The Tuesday and Thursday night groups are going well and one of the main events is taking place on Sunday the 26th of June. The Western Lakes cycle is our own event and it will be great for leisure and faster riders. There is two distances 85km and 135km, sign on from 07.30am in Cycling centre. If you not cycling all help would be appreciated.

Race Report.

Plenty of racing took place over the last few weeks, we had the Crit in Claremorris, which had 3 WLCC members take part, Robert Butler won the first Prime and some money, fair play to him. Sean O Malley finished in the group and was in good position throughout the race.

Podium of claremorris crit 2016.

The Connacht Championship took place last weekend. Congrats to Sean O Malley and Shane Gilliagan who picked up medals in the event.

Connacht Road Race Champs 2016


Daire Feeley, Itap

Sean O Malley, WLCC

Stephen Murphy, U/A


Simon Kelly, Burren Racing

Derek Bowyer, U/A


Richy Gribbons, Seven Springs

John Gilleran, Kilteevan

Declan Lally, Black Rose


Steven Timlin, Castlebar CC

Tom Regan, Seven Springs

Shane Gilligan WLCC


Ericka Murray, Yeats


Eoghan Mc Loughlin, Westport Covey

James Tonra, Castlebar CC


Valerio Di Bacco, Galway Bay CC

Paul Crowe, Black Rose

Derek Joyce, Galway Bay CC

The Mayo League continued on Wednesday last in Ballyhaunis, WLCC members were in the first group on the night and they stayed away till the finish, Martin Joyce was leading the WLCC charge all the way but was piped on the line by a young lad from Castlebar and Ballyhaunis man. Hard Luck Martin after all the work you put in. Keep it up Martin, the win will come. Shane Gilligan also finished in top ten.

mayo league

The last round of the Western/Covey League will take place on Wednesday the 29th of June, this starts in Shra and cycles over towards Maura luke’s and back to Shra. Please support by all WLCC Members. The following Wednesday the second round of the WLCC league will take place in Kilmaine, the first event went very well so please support this race. Gerry Sheridan is the race co-ordinator for this event and all help will be appreciated.

Keep her Lit


The Great Western Lakes Sportive

An exciting new Sportive, replacing the Polkadot Challenge in 2015 is now back again in 2016
Route 1, 135 km. Starting in the Market town of Ballinrobe, follow the N 84 to Partry, passing Lough Carra on your right.Lough Carra is the largest marl lake in Ireland and is part of the Great Western Lakes complex. It covers 1,560 hectares and is joined to Lough Mask by the Keel River. It has many islands and a ragged shoreline with a plethora of bays and promontories, all on a bedrock of limestone.

85k route Short route GWLS
After turning left towards Tourmakeady, the vast expanse of Lough Mask appears to your left. Known around the world for its brown trout fishing, the Mask is the 6th largest lake in Ireland.Lough Mask is the middle of the three lakes, which empty into the Corrib River, through Galway, into Galway Bay. Lough Carra flows into Lough Mask, which feeds into Lough Corrib through an underground stream which becomes the River Cong. The eastern half of Lough Mask is shallow and contains many islands. The other half is much deeper, sinking to a long trench with depths in excess of 50 metres.

As we leave Lough Mask, and take the climb towards Maantrasna, on the descent Loch naFooey comes into view. Its name derives from Lake of the winnowing winds, and you will often see spectacular wind tunnels along the water. Popular locally for swimming and fishing, its nearest village is Finny.

Tourmakeady & beyond in majestic splendor.
A further climb towards Aill Dubh, and the cyclist will soon be on the downward road towards Leenane.
Leaving Leenane, you will pass Ireland’s only fjord, Killary Harbour. it is simply majestic. an awesome sight on anyday.
furer along the road, we turn sharply left into the Inagh Valley. The Inagh Valley has 2 lakes, Inagh and Derryclare, the Twelve Pins of Connemara rising steeply to the west, and the Maamturks to the east. The 2 lakes are connected by a series of rivers, and are renowned for their excellent fishing.

Polkadot 253
Leaving the valley, we turn left towards Maam Cross, and left towards Maam.
Onwards towards Cornamona, we get our first glimpse of the massive expanse that is Lough Corrib. While Lough Corrib is reputed to have 365 islands, a recent more accurate figure from the creator of the charts of the lake is 1327 The most famous of the islands is Inchagoil Island, midway between Cong and Oughterard. It is one of the largest of the many wooded islands along Lough Corrib. The island has spectacular views of the Maumturk range, Joyce Country and the mountains of Connemara. There are some secluded beaches and enchanting woods with a variety of walks around the island. There is evidence of an early monastic settlement which still mostly remains a mystery. There are two churches remaining, Saint Patrick’s and the 12th-century church known as the “saints” church. There are several paths around the island, an old cemetery and remains of four or five cottages which housed the few inhabitants.
The lake continues in our view until Clonbur.

130k routeLong route 133k

ENTRY HERE https://www.fitmagazine.ie/events/race/the-great-western-lakes-sportive-2016

Westportif 2016

The Westportif Cycling Weekend takes place on Saturday 16th July 2016,

Passing Through Doolough Valley

in Westport, Co. Mayo. Choose from 3 routes, 80km, 120km and 160km taking in the breathtaking scenery of Croagh Patrick, Mweelrea (Connaughts highest mountain), Doolough Lake, Delphi, Killary Fjord, Ashleigh Falls, Leenane village and the shores of Lough Mask in Tourmakeady.

Tourmakeady & beyond in majestic splendor.



Sign up @ http://www.westportif.ie

Feeley burns it up at Claremorris Criterium

Claremorris Criterium results

The fourth annual Claremorris Criterium and last year’s national championships course was raced at a furious pace over 45 minutes plus 3 laps. A small handicap was given to A4 and A3 riders to give them a chance of competing against the strong A1,A2 bunch over the 1.2k lap.  Brendan Butler of the promoting club just held on to take the prime after 10 minutes before been swallowed up by the bunch.
After 20 minutes of hard racing a break eventually got  clear with Daire Feeley Team Itap, Westport Covey wheelers duo Aaron Doherty and Eoghan Mc Loughlin.
These trio never looked like been caught and steadily increased their lead till in reached a maximum of 45 seconds,  with 2 laps to go the in form Feeley attack strongly to open a small gap on the Westport Duo, he held the gap all the way to the finish for his second win in 5 days, the talented Aaron Doherty who is still U16 showed form and skill way beyond his years to take second and  young Eoghan Mc Loughlin who is another Westport Covey rider filled the podium for third.
These three riders are hugely talented so watch out for these 3 names in the future as they are sure to be champions.
Podium of claremorris crit 2016.
1st Daire Feeley Team Itap
2nd Aaran Doherty Westport Covey Wheelers
3rd Eoghan Mc Loughlin Westport Covey Wheelers
4th Darragh Bailey @ 47seconds
5th David Brody Team Itap
6th David Walsh Castlebar CC
Prime after 10 minutes Brendan Butler Western Lakes CC
Sponsors Flynn’s pharmacy, Smyth’s newsagent and Claremorris chamber of commerce
The race was supported by the Claremorris men’s shed group and the local Red cross branch.
Western Lakes CC promoted the event under the guidance of race director Shane Gilligan.
Photos on western Lakes cycling club facebook page.

WLCC Report Friday 17-06-2016

Leisure Report

Wow what a week for Bike Week, it all started last Sunday with eth Croi Tour De Lough Corrib, this was well attended by WLCC, and local Groups, Holly Wheelers and Tri Lakes.

WLCC cycled up to the event and went in the opposite direction and covered 130km, it turned in to a race from Cornamona to Cong as these things do, practice for the WLCC league.

On Tuesday we had a newbie night and family cycle, the town was buys as the 5km series also took place. This went well and great to see new faces out and about. The Thursday spins are going well and back to the Tuesday evening spins from next week.

The Cornamona 50 Mile is on Saturday form Cornamona at 10.30am and the Tour de Burren is on in Clare, Tuam are holding a Cancer Care West event on Sunday form Tuam, so there is plenty of events to attend over the weekend.

Race Report

The John Hollian race took place from Cross and the A4 group contested the final with Westport lad taking the first place, fair play to Jerry Towey who took 6th place, he really enjoyed it by all accounts.


On Wednesday evening the first Round of the Western Lakes CC club league took place in Hollymount, 32 members signed on which in its self was a great achievement.

Sign on was in the Football pitch, the race started up the street and 4 groups were given handicaps. The scratch group had 9 minutes to wait after the first group started. It was a fine evening but a serious breeze took its toll on the event. After the first lap the motorbike passed the first group and all of a sudden the second motorbike passed, all the groups merged in the village of Hollymount and it was a good spectacle for the spectators. The scratch group caught the second and third group to form a big peloton which stayed together for most of the second lap. Coming to Ger Kirranes  Padraig. Marrey attacked and brought Sean O Malley with him, they were followed by Brendan Butler and John Gill but they could not catch the former A1 or the existing A1 who crossed the line in first and second. Refreshments were served in Finnertys after the race and a good bit of banter and crack was had by all. The finish was shown on TV and the results were given out. Please see link below to spread sheet of the results. This was very enjoyable race and the same again can be expected on the next round in Kilmaine on July the 13th, the race co-ordinator is Gerry Sheridan

WLCC club Summer league results 17-06-2016

The Claremorris Crit takes place on Friday evening at 8.40pm, it is great to watch the fast racing form close quarters, please show support or help out with the race.


John Holian Cup results

The result of the John Holian Cup.
Aaron Doherty Westport Covey wheelers had to dig deep to win this one, starting 4minutes a drift of the A4 riders the young and talented Doherty had only 55kms to claw back the H/cap, for 45k he dragged the rest of the A3 riders with him but with 10k to go he set sail on his own to reel in the A4 group who made good of their advantage, behind the A1.A2 riders were steadily eating into the lead but ran out of road and missed out on the placings.
The young Covey caught the A4 group by surprise and stuck at the back of the them for 1k before launching his sprint with 400m to go.
1st Aaron Doherty Covey Wheelers Westport Cycling Club
2nd Ronan Mc Namara Galway Bay Cycling Club
3rd Declan Gallagher Westport covey wheelers
4th Sean Holian Errigal cc
5th Damien Holian Errigal cc
6th Jerry Towey Western lakes cc

Prime on lap 3 Declan Gallagher Westport covey.
Sponsored by Ryan’s hotel

Thanks to sponsors Lydons of O Malley bar Cross Holian Travel Chauffeur hire.





Claremorris town centre bike racing

The Claremorris Crit will be once again taken place on Friday the 17th of June in Claremorris town center. The race is on a 1.3 km circuit for a 45 minute plus 3 lap time period and is open to all racers as there will be a small handicap for A4 riders
The race is in its fourth year and following on from the success of the Western lakes club from hosting the nationals crit championship last year on this course, riders will not be disappointed at what the circuit has to offer with some great cornering; agility, speed and skill will be a must on the night!
The route will start at the square in Claremorris, out Mount Street, turning up towards the train station, turning towards the main street turning again towards the back of the square and turning again to face mount street. The crit is a great spectacle with audience numbers getting bigger every year.
The race is promoted by Western lakes cycling club and Claremorris Chamber of Commenrce
Sign on and post race refreshments will be in the Dalton Inn Hotel located adjacent to race start line in the town center from 7:30, Race starts at 8;35.
Temporary traffic diversions will be in place for the duration of the race and some traffic disruption will be expected from 8:30 to 9:30.