Western Lakes and Westport Covey wheelers have come together to bring one of the biggest leisure cycle sportives to the West of Ireland, Westport is reknown as been the adventure capital of Ireland, the town ticks all the boxes for an event like this, the aim is to make this event like the Ring of Kerry, held in Killarney, the club is looking for all its members to support it, proceeds will go to Pieta house so great cause.
Westportif brings hundreds of cyclists to Westport this weekend.
The brakes are off as Westport prepares to welcome hundreds of cyclists for the inaugural Westportif Cycling Challenge this weekend. There are events for all levels of cyclists. The first event starts on Saturday morning the 20th of July and consists of a sportif cycle of either 80 k or 160 k in distance depending on ability. The second event, which starts at 8 pm in Westport town center is an exciting criterium, a high speed race around the town and is for advanced cyclists and to bring the weekend to a conclusion there will be a family cycling event on Sunday morning along the route of the Great Western Greenway.
A Ramble round the Reek is a 80km cycle that should be accessible to all leisure cyclists, it sets out from Westport and heads west along the R335 taking in the breathtaking views of Ireland’s famous mountain Croagh Patrick on the left and the 365 islands of Clew Bay on the right. The route passes through the scenic town of Louisburgh turning left onto the R335 continues south towards the spectacular and picturesque Doolough Valley. Here the cyclists can take in the stunning views of Mweelrea (Connaughts highest mountain) which dominates the landscape and the dramatic beauty of Doolough Lake which translates as the “Black Lake”. They travel another 5 km along Ireland’s only fjord “Killary Fjord” where majestic views await on all sides leading into Ashleigh Falls before turning right for the village of Leenane for well-earned food stop. From here it is back to Westport through the Erriff Valley.
Westportif (160 km route).
The longer event follows the same route as the ramble to the village of Leenane. With 5 categorised climbs, the 160 km route will offer a good test for all riders. The route passes the popular K2 hostel before turning inland and heading down the Innagh valley in the shadow of Maamturks. After taking a left in Recess towards Maam Cross, this where the climbing starts with a moderate pull to Maam.
After a quick food stop we turn left at Maam Bridge for the village of Kilmilkin with the 2 short sharp climbs of Ail Dubh and Maam Transna in quick succession. With all the climbing out of the way we will take a break for our last refreshment stop at O Toole’s bar Tourmakeady along the shores of Lough Mask. This will be your last chance to catch your breath before the final 25km back to Westport.
Pieta House are the Charity Partner for the event, and this affords people a wonderful opportunity to support a great local charity. Westport Smarter Travel is the main sponsor of the event and all participants will receive a unique cycling top.
How long should it take to complete the course ?
Advanced – If you are a competitive cyclist, experienced sportif/ leisure cyclist or fitness enthusiast and are extremely active every week, we expect the first participants to finish the 160k route in around 5hours, the 80k in about 2.45hrs, Lady participants in 5.30hrs for 160k and 3.15hrs for the 80k
Intermediate – If you are starting training with a good level of fitness, maybe train twice or three times a week, but have never tried a Sportif event before.
160k in around 6hrs and female about 7hrs the shorter 80k event in 3.30hrs and females in around 4hrs
Beginner – If you are starting from a low level of fitness and this is a whole new challenge for you we would recommend that you start by aiming to complete the 80k route inside 5hrs. All of the above times are actual cycling time on the bike and don’t include stops.
The registration at Westport Leisure Park will be open on Friday 7-9.30pm and again on Saturday morning for a very limited time from 7am-8am. Safety briefing is at 8.45 am wilh the event starting from Westport Leisure Park at 9.00am. Check out www.westportif.ie for all the details about registration.