Announcement Regarding Ballinrobe Three Day Road Race
In 2016, Western Lakes Cycling Club (WLCC) promoted and ran the Ballinrobe 3 Day Road Race on the May Bank Holiday weekend. For the previous 13 years WLCC ran a two-day event in early August. WLCC decided to move the date to the May Bank Holiday weekend and run the event over three days. This decision was sanctioned by Cycling Ireland.
The race was extremely successful with 100 riders taking part. The feedback from the event was extremely positive from riders, teams and officials.
In September 2016 WLCC sent in its programme of open races for 2017, which contains ten open road races, including a three day, a two day, a crit and four other open races, which we have run for several years. Cycling Ireland accepted our dates and indeed published them on the draft Cycling Ireland calendar for 2017. As late as January 2017 Cycling Ireland informed us that we could not run the 3 Day on the May Bank Holiday weekend. The rule they cited for their decision was the following, Calendar Rule G8.5:
“Approval for an Event not previously entered on the calendar may be granted by the Provincial Secretary, but only after consultation with and approval from the Promoter, of any race scheduled for that day in an adjacent province with the exception of Sundays”
It is clear from the above that this rule is not applicable to WLCC as the race was indeed “previously entered on the calendar” in 2016. Therefore, Cycling Ireland has no grounds whatsoever to prevent our race going ahead. They are quoting their own rulebook to us in error. In fact, they themselves sanctioned the 2016 race and put it on their calendar and the race went ahead. Once the race went ahead a precedent had been set which makes Rule G8.5 irrelevant in this instance. Once we pointed this out, they quoted a completely different rule (G8.10) to justify their decision:
“In preparing the road racing calendar, dates will be reserved in advance of seeking general race applications for the following: All National Road Championships; National League dates; Established race dates; All Provincial Road Race Championships, which should take place on the same weekend.”
Our race date had already been established in 2016.
The position Cycling Ireland is putting a progressive club like WLCC in is intolerable. We are working every day to promote cycling in the West of Ireland. In 2016, WLCC ran more open road races than any other club in Ireland and a third of all the open road races in Connacht.
There comes a time when a stance must be made and where clubs must face up to the National Governing Body.
We have made several attempts with Cycling Ireland over the last number of weeks to resolve the issue, but have faced officialdom and bureaucracy at every turn.
Therefore, faced with no other option, WLCC has decided to cancel our entire open road racing programme for 2017 in protest against Cycling Ireland’s position. It is the riders who are losing out here due to the position this governing body has taken. We apologise to our fellow riders, who will not have the opportunity to participate in our races in Connacht, but we hope they and our fellow clubs around the country will understand our stance.
We believe we are being treated poorly by Cycling Ireland and while it’s OK to run a three day in Ulster and Munster, it does not appear to be acceptable to run one in Connacht on the same weekend.
Yours in cycling.
Western Lakes Cycling Club Committee