Twelve Bens Leisure cycle Sportive September 9th

First 150 entries receive a special commemorative medal.

March 2017 saw the launch of a great new cycling club for Connemara, the Twelve Bens Cycling Club. The club took off at speed with over 50 people signing up. Since its creation the club has held weekly cycle meets as well as taking part in a number of cycle events including Tour de Connemara ,Westportif,Tour de Burren,Wicklow 200,Tour de Lough Corrib,Great Western Lakes Sportif and Western Lakes Ladies Sportif.


They have now set their sights even higher as they are busy organising their inaugural sportive, Tour de Bens. The event, taking place on Saturday September 9th 2017, is suitable for all levels of cyclists with a 80km and 57km route available.


Cyclists will be treated to some of the most beautiful scenery that Connemara has to offer as the routes encompasses the majestic Twelve Bens mountains, bringing them through Inagh Valley, Renvyle and along the Sky road. Clifden will be the event headquarters with the first cyclists leaving at 10am that morning.


Entry into the sportive includes a souvenir t shirt, refreshments along the route and a unique once off medal designed and created in GMIT Letterfrack furniture college.

The event costs just €30/€35 (for non Cycling Ireland members) with any profits going to local charity Connemara Therapeutic Riding. You can find out more details and enter online at Or follow them on facebook.

Last round of Western Covey League July 6th

Thursday July 6th is the final round of the Western Covey league.

Sign on at Partry soccer club from 6.30pm, first group off at 7.15pm, the route is 5.5 laps of the Srah circuit. (45k)

The club need to get as many members out as possible to have a chance of winning the league and team prize.

Prize giving afterwards in the Village Inn Partry.

Here is the Overall after Rd 2

Position Name Club Total
1 Anthony O’Toole WLCC 48
1 Niall McLaughlin Covey 48
2 Lorraine Mulchrone Covey 44
3 David McDermott WLCC 34
4 John O Halloran WLCC 33
5 Mike Kelly WLCC 32
5 Liam O’Suillibhean Covey 32
6 Noel Mulroy Covey 31
7 Eoghan Carr Covey 29
7 Mike Flynn Covey 29
8 Keith Mulroy Covey 25
9 Colin Loughrey WLCC 22
10 Martin Jennings WLCC 21
10 Yannick Scheerer Covey 21
10 Robert Coakley Covey 21
11 Noel Gibbons WLCC 20
11 Eammon Marrey WLCC 20
11 Brian Glavey Covey 20
11 Aidan Gill Covey 20
11 Sean O Malley WLCC 20
11 Philip Staunton WLCC 20
12 Neill Wilson WLCC 18
13 Paul Feeney WLCC 16
14 Shane Gilligan WLCC 12
15 Anthony Murray Covey 10
15 Padraic Furlong Covey 10
15 Noel Jennings WLCC 10
15 Pat Flannery WLCC 10
15 Jerry Towey WLCC 10
15 Scott Towey WLCC 10
15 Padraig Marrey WLCC 10
15 James McGreevy Covey 10
15 Shane Gill Covey 10
15 Martin O’Donnell WLCC 10
15 John Hughes WLCC 10
15 Keith O’Connell Covey 10
15 Ryan Scott Covey 10
15 Declan Gallagher Covey 10
15 Joe Moran Covey 10
15 Francis McGreal Covey 10
15 Darren Foy WLCC 10
15 Walter Lyons Covey 10
15 Patricia Harte WLCC 10
15 Keith Hastings Covey 10
15 Karen Regan WLCC 10
15 David Conway Covey 10
15 Yanis Blinov WLCC 10
15 Mark Gannon Covey 10
15 David Connolly WLCC 10
15 Mark Kelly WLCC 10
15 John Murphy WLCC 10
15 Tom Hughes WLCC 10


Great Western Lakes Sportif June 25th

The Great Western Lakes Sportif take place this Sunday the 25th of June, Sign on open from 7.45am at the cycling centre, Kilmaine Rd Ballinrobe.

The cycle leaves at 9am sharp.The route is 85k Ballinrobe, Partry, Tourmakeady, Ail Duil, Kilmilkin, Maam (Food stop 55k) Cornamona, Clonbur finish back at Cycling centre.

Entry fee is €20 and proceeds will go to the Ballinrobe branch of the Order of Malta who provide great cover for all our events and races in the West. If all members could attend it would make it a Great  day out, we will try and keep the group together for the first half of the event if traffic permits.

Western Lakes Club News 24/02/2017

Hi all , spring is in the air, dust down or wash down the bike and head out for “Spring Spin”

“Winter Miles = Summer Smiles”

Leisure cycling & MTB & Youths Reports

As the weather has turned for the worse, its hard to get the road season off to a start. The MTB side is flying at the moment. The first round of the Connaught MTB league was held in Moorehall last Sunday, with a great crew from WLCC taking part and finishing up on the podium as well.

The Expert Men race consisting of 5 laps was won by Colin Snow of Western Lakes

James English won the Junior Men, John Staunton came 4th in the Sport Men and Sinead Waters came second in the sports woman group and Eimear Flannery came first in the Novice Woman and Katriona McHugh came fourth and Robert Flannery came second in the U-10 Boys.

These are great results by WLCC members. It’s great to see the younger members getting in a few races. The next round of the MTB league is the  Biking Blitz in Derroura on March 12th. It would be good to see lots of members take part in this event. MTB bikes can be hired near Derroura. Check Facebook for details of the results.



The now annual training camp to Cliften takes place on Saturday the 25th of February. There is about 21 riders leaving Ballinrobe on Saturday morning and cycling back to Cliften in the sunshine and no wind or rain. They will stay the night in the station house hotel where they will have some light salads and some training information. Recovery drinks such as “Hop House 13” or a Gin or two will be needed. Mayo match will be watched and early to bed after the nightclub.

The brave souls will cycle back to Ballinrobe with the breeze at their backs on Sunday at a ADV speed of 37km per hour. We will wait for the stories next week.

Anyone not doing the Cliften cycle, may like to take part in the Saddle Up For Eplisey on Saturday, check Facebook for details. This is a great and well run event for a great cause. Its the first Sportif of the year and has 3 routes for all abilities. You are quartered to put on weight at this event lol.


The new club gear is ready to be collected and is available in Cummins hardware


Racing Report

As you may know by now the dispute with Cycling Ireland over the Ballinrobe 3 day continues on.  WLCC has made the decision to pull all the open racers for the year as a result. This is a hard blow for the racers in the club, every effort will be made to resolve the issue.  See club website for full report. There is an online petition to be signed, please see link below.

The racers of the club are training hard and all should be flying for the Ras Maigheo on the 25th & 26th of March 2017 in Westport.


Keep up the the training as “tomorrow will be bright” as they say



Western Lakes CC pull all Open Road races from 2017 Cycling Ireland Calendar

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

Western Lakes CC Club champs

A massive crowd of 38 riders signed up for the Club champs, the best for a number of years so fairplay to everyone for having a go, even though its nice to get a result its even more important to take part.


Club champs results
Thanks to everyone who helped run last nights club champs. Thanks to inch for refreshments afterwards. Great turnout from riders. Congrats to Mayo champion Sean O Malley for his second consecutive win, after coming third in the Connacht hill climb on the Windy Gap Castlebar in earlier in the morning.


For those who like to compete against the watch sign up for the Hollymount 22k TT on September 24th details to follow.

Club champs Top 10;

1 Sean O Malley
2 Ann Flynn
3 Brendan Butler
4 Shane Gilligan
5 Padraig Marrey
6 Mike kelly
7 Donal O Reilly
8 Martin Jennings
9 John O Halloran
10 Martin Joyce



Top 3 ladies
1 Ann Flynn
2 Marie Fraser
3 Kathleen Gibbons

1st A1/2/3 Padraig Marrey
1st A4/CR Shane Gilligan
2nd A4/CR Mike Kelly


Top 3 Hollymount riders

  • 1st Ann Stagg Flynn
  • 2nd Conor Gill
  • 3rd David Connolly

Bogman final overall results 2016

We are just coming back to earth now and the Bogman 2 Day says a big thank you to all! We saw the largest number of competitors since the event began 7 years ago & what a cracking weekend it was!

Stage 1 podium

TT Podium

Stage 2 B podium

Thank you to so many of you for travelling such distances to take part and we hope that the Bogman 2 Day will become an annual event on your racing calendar.


The event could not happen without a huge team of people behind it. Thank you to the commissionaires, Cycling Ireland crew & Seamus Shorthall for making it a fair & safe event. To the motor cyclists, marshals, local Garda, lead cars, Galway County Council, Civil Defence & Nurse Monica Nee for creating such a safe event for the cyclists & public. To Western Lakes for their equipment & support.

Final overall results Final overall and stage2b_result.pdf 2016 click here

Final podium 2016

To our sponsors Renvyle House Hotel, Marrey Bikes, K2 Adventure Centre,The Lodge Letterfrack, Veldons Seafarer, Rogans Store Tully & Connemara Fisheries.

See you all next year!
John James & Leo 

Western Lakes Cycling News 29-07-2016

Leisure Cycling

Hi all,

Now that the Westportif is over, this does not mean we can rest on out summer laurels, there are a few more events to attend, and also keep up the mid-week and Sunday spins, the fitness levels can drop off dramatically if we miss a few weeks on the bike with holidays etc. The Giro De Baile is on Sunday and this is a good sportive, with great scenery around north Mayo, it can be a challenge if the weather is bad, but it looks like it will be fine. Get a few mates and head down the cycle starts at 10.00am

Giro De Baile 2016

Race Reports

Its been a busy few weeks on the race front.

Constantin Bartels won last night’s Tourmakeady Festival Race in Co. Mayo, the Waterford Racing Club man soloing home at the end of the 50-kilometre contest.

Bartels, a former Western Lakes CC rider, started with the scratch group who were six minutes behind the A4/club riders and two minutes behind the A3 men.So he and the other limit men sure had their work cut out.But on the hilly course they made great inroads on the opening lap – despite the best efforts of a truck to unintentionally block their path across to the groups up ahead.

The A3 men weren’t hanging around either but they were joined by the minority scratch group and together they bridged across to the A4/club group, cutting down a three-minute gap on that last lap.Brendan Butler (Western Lakes) made a brave bid for victory when he jumped off the front of the lead group but that was brought back by a group of four scratch men, Bartels among them.

The latter wriggled free and stretched his legs to take the win with Westport Covey Wheelers man James McGreevy coming across the line in second followed by Sean O’Malley of the promoting club.


Tourmakeady festival Race, 50k

Promoted by Western Lakes CC

1 Constantin Bartels (Waterford Cycling Club)

2 James McGreevy (Westport Covey Wheelers)

3 Sean O’Malley (Western Lakes Cycling)

4 Joe Moran (Westport Covey Wheelers)

5 Pat Joe O’ Connell (Westport Covey Wheelers)

6 Steven Murphy (Unattached

The Brian McNamera Memorial Race took place in Tuam last weekend, there was a strong national field as this was a National league event.

8 riders broke away fro the A1/A2 group and they were gone for the day. Sean o Malley was very active in the remaining group but with extreme winds they could not make up the gap. Daire Feely from ITAP won the event.

John Gill and Patricia Harte done well in their races

On Wednesday last Belmullet CC held the Mayo champs 2016.

This was well attended by WLCC members with Sean o Malley in A1 group, Janis in the A3 group and John Conroy and club chairman Martin Joyce in the Club race.

All four Western Lakers picked up prizes at the Mayo Club Championships in Belmullet. Sean O’Malley was the star of the show again retaining his club championship with first place again. Yanis Blinos was second in A3, John Conroy was first in Club Racer cat with Martin Joyce second in Club Racer Cat. Congrats to Belmullet cycling club for a really well run event.

Sean O Malley, Dave Brennan and 2 Westport Coveys Meaney and McCreevy and two others broke free in the first 5km. Those first 4 broke away with 15km to go and held a four to five minute gap over the main bunch. Sean won the sprint by half a wheel. He came around mcCreevy in the last second. Well done all

Sean O Malley Mayo Champ 2016

SOM Mayo Champ 2016WLCC Lads at Mayo Champs 2016

Well done lads, MJ has no shorts poor lad.





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
  • 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