All ready for the off in the Lough Key Classic Cycling Sportive
Final arrangements are being put in place this week for Sunday’s Lough Key Classic Cycling Sportive which will start and finish in Boyle, Co. Roscommon.
Organised by local cycling club Curlieu Wheelers, the event will cover three distances – 115k for the more experienced cyclist, 70k for those who like a challenge and a new distance this year - 33k.
New routes have been introduced this year for the Classic with all 115k and 70k distances taking in a figure of eight loop with the food stop in King House in Boyle town centre.
In addition there will be an optional King of the Mountains route climbing the Old Mail Coach Road, up Green Street in Boyle town centre, before descending the Curlew Mountain. There will be a time cut off for this section which is also weather dependent, due to its degree of difficulty.
The 115k cycle sees riders leave Boyle at exactly 9am and head to Ballymote, Gurteen, Monasteraden, Mullaghroe and back to Boyle. After their food stop in King House, they will head past Boyle Abbey to Lough Key Forest Park, out to the N4, onto Cootehall, Derrenargon, Keadue, Ballyfarnon, Corrigeenroe, Ballinafad, Broher and onto the Curlew’s climb on the Keash/Ballymote road before heading back to Boyle.
The 70k route will see riders leave Boyle at exactly 10am and head to Cloonloo, Monasteraden, Mullaghroe and back to Boyle. After their food stop in King House, the riders will head past Boyle Abbey to Lough Key Forest Park, out to the N4, Knockvicar, Corrigeenroe, Ballinafad , Broher and onto the climb on the Keash/Ballymote road before heading back to Boyle.
The 33k cyclists will leave Boyle at 10.30am and head to Cloonloo, Monasteraden, Mullaghroe and back to Boyle with their finish at the food stop in King House.
A welcome cup of tea will be available before the event in the Classic HQ in the Sports Complex where there will be adequate, secure parking and hot showers available.
A hot meal will also be served following the event for 115k and 70k riders.
The Lough Key Classic is a recognised Cycling Ireland sportive and is open to those aged over 18 or to under 18's who hold a Cycling Ireland junior licence)
Participants for all routes can register at the Sports Complex in the grounds of Abbey Community College in Boyle on Saturday from 5pm - 7pm and on Sunday from 7am - 8.45am for 115k riders and until 9.30am for 70k and 33k riders.
Entry is €20 for Cycling Ireland members and €25 for non-Cycling Ireland members and €15 (€10) for the 33k route
Last year’s successful event saw donations being made to a number of local charities. It is hoped to make similar donations again following this year’s event.
Curlieu Wheelers Chairman Eddie Conroy said this week that following the success of the last three Classic's, this year's sportive should attract a large number of cyclists to Boyle - “The Lough Key Classic is organised by cyclists for cyclists and as such has been commented on as one of the best run sportives that was held in Ireland in the last few years”
“It has become a firm favourite for many cyclists and this year will be no different, in fact I think it will be even better with hopefully a larger number of entrants than before”.
"We have changed the routes this year to showcase the beauty of our town with riders taking in King House, Boyle Abbey and Lough Key and of course the Curlews."
“In addition, all cyclists will have their food stop this year in King House which should be a spectacle in itself as over 200 riders descend on the historic town centre location mid cycle".
“It is important to make the riders feel welcome here in Boyle and in this regard, I would ask the residents of the town and those along the route to come out in large numbers to show support for the cyclists, especially as they enter Boyle to the finish on the Crescent around lunch time Sunday”.
“I would also ask dog owners on the route to ensure their animal is not roaming free on Sunday. “This is a great event for Boyle and one that is now firmly established on the town’s calendar,” Eddie concluded.