The 200km cycle heading up Glenaniff in Leitrim. Pic by Joe Sheerin
Leitrim and its surrounds could become a cycling and outdoor pursuit paradise according to Leitrim Glens Cycling Club organisers of Leitrim Glens Sportive coming up August 20.
The one-day Sportive with 100kms and 200km routes is set to cater for leisure cyclists as well as those who crave a challenge. The Sportive crosses over four counties starting and returning to Manorhamilton.
Leitrim and its hinterlands have all the ingredients to become a mecca for cyclists according to Seamus McGowan, Chair of Leitrim Glens Cycling Club. The Leitrim Glens Sportive has been designed and closely resembles “The Wicklow 200” widely recognised as the holy grail of the cycling world.
“We have it all here really. We have the terrain; It’s about the nature of the climbs, the technical descents and getting the overall distance in to the course. But our roads are good quality for cyclists as well. We don’t have the volume of traffic here and that’s a real advantage. 'Keep in mind you might meet the odd sheep on the descents!' he laughs.
He describes the 200km course as one for cyclists who enjoy setting themselves a challenge.
Former Junior World Champion Sligo’s Mark Scanlon has come out and publicly endorsed the Leitrim Glens Sportive. Scanlon who has done the course previously hopes to be able to make it this year.
The 100km can be taken by leisure cyclists and very achievable as the course is nicely spread out between food stops. “You can take the course in chucks. If you are able to comfortably take a 40km cycle your first food stop is at Paddy's bar in Geevagh, Co.Sligo and then it is just 30km up to Drumkeerin water stop.”
There’s a dinner after the course that gives many the opportunity to debrief and share stories, and becomes a great social occasion that people look forward to, till the next year.
This whole area has great potential and is ideal for cycling, mountain biking, and running.
Leitrim Glens Sportive cycle can be booked on the day. A discount can be availed by booking in advance on https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/leitrim-glens-sportive-tickets-32884148373