The 3rd edition of the Donegal Bay Spring Sportive proved to be a real winner as the sun shone down on some 200 plus participants as they enjoyed a fantastic day of cycling in the beautiful surrounds of South Donegal. The superb weather really helped to highlight the fantastic scenery of offer.
Cyclists began to arrive early on Saturday at event HQ, the St.John Bosco centre in Donegal Town and there was a real buzz as the nice weather seemed to put everyone in a good mood, some were even applying a bit of suncream for a long day in the saddle under the Donegal sun. The Bosco proved to be a great HQ and we would like to thank them for the use of their facilities.
At 9.45 whistles were sounded as cyclists were called to the official start at The Diamond, Donegal Town where the obligatory photos were taken. First off were the 150km group who were waved away by Lynn Temple, Chairperson of event sponsor, Magee of Donegal. Lynn himself was also cycling the 150km route and was quickly on his bicycle and he needed to be as it was daughter Rosy who led the large bunch away from the Diamond out the Killybegs Road.
Next up were the 50km group who were set on their way by Mayor of Donegal, Patricia Callaghan. They headed around the Diamond and up the quay brae on their journey. Then it was the turn of the 100km with Donegal County Chairman John Campbell flagging them away.
A surprise participant was Irish cycling legend Joe Barr. Joe had been participating in the Race Across Italy but illness had knocked him out of that event. Just off the plane from Italy, Joe was looking for a real recovery test and decided to take in the 150km route of the Sportive. Despite already having 700 miles in his legs for the week, Joe pushed the pace from early on and rode most of the tough 150km route on his own finishing in a time of 4.45 minutes which is amazing on such a challenging route.
For most of the other participants, it was all about completing their respective routes and enjoying their day in the sun. The most oft heard comment was just how absolutely stunning Donegal looked with many stopping along the way to take photos of the fantastic scenery en-route. Everyone arrived back at the finish at the Bosco Centre to a big cheer and a great spread of food that was greatly appreciated by everyone.
Like beforehand, there was a great atmosphere at the finish with participants regaling each other with stories from their big day out. Many were already planning ahead for the next edition of the Donegal Bay Spring Sportive.
Once again, we are indebted to a large amount of people who helped make the event such a success. Special thanks to our sponsors Magee of Donegal who really got behind the event and designed a fantastic window display. Teds Bike Shop who again sponsored the back up vehicles and bottles, all the marshals, the support vehicle drivers, the registrars, the Garda Siochana, Medical Support & Ambulance, the local press as well as local dignitaries.
A special mention must be made of the catering team who put on a fantastic spread once again, Jo Daly of the Harbour restaurant who supplied the hot food at the finish of the 100/150km routes which so many loved.
Finally well done to event organiser Kevin McGlynn and his wife Mairead who was in charge of the catering. This was their first time organising the event and they did a great job off pulling everything together for the day. They were going like energizer bunnies all day long.
We are already looking forward to welcoming everyone back for another edition of the Donegal Bay Spring Sportive in 2016
Donegal Bay Kermesse
Hot on the heels of the Sportive is the clubs big race of the year, the Donegal Bay Kermesse this Saturday 25th in Mountcharles. This year will be the third edition of the event and will follow the same circuit as the previous years, starting on the Main St, heading out the Doorin Line, down Salthill, along the beautiful shoreline past the pier and then back up the very tough climb to the finish on Main St. The Cyclists will have to cover this circuit 13 times to make up the race distance of 80km so it makes for a great day of cycling viewing.
Interest is growing in this even and we are expecting to see some of the top cyclists from across Ulster coming to Donegal to hone their form for the upcoming Tour of Ulster and An Post Ras. Past winners include top class cyclists Ronan McLaughlin from Muff and Marc Potts from Omagh and we are hoping both will be back this year for a battle royale. Hopefully the beautiful weather will hold until the weekend and we will get to see Donegal Bay at it’s magnificent best once again.
Ted’s Bike Shop, Donegal Town is again the main sponsor of this event, Ted is a great promoter of this event and has shown that he can put on a great race. The Donegal Times have kindly stepped in to sponsor the King of the Hill competition this year also.
Event details: Race HQ St.Nauls GAA grounds. Sign-on 10.30-11.30. Race Start 12 midday Mountcharles Main St. Open to A1/2/3/Junior cyclists.
Youth Cyclist Oisin Doherty taveled to Drogheda at the weekend for one of the biggest Youth Races in the Country, Ras na nOg. Held over two days and consisting of 3 stages, the race attracted cyclists from all over Ireland and there were over 60 cyclists lined up in Oisin’s U-14 category.
The first stage was very flat and unsuited to Oisin’s strengths but he still finished in the top 25. On the following he had his best performance of the weekend taking an excellent 7th place finish. The final stage was disrupted by a crash and when racing resumed, it all finished in a mass bunch sprint.
At the moment, we don’t know Oisin’s final position but it was another good outing for the young lad from Mountcharles against the top cyclists in Ireland.