Errigal Cycling Club played host to one of the most scenic and challenging sportives in the Irish Cycling calendar last Saturday.
Over 60 cyclists signed on at The Lagoon, Termon on the main N56 to tackle the “Hills of Donegal” Sportive, participants travelled from as far as Belfast, Shimna Wheelers-Newcastle, (Co. Down), Carn Wheelers (Maghera) and Swords CC (Dublin) to name but a few. There was a good turnout from the local clubs with one notable entrant a certain Kris Meeke, the 2009 Intercontinental Rally challenge champion who hails from Dungannon proved he’s just as good on two wheels as he is on four! It was great to see a good turnout of ladies too for the event. The event itself was not for the faint hearted, the route covered vast amounts of climbing terrain with multiple cat four and five climbs and throw in the “Mamm” outside Creeslough - there’s not too many climbs in the Northwest as challenging as this one.
The first 50km of the event was a “warm up” for what was to follow as the cyclists travelled over Glendowan and down into Doohary. The first big challenge of the day commenced in Maghery, this was a very scenic loop with country roads and long climbs but the views were breathtaking. This section of the Sportive was the highlight for a lot of participants, from there it was down into Dungloe and over to Annagry for a tea stop in Sharkey’s Bar. Michael and Jackie had a fabulous spread laid on for the cyclists and it was well needed at this stage.
After the break the large group cycled over Errigal mountain, out over Muckish mountain and onto what most thought was the toughest climb of the day. However, the group did split on the “Mamm” into smaller groups as the ascents started to take their toll. It was onto Atlantic drive on the Downings Peninsula for the penultimate climb and finally up over Lough Salt. The final ascent over Lough Salt was a welcome one.
Errigal Cycling Club
Errigal Cycling Club presents Kids Sprocket Rocket Cycling Programme in Glenveagh National Park. This is a six-week fun cycling programme for 6-14-year-olds from 6.30pm - 8pm on May 14, 21 and 28 and June 11, 18 and 28.
A registration evening will take place in the Lagoon in Termon from 7pm to 7.30pm on Monday. The price is €20 per child and this includes free helmet, log book and welcome letter. (€35 for two in family and €50 for three in family).