A Tribute to Alex Conti

posted 17 Oct 2017, 12:57 by Kevin Monaghan

(By Shay O’Toole - Tuesday 17th October 2017)   
In 2011 a group of Lakeside Wheelers members travelled to Belgium for the Tour of Flanders. For me, this trip turned out to be a memorable one but not for the cycling.  On the evening of the professional race I bumped into an Italian guy named Alessandro (Alex) Corti who, in turn introduced me to a Belgian guy, called Chatte.  After a chat over a few beers a connection was made. This chance meeting evolved over time and led to a very special bond between Lakeside Wheelers, De trudys cycling club Gerrardsbergen and Velo Club Oggiono in northern Italy, the club which Alex was a member of. 
In 2012 myself, Jack Nugent, Charlie Sheridan, Robbie Kenny and our wives accepted an invitation from Alex to join him and some of his Velo Club friends at the Tour of Lombardia. It is an understatement to say we we received five star treatment from our new Italian friends. 
In the ensuing years the friendship grew stronger and there were several joint trips between these three clubs to races such as the Tour de France, Giro di Lombardia, the World cycling championships in Florence and Paris-Roubaix. In keeping with the "Gathering" initiative a few years ago we invited the Italians and Belgians to Mullingar in 2013 for a visit which coincided with the An Post Ras. This was our chance to return the hospitality.
The common denominator in all of these celebrations was Alex Corti. His personality was infectious, his passion was cycling but above all, his heart was open to everybody who was lucky enough to cross his path. 

Unfortunately, Alex contracted a rare form of brain cancer in 2015. It was immediately clear that Alex was going to die within a very short timeframe but he bore his condition with amazing dignity and but for his resilience we would have lost him much sooner. Sadly, Alex passed away on September 26th, 2017.

Alex has given us lots of memories. His rendition of the "Irish Rover" as he walked up l'Alpe d'Huez at the 2013 Tour de France wearing a Lakeside Wheelers jersey and carrying a slab of Guinness on his shoulder will stay with me forever. He was renowned for giving his opinion but in his Italian dialect I will always remember him saying " my opeeenion" or when he wanted to confirm or affirm something he would repeatedly say "for sure". Most recently, Alex attended the 40th anniversary celebrations of Lakeside Wheelers in 2016 and whilst he was not in full health, he was adamant that he was going to be there. This dinner coincided with our hosting of the An Post Ras in Multyfarnham and Mullingar and Alex certainly brought the post-race party to life in Multyfarnham. 

Yes, these are personal memories but I know that everybody who knew Alex could give many more examples of his positive and outgoing nature, especially, Jack, Robbie and Charlie.

Alex was one of the most generous and loving people I have ever met and these few words will not come anywhere close to describing him. However, for those of you who had the good fortune to know him I hope they help you to remember your personal memories of him. To those who never knew him, I can only sympathise with you. Likewise, on behalf of everybody in Lakeside Wheelers I send sympathy to his parents Bianca and Giuseppe, his brother Luca, his extended family and all of his wonderful friends who took amazing care of him during his illness.

God bless you Alex, we will never forget you. May you rest in peace.

Your good friend,


Group Photo with Italian Guests
Alex Conti RIP, seen here 4th from the left in the front row.

Club Gear Night Tuesday 3rd October

posted 1 Oct 2017, 13:27 by Kevin Monaghan   [ updated 1 Oct 2017, 13:28 ]

(By Jerry Waugh - Sun. 1st October 2017)   
We will be holding a club gear night on Tuesday 3rd October from 6-8pm in the clubhouse. ​​​​Please find below the price-list and design for our club gear - note prices have remained the same since last year. We continue to offer a leisure (Summum) and race-fit range (Max) and will have sizing kits available on the night.

We also plan to have a casual soft shell jacket embroidered with the club logo available for purchase on the night. We are currently finalising design and pricing with our supplier. 

Please note that orders can only be accepted with full payment on the night. If you are unable to make the night please contact Joe Duffy in advance as changing the order afterwards has delayed the order process in the past.

Club Gear design

End-of-Season Weekend Away Announced

posted 4 Sep 2017, 05:39 by Kevin Monaghan

(By Shay O'Toole - Sun. 3rd September 2017)   
This year’s end of season weekend away has been decided and it looks like it will be a great trip for fans of both road and off-road cycling.

A small working group was tasked with coming up with a location and plan for this trip and it was only this week that the “white smoke” was seen rising from the clubhouse chimney. The date chosen is October 7th and the destination is the Deebert House Hotel in Kilmallock, Co. Limerick.

This location was picked as it is very close to the Ballyhoura Mountain Bike Park which was visited by a small group of members last year and the feedback was excellent. Ballyhoura is laid out in a similar fashion to a ski run with the trails colour coded to denote the difficulty of the terrain so there is something for everyone from novice to expert. The area is also very bike friendly and has some great roads so for anyone who does not want to go off-road there is always the option to do some road cycling. Both groups will be accommodated with choice of routes so decisions on where to ride will be very easy. Members will need to bring their own road bikes but it is possible to hire MTB’s from Ballyhoura if you want to try the off-road option. Of course, there is also the possibility of doing both disciplines on each day of the weekend. The choice is yours!

It is envisaged that this trip will prove to be very popular and as usual, places are limited so if you are interested in going please contact Chairman, Joe Duffy or club Secretary, Jerry Waugh before Sunday, September, 10th to reserve your place.

Details: One night Dinner, Bed and Breakfast in the Deebert House Hotel = €50 per person sharing. 

A group of Wheelers on a previous visit to Ballyhoura

Winter Protocol Returns for Midweek Cycles

posted 28 Aug 2017, 05:00 by Kevin Monaghan   [ updated 4 Sep 2017, 06:19 ]

Full size mudguards(By Shay O'Toole - Sun. 27th August 2017)   
With the long bright evenings fading fast it was decided at the last club committee meeting to revert to winter regulations. This means that the Wednesday evening spin from 30th August will be on the Old Rail Trail at 6:30pm and all members are asked to come with front and rear lights. 

Another important note is that the meeting place will change from the Clubhouse to the dedicated Old Rail Trail Car Park in the Industrial Estate beside the entrance to the Old Rail Trail so don’t get caught out.

It may seem like repetition but it is extremely important for all members to ensure that their winter cycling equipment is in good condition. If you possess a winter bike please do a thorough check over on it to make sure that it is road worthy and as per club rules, please fit front and rear lights and mudguards. These measures are simple however, they could be the difference between you or one of your club mates having a nasty accident or coming home safely. 

If you are unsure as to how to service your bike, just ask any member for help/advice or visit any of the bike shops in town. The club will also organise a winter cycling/bike maintenance night in the coming months so keep an eye on the website, club notes and club emails for more details. 

Long Rear Light

End of Year Social Cycle

posted 21 Aug 2017, 06:35 by Kevin Monaghan

(By Shay O'Toole - Sun. 20th August 2017)   

Rumour has it that plans are at an advanced stage for the end-of-year social spin which will most likely take place towards the end of September. 

Last year’s spin to Ballinasloe proved to be a great day out enjoyed by several members so hopefully it will be supported this year. 

Full details of date, venue and times will be available as soon as the Leisure Committee have sorted out the finer details so keep an eye on these notes for more updates in the coming weeks.

Some of the Wheelers who cycled to Ballinasloe on the Autumn Breakaway
Some of the Wheelers who cycled to Ballinasloe on last year's Autumn Breakaway

Grange Motors Mullingar Grand Prix

posted 10 Jul 2017, 05:24 by Kevin Monaghan   [ updated 18 Jul 2017, 02:45 ]

(By Shay O'Toole - Sun. 16th July 2017)   
Lakeside Wheelers ran its annual Grand Prix race in Multyfarnham earlier today and yet again this combination basked in a gloriously sunny day.

The day started out early with the underage events kicking off at 9.45am. First away was the Under 16 race which saw the competitors faced with one lap of the 34km circuit. This circuit brought the race from Multyfarnham to Crookedwood, Castlepollard, Coole and back to Multyfarnham via the bog road. After a few kilometres, Cathal Gallagher of Errigal CC took his chance and went up the road never to be caught by the chasing bunch. This young braveheart arrived into the village well ahead of the peloton to finish solo and take the first podium of the day. The chasing bunch arrived three minutes later with local rider and newly crowned National Track Champion (see Youths News) Aaron Wade taking the sprint for 2nd place while Caoimhe O’Brien was 1st placed girl.

Aaron Wade crosses the line in 2nd place in teh Under 16 race
Aaron Wade crosses the line in 2nd place in the Under 16 race.

Next off were the Under 14’s followed by the Under 12’s with both groups racing on the shorter but very difficult “Mornington” circuit. There was a lot of local interest in these races and the spectators were not disappointed as young Tommy Hogan continued his good run of form coming home in 5th with Aoife O’Brien taking the 1st placed girls prize. The Under 12 race was won by Quinlan Donnolly of Kanturk CC with the Under 14 honours going to Darren Foy of Covey Wheelers. Full results below.

Well done to all the young stars of the future and it is hoped that you enjoyed your day.

With the youth racing completed, it was time for the adult races to get underway. Almost 250 riders signed on across all categories for the day’s racing which was an excellent turnout.

The A1/A2 race was set off at exactly 11am and as this was a round of the Cycling Ireland National Road Series there was great interest in how it would unfold. Surprisingly the break went as the race climbed up the Gartlandstown drag on the first lap and that was that. This small group stayed away for the day with just two smaller chase groups surviving. The leaders pulled out such a gap that most of the race withdrew before the final lap leaving the road clear for the run into the line which saw Aquablue Academy rider Mark O’Callaghan take the spoils.

The other National Road Series race of the day was the women's event which saw 30 riders take to the start line. Amongst these was Lakeside Wheelers rider Joanna Bula who rode a great race in strong company and eventually finished 10th behind winner, De Ronde Cork rider, Sinead Oakes.

Joanna Bula Finish Womens Race Mullingar GP 2017
Joanna Bula crosses the line in 10th place overall in the Women's Race

Most of the local interest in the senior races was centred on the A3 and A4 races. Lady luck certainly deserted the Wheelers on this occasion but there were some solid performances along with the hard luck stories. Chief amongst these was Shane Jessup who finished 12th in the A4’s whilst both Richie Lenihan and Brendan Kiernan performed very well in the A3 event. Meanwhile, Mick Reynolds who, in his own words was racing for “a last hurrah” was extremely unlucky to puncture in the early stages of the A4 race while Joe Kenny was slightly more unfortunate to get brought down in a crash, just metres from the line as he was preparing to sprint for what looked like a very high placing.

Shane Jessup, Ciaran O'Brien, Mick Reynolds and Tommy Casserly at the Mullingar GP
Shane Jessup, Ciaran O'Brien, Mick Reynolds and Tommy Casserly at the Mullingar GP

On behalf of the organising committee sincere thanks to the following people and agencies who helped make this event so successful. Westmeath Co. Council, Mullingar Gardaí, Civil Defence, Multyfarnham Community Centre, Tara Bottlers, Lenihans Motor Factors, Claire Garry and her catering team from Mullingar Youth Cafe and last but not least, the Lakeside Wheelers members for marshaling and driving.

Results and links to pictures of the action below...

Senior Races (Pictures HERE )

Place Name Club
Senior Category 1 & 2
1 Mark O'Callaghan Aqua Blue
2 Seán Moore Bikeworx
3 Dermot Turlock Lucan CC
4 Owen Morton UCD
5 Paul Kennedy Newcastlewest
6 Craig Rea Phoenix CC
7 Sean Lacey Aqua Blue
8 Cian Delaney Stamullen
9 Tim O'Reagan Aqua Blue
10 Adam Stenson Bikeworx
Senior Category 3
1 Barry McMahon Scott Orwell
2 Seán McCarthy Galway Bay
3 Adam O'Reilly UCD
4 Richie Rennick Usher
5 Oriel Carbo Henry J Lyons
6 John Priest Lucan CC
7 Sean McMahon Bikeworkx
8 Derek Humphries Swords
9 Tom Regan Seven Springs
10 Alan Malone Ardee CC
Senior Category 4
1 Cathal Mccormack Ardee CC
2 Karl McKenna Swords CC
3 Michael Cox Battechia CC
4 David Gleeson Usher
5 Alan Dempsey St. Tiernan's
6 Seamus McGovern Smugglers
7 Dwyer O'Neill Velocity
8 Peter O'Toole Scott Orwell
9 Jonathan Murray Clonard
10 Peter McColgan St. Tiernan's

Women's Race (Pictures HERE )
1 Sinead Oakes De Ronde
2 Eve McCrystal Garda
3 Fiona Guihen Black Rose
4 Sinead Molloy Tullamore CC
5 Lorraine Mullarkey Emyvale
6 Nessa Rochford De Ronde
7 Jennifer Bates Clondalkin
8 Niamh Stevens TC Racing
9 Julie Rea Phoenix CC
10 Joanna Bula Lakeside Wheelers
Unplaced Jnr. Orla Desmond TC Racing

Youth Races (Pictures HERE  )
Under 12
1 Quinlan Donnolly Kanturk
2 Shane Dolan Ballinasloe CC
3 Tom Kinsella Panduit Carrick
4 Shane Finn Newcastlewest
5 Tadhg Lenihan Navan RC
6 Charlie Kelly Covey Wheelers
7 Seamus Connor Drogheda Wheelers
8 Caolan McKenna Emyvale
Under 14
1 Darren Foy Covey Wheelers
2 Owen Cooke SERC
3 Conor Shaw SERC
4 Conor Gallagher Errigal CC
5 Tommy Hogan Lakeside Wheelers
6 Rory Byrne Scott Orwell
7 Aoife O'Brien Lakeside Wheelers
8 Conan Duffy Emyvale
Under 16
1 Cathal Gallagher Errigal CC
2 Aaron Wade Lakeside Wheelers
3 Ryan Geraghty Bikeworx
4 Danny McDonald Burren CC
5 Yannick Schaere Covey Wheelers
6 Caoimhe O'Brien Lakeside Wheelers
7 Robert Keane Carlow CC
8 Matthew Devins Yeats County CC

Tour Of The Lakes A Scorcher

posted 12 Jun 2017, 08:47 by Kevin Monaghan   [ updated 19 Jun 2017, 04:50 ]

(By Shay O'Toole - Mon.19th June 2017)   
Yesterday, the club’s annual sportive was held in what can only be described as Mediterranean conditions. The “Tour of the Lakes” is now a well established cycle on the Irish cycling calendar and with close on 200 cyclists from all over the Midlands and beyond participating, it is great promotion for our club and the Mullingar area.

In glorious sunshine, the four different groups catering for all levels of cycling ability departed the clubhouse for routes of varying distances. The main route was 120km but there were options of 80km and 55km for those who didn’t fancy the longer spin. The 120km route wasdivided into 70km and 50km and brings the cyclists through some of the most scenic and cycling-friendly terrain in the locality.

Departing the clubhouse the riders headed through Crookedwood, Collinstown, Fore, Castlepollard, Coole, Multyfarnham and then back to base for coffee and snacks. The second half saw the groups cycle to Ballynacarrigy, Skeagh, Loughnavalley and Ballymore before finishing off a tough day out via Uishneach and Ballinea.

The feedback from visiting riders, some of whom traveled from Galway, Louth and Dublin was excellent so, Lakeside Wheelers is definitely giving the Irish cycling fraternity what it wants on the leisure scene. There were also several riders who stated that they were delighted to have the opportunity to cycle with Damien Shaw of the An Post Chainreaction professional team. Damien is home from the continent on a training block in preparation for the Irish National Road Race Championships which take place in Wexford next Sunday and he was delighted to be able to join in for what is the biggest day on the Wheelers’ leisure calendar.

As usual a lot of organisation is required to make events like this work and be successful, and Wheelers are very fortunate to have volunteers at will. Event organisers, Joe Duffy, Jerry Waugh and Jack Nugent put in a lot of hours to prepare for the “Tour”. Thanks also to Eddie Tyrrell for his excellent back-up service and for giving up his time on such a beautiful day. Further thanks to the Moto Marshal crew who kept everybody safe on the route. To Pairic Daly and Liam Lynn for driving back-up vehicles and last but not least, to Claire Garry and her team at the Youth Café in Columb Barracks for the fabulous refreshments and pasta.

Finally, thanks to everybody who cycled, whether you are a club member or whether you traveled a distance to join us, we cannot do these events without your support so, hopefully we will see you all back again in 2018.
Louise McCarra Damien Shaw Cathy O'Toole Dan O'Toole Eddie Tyrell Joe Kenny and Mick Devine enjoying the Tour of the Lakes
Louise McCarra Damien Shaw Cathy O'Toole Dan O'Toole Eddie Tyrell Joe Kenny and Mick Devine 
enjoying the Tour of the Lakes

Shaw Among Top Lineup for Mullingar Crit

posted 12 Jun 2017, 08:19 by Kevin Monaghan   [ updated 12 Jun 2017, 09:08 ]

(By Shay O'Toole - Sun 11th May 2017)   
Wednesday evening (14th June) sees the annual running of the Mullingar Criterium promoted by Lakeside Wheelers. Event organisers are delighted with the news that Damien Shaw of the An Post Chainreaction Sean Kelly team will be signing on once he comes out of this week’s Ronde de l’Oise stage race in France with a clean bill of health. 
Crit races are traditionally staged on short (1.2km) town-centre circuits for a pre-determined time followed by two laps. This generally leads to a very fast and exciting sporting spectacle for which power and good bike handling skills are essential. In recent years Lakeside Wheelers have twice staged the Irish National Crit Championships in Mullingar on a circuit which is generally regarded as one of the best in Ireland. Starting from outside Days Bazaar the route takes the riders left at Galvin's Menswear entering Blackhall carpark at the side of Reynos Café then downhill to exit the carpark at Jail Hill where they will turn left up through Mount St and left again at the Market Square to complete the lap.

Racing will get underway once the streets have been officially closed by the Gardai at approximately 7pm and first off will be the A4’s who will race for 20 minutes and 2 laps. Then at 7.30pm the A3’s will race for 30 minutes and two laps. Both of these races will have several Lakeside Wheelers members competing and best of luck to them all. At approx. 8.15pm the main event of the evening will commence with some of Ireland’s best cyclists taking to the start line for the A1/A2/A+ race which will be run over 45 minutes plus 2 laps.

To date there has been great interest with several riders signed up online but as is the norm for crits, the weather will play a major part so hopefully it stays dry and big numbers will turn up on the night.

Shaw a Hot Favourite
This will be an excellent opportunity for all local sports fans to come out and see top class cycling on the main street of Mullingar with the rare but added bonus of seeing Damien Shaw compete in his home town. The An Post Chainreaction rider will definitely be one of the hot favourites to take the title as he has a good record in crits having finished 2nd in both of the National Champs races mentioned earlier. He will also be coming to the race on the back of some excellent form in recent weeks. 

In April he took his first professional race win at the Tour du Loir et Cher in France then followed that up with a storming ride a week later on stage 1 of the Tour of Brittany where he was caught just 50 meters short of the line after a 100km breakaway. He then rode an excellent An Post Ras coming home 5th overall in what was an extremely tough 8 day race. This year’s Ras saw Shaw compete against some very serious competition some of whom had World Tour experience in events such as the Giro d’Italia and the La Vuelta d’Espana.

However, with Mark Dowling the current Irish National Crit champion signed on to race the Mullingar Crit, Damien won’t have it all his own way and he will have to be very clever with his tactical approach on Wednesday evening.
So, make sure you are there on the night to witness one of the best sporting events in the locality this year.

Mullingar Crit 2015 - Lined up at the start
The country's top riders lined up for the last Mullingar Criterium.
An equally strong field is expected on Wednesday evening.

Caoimhe O’Brien Selected for 2017 Youth Olympics

posted 5 Jun 2017, 09:59 by Kevin Monaghan

(By Shay O'Toole - Sun. 4th June 2017)   
There was great excitement amongs the Lakeside Wheelers clan this weekend following the fantastic news that Caoimhe O’Brien has been selected to compete at the 2017 Youth Olympics in Hungary.

Caoimhe has simply dedicated herself to cycling over the last few years and as a result she is now one of the brightest young stars in underage cycling in Ireland. Her selection to represent Ireland at the Youth Olympics in Gyor, Hungary in July is great news for her and her family and is just rewards for all her sacrifice and hard work.

The Irish champion track cyclist was shortlisted by Cycling Ireland earlier this year and placed on a talent team to participate in the selection process. She then had to compete at four specified events including a race in England to see if she would progress further which she did, and the news this week is the final cog in the wheel of that process.

There is no doubt that Caoimhe’s parents, Damien and Jacinta, and indeed all of her family are extremely proud of her achievement as is everybody in Lakeside Wheelers. Hopefully she will be able to concentrate on her Junior Cert exams over the next fortnight and then get down to training for her big trip to Hungary.

Caoimhe, on behalf of every Lakeside Wheelers member, congratulations and best wishes for the Youth Olympics event, we are extremely proud of you and will be watching out for you in Hungary.

Caoimhe OBrien in action in the recent Leinster Youth TT Championships
Caoimhe O'Brien in action in the recent Leinster Youth Time Trial Championships.

It’s May….The Month of the Rás

posted 22 May 2017, 15:17 by Kevin Monaghan

(By Shay O'Toole - Sun. 21st May 2017)   
For most people, the month of May is associated with things like longer evenings, fresh growth in the garden or First Holy Communion ceremonies. However, if you are a cycling fan or more importantly, an Irish cycling fan, May is associated with one thing, the Rás.
Today saw the start of the 65th edition of the Rás and unfortunately, the last one which will be sponsored by An Post. Over the years this race has become one of Ireland’s premier sporting events and has been graced by several of the sports leading stars including Mark Cavendish and Tony Martin. Only last week the opening stage of the 2017 Giro d’Italia was won by Austrian rider, Lucas Postelberger who won the Rás in 2015. 

Eoin Lynch Westmeath Planet X Team
This iconic eight-day stage race departed Dublin Castle at noon with 39 teams from across the world all vying to arrive in Skerries on next Sunday in one piece and maybe step on the podium to claim the yellow jersey. These teams consist of 5 riders and are representing Continental Teams, Countries, Counties and Regions. The foreign riders will often comment on how the Irish road surfaces or the weather can influence the race but what makes the Rás truly unique is that it allows amateur riders compete against seasoned professionals and on occasion, the part-timers manage to steal the glory.

This year’s Rás route covers 1,200 kilometres over eight stages with 21 categorised climbs, including two category one climbs, Mamore Gap and Glengesh Pass, both of which are in Co. Donegal. With Lakeside Wheelers having hosted a stage finish and start in 2016 the nearest it comes to Mullingar this year will be Longford town where the opening stage finished earlier this afternoon. The remaining stage finishes will be in Newport, Co. Mayo before it heads north to Bundoran, Buncrana, Dungloe and Donegal town, then on to Ardee, Co. Louth and finally, Skerries in North Co. Dublin. 

Local interest will centre on Damien Shaw of the An Post Chainreaction Sean Kelly team and former Lakeside Wheelers man Eoin Lynch who will be riding for the Athlone based Planet X team. Damien will certainly be one to watch as he is coming into the race on the back of some very strong rides in France in recent weeks, one of which brought him his first stage win in the professional ranks. With three visits to the Rás podium in 2015 and a fantastic 5th place overall last year, Shaw will undoubtedly be the star of his Belgian based team. On the other hand Eoin is facing into his 2nd Rás so he will be looking to build on what he learned last year. 

Best of luck to the two lads and indeed all riders in this year’s An Post Rás from everybody at Lakeside Wheelers and if you are anywhere near the action give a big shout out to the local lads.

Damien Shaw An Post Chainresction Sean Kelly Team leads the Rás through Kilcock
Damien Shaw An Post Chainreaction Sean Kelly Team leads the Rás through Kilcock

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