Sudety Mountain Bike Challenge

posted 30 Jul 2018, 03:00 by Kevin Monaghan

(By Shay O'Toole - Sun. 29th July 2018)   
Paul Crowley and Richie Lenihan are no strangers to hardship and were once again putting themselves through the wringer at the Sudety Mountain Bike Challenge in Poland last week. This is a six-day “race” through some very challenging terrain which sees the riders climb close to 2,000m on each stage. Well done lads, another box ticked, yet again.

Paul Crowley on extreme left and Richie Lenihan, extreme right at the Sudety Challenge in Poland.
Paul Crowley on extreme left and Richie Lenihan, extreme right at the Sudety Challenge in Poland.

Five Countries Cycle

posted 30 Jul 2018, 02:57 by Kevin Monaghan

(By Pearse Murphy - Sun. 29th July 2018)   
Over the last few months a group of local cycling friends have been busy training for a novel trip which they organised themselves to celebrate the good summer weather of 2018. The following is a short blog by Lakeside Wheelers member, Pearse Murphy who was one of the pivotal organisers of the trip. It sounds like a fabulous few days on the bike and congratulations to all who participated. 

Day 1 
Seven enthusiastic cyclists set off for Belfast Port from a murky Delvin at 6am along the N52. Unfortunately the murk lasted all the way to Belfast. All went well until we hit the A1 between Newry and Lisburn where road conditions in the hard shoulder were atrocious throwing up five punctures. However, the group worked well together and we made our target of 2pm for the ferry to Scotland with 170kms cycled and 600 metres climbing under our belts. In Stranraer, after a bite to eat and a freshen up, we met the lovely Catherine Meehan (from Mullingar) her husband Ian and their family for tea and cakes in their home.

Day 2 
The group set out at 9am for Carlisle. We cycled through the beautiful Galloway Hills with a tea stop at Clatteringshaws Visitors Centre and lunch in the scenic town of Dumfries. From there we travelled lovely quiet country roads to Carlisle arriving at 6pm and our second overnight after a day where we clocked up 178kms with 1400 metres climbing.

Day 3
The group set out at 9am for Wigan via the scenic Lake District. Here we met the infamous Kirkstone Pass well known locally to cyclists as “The Struggle”. In the 2016 Tour of Britain the great Bradley Wiggins dismounted his bike and ran a short section of it. Some parts near the top have over 20% gradients.  The reward, from the top, is a beautiful vista over Lake Windermere with an 8 km decent to the idyllic town of Windermere. From there we skirted towns like Lancaster and Preston to bring us to our overnight in Wigan at 7pm. 182kms cycled with 2100 metres climbing.

Day 4 
The group set out at 9am for Holyhead via Chester. We enjoyed a tea shop outside Chester and lunched in the scenic village of Rhuddlan in North Wales. The next part of the cycle took us through the picturesque Conwy Marina village and onto the eccentric cycle path to Bangor. This cycle path involved seashore, skyways over motorway, standard roads and greenway over hills. The group arrived in the Valley at 10pm with a welcome bite to eat and a few “cups of tea”. 198kms cycled with 2300 metres climbing.

Day 5
This was a relaxing day on the bike starting from the Phoenix Park at 2pm with a coffee break in Kilcock after travelling some nice back roads which skirted Lucan, Leixlip and Maynooth with the trip ending in Kinnegad after  63kms with 300 metres climbing. So, overall this was a great experience which saw the group cycle 791kms over the five days. Well done to all and maybe 2019 will see us travelling together again.

Pearse Murphy, Gerry Heery, Declan Smith, Pairic Moore, Tom Judge, Eugene Coyle and Dominick Brannock after completing their Five Countries Challenge.
Pearse Murphy, Gerry Heery, Declan Smith, Pairic Moore, Tom Judge, Eugene Coyle and Dominick Brannock after completing their Five Countries Challenge.

Successful Mullingar Grand Prix Despite Change in the Weather

posted 2 Jul 2018, 08:17 by Kevin Monaghan   [ updated 17 Jul 2018, 15:07 ]

(By Shay O'Toole - Sun. 15th July 2018)   
Mullingar GP:
The Lakeside Wheelers promoted Mullingar Grand Prix, in association with Grange Motors Toyota, was run off last Sunday in Multyfarnham. Once again this was a very successful event for the club with over 200 riders participating across all categories. Unfortunately the beautiful weather of recent weeks and indeed months, deserted us on the day, as the heavens opened and delivered persistently heavy rainfall throughout the days racing. Notwithstanding this, the racing was of a very high standard with both the Ladies and the A1/A2 races designated Cycling Ireland National Road Series events. 

The day commenced with Youths races which were staged over the 12km Mornington circuit. There were three races in total with U12’s, U/14’s and U/16’S competing over 1, 2 and 3 laps respectively. Nine Lakeside Wheelers members competed on the day and all represented the club colours very well. Aoife O’Brien took home the prize for 1st girl in the U/14 race and in doing so she beat some of the stronger boys. Tommy Hogan rode an excellent race and was the first Lakeside Wheelers member home in the U/16’s while Mikey Flaherty continues to improve and came home 6th overall in the U/14 Boys race. Well done to all our Youths, keep up the good work in training and the rewards will come for you.

Following the Youths events the senior races began at 11.05 and Lakeside Wheelers was once again well represented in the A3 and A4 competitions. The A1/A2 race was first to set off and after some very aggressive racing htis came down to a two up sprint up the hill with Sean Moore of Gerrard DHL taking the spoils from Conor Hennerbury of Viner Caremark Pactimo. The other feature event of the day was the Ladies race which was won by current Irish champion, Eve Mc Crystal of the Garda CC-Richies Bikes outfit. 

Lakeside Wheelers had a good contingent of riders in the remaining A3 and A4 races with Jack Moran bringing home the best result with a fine 5th place in the latter. He was followed closely by Lorcan Caffery who rounded out the top ten in that event. All other local riders acquitted themselves very well despite some encountering mechanical and puncture issues. Well done to all who competed.

The GP is the club’s biggest event of the year and requires a lot of background work to ensure it runs off as smoothly and safely as possible. Alongside the members who help out there are several people who are not club members but who do assist, and without their help this event would not happen. 

In this respect, the organising committee of Shay O’Toole, Joe Kenny, Jack Nugent and Joe Duffy are very thankful to the following people and organisations; Grange Motors Toyota Mullingar, Westmeath Co. Council, Mullingar Civil Defence, Frank McDonagh (Mileage Tyres), Oliver Scally (Fencescape), Karyn Morgan (Youth Cafe) and Multyfarnham Community Centre. Thanks also to all club members who turned up to marshal the event, this is an extremely important role and without your help there would be no GP. The committee would also like to thank Mary Taffe and club Chairman, Henry Whitson (Commissaire) for their services.  

Tales from the day were told, exchanged and most importantly, lied about over a few beers, some good food and music at a club BBQ in the Chambers pub on Sunday night which was organised by Social Officer, Ulrika Maher. So, on behalf of the Events Committee, until June 2019, that’s the Big 3 (Mullingar Criterium, the Tour of the Lakes and the Mullingar GP) done and dusted for this year, thanks for helping out, participating and supporting.

Aoife O'Brien (R) looking totally focused before the Mullingar GP with Mikey Flaherty behind.
Aoife O'Brien (R) looking totally focused before the Mullingar GP with Mikey Flaherty behind.

Club Barbecue - Sun. 15th July After Mullingar GP

posted 25 Jun 2018, 08:17 by Kevin Monaghan   [ updated 10 Jul 2018, 01:19 ]

(By Shay O'Toole - Sun. 24th June 2018)   
Social Officer Ulrika Maher wishes to remind all members that the club will be hosting a BBQ in The Chambers pub on Mount St on the evening of the Mullingar GP. This is scheduled to get underway at 8pm with food and “some” beverages sponsored by the committee. 

This is a Thank You getsture to all members for assisting with the recent National Criterium Championships, The Tour of the Lakes Sportive and the GP. So, please come along and enjoy the Craic agus Ceol and Ulrika has requested any members who play an instrument to bring it along for the session. 

See you all there.

Barbecue on a bike! - Picture Oxonian Cycling Club
Pic Oxonian CC

National Criterium Championships 2018

posted 15 Jun 2018, 16:15 by Kevin Monaghan   [ updated 18 Jun 2018, 02:12 ]

(By Shay O'Toole - Sun. 18th June 2018)   
The highlight of the club's celebration of National Bike Week was the staging of the National Criterium Championships in Mullingar town centre last Friday evening.

This was Wheelers’ third time to host this prestigious National Elite race. As usual the promotion was of an excellent standard thanks to a lot of hard work from the organising committee and the members who turned out to assist with running the event on the night.

There were two races to be settled on the night with the Ladies competition classified as a demonstration race which meant that the winner did not get a Champions jersey,  all going well it will be awarded full Championship status in 2019. Despite a small number of entrants this was an exciting race with Fiona Guihen of Black Rose Racing taking the honours. Lakeside Wheelers had one rider in the race with 15 year old Caoimhe O’Brien getting a special dispensation from Cycling Ireland to upgrade to senior ranking for the night. Caoimhe made an excellent start making the initial break of three but a crash in Blackhall car park put paid to her chances even though she bravely rejoined the race to finish in style. 

The men’s race had a full field with 60 riders going to the line for the chance to wear the National jersey. This field included the cream of Irish cycling talent and, as anticipated, it proved to be an excellent race. The speed through the 1.2km town centre circuit was evident from the start with several riders getting dropped in the opening few laps, such was the ferocity of the attackers. The race was down to a battle for gold and silver after just four laps with Mullingar rider Damien Shaw of Holdsworth Pro Cycling and Dillon Corkery of Gerard Cycles-DHL going clear of the bunch. This remained the position for the entire race as the chasers remained at least 20 seconds adrift of the two flying leaders all night.

Damien Shaw and Dillon Corkery in Action in the early laps of National Crit Championships in Mullingar
Damien Shaw and Dillon Corkery in Action in the early laps of National Crit Championships in Mullingar this evening.  More pictures HERE

In the closing stages it was all set for a sprint finish as the large partisan Mullingar crowd got behind Shaw who is an honorary lifetime member of Lakeside Wheelers. However, it was not to be the Holdsworth man's night as the young 19 year old Corkery just edged the two up dash on the line. 

Race organisers were delighted with the success of the race and wish to thank everybody who turned out to watch the event which was expertly broadcast around the town by the commentator, Ger Campbell of Cycling Leinster. As with all good events there is a team required to make them run smoothly and successfully. 
Lakeside Wheelers Racing Committee wish to thank Westmeath Co. Council, Mullingar Gardaí, Mullingar Civil Defence, Mullingar Traders, The Greville Arms Hotel, McDonnell Auctioneers, Donie Coffey, Dr Declan Brennan, Westmeath Examiner, Westmeath Topic, Midlands Radio 3, Kevin Matthews Sound Engineering, Tara Bottlers and Cycling Ireland. Special thanks to the staff at Newbrook Tyres Mullingar who helped out with barriers at very short notice. Finally, a big thank you to all our members who made themselves available to help with marshalling, time keeping, judging and all the other very important jobs needed to ensure the event ran safely. 
The following are the results of the National Criterium Championships...

Men's Elite National Criterium Championships
1st  Dillon Corkery, Team Gerard DHL
2nd  Damien Shaw, Holdsworth Pr Cycling
3rd Darnell Moore, Team Caldwell Cycles
4th David Montgomery, Unattached
5th Paidi O'Brien, Team Gerard DHL,
6th Marc Potts, Unattached

Women's Demonstration Race
1st Fiona Guihan, Black Rose Racing
2nd Jennifer Bates, Team Gerald DHL
3rd Lyndsey Bryce, Dublin Wheelers
4th Orla Hendron, Scott Orwell Wheelers]
5th Sinead Molloy, Tullamore CTC
6th Maura Claffey, UCD Cycling Club

Tackling the the toughest stretch of the circuit in the elite men's race.
Tackling the the toughest stretch of the circuit in the elite men's race.
More pictures HERE

National Criterium Championships Take Place on Friday

posted 11 Jun 2018, 09:28 by Kevin Monaghan

(By Shay O'Toole - Sun. 10th June 2017)   
Mullingar town will be the centre of Irish cycling next Friday,15th June when Lakeside Wheelers host the National Criterium Championships. A criterium is a race staged on a short circuit preferably in a town centre or city location. As a result, these events are known for speed and tight cornering and with the field containing some of the best riders in the country it is expected that it will be very exciting racing.

Lakeside Wheelers wish to thank the local traders, Westmeath Co. Council, Mullingar Gardai and Mullingar Civil Defence for their cooperation in staging this prestigious race. The route which is based around Oliver Plunket St, Blackhall and Mount St was described by 2011 winner and former World Champion Martyn Irvine, as the best criterium circuit he had ever raced on.

Racing will commence at 7pm with a ladies Demo race followed by the Elite race at 8pm. The Championships race at 8pm will see the riders racing for 50 minutes plus three laps. So, please come out and support this event and see some of the best of Irish sporting talent on display in the centre of Mullingar. Any members available to assist with marshalling on the night are asked to please turn up in the Market Square any time from 4pm on Friday next and contact Aidan Daly, Joe Kenny, Jack Nugent or Shay O’Toole.

Action from the 2011 National Championships with Martyn Irvine and Damien Shaw
Action from the 2011 National Championships with Martyn Irvine and Damien Shaw

Wheelers to Host National Criterium Championships

posted 4 Jun 2018, 08:30 by Kevin Monaghan   [ updated 4 Jun 2018, 08:30 ]

(By Shay O'Toole - Sun 3rd June 2018)   

The big news this week is that Lakeside Wheelers is to host the 2018 National Criterium Championships in Mullingar on Friday, 15th June.

This is another great honour for the club and follows on from our staging of this prestigious event in 2011 and 2012. In recent months members of the club committee were involved in talks with Cycling Ireland representatives and subsequent to these discussions the club was requested to bring this very exciting race back to the streets of Mullingar.

Criterium racing is renowned for speed and excellent bike handling skills which are required to negotiate the tight corners associated with this type of event, The 1.2km Mullingar town centre route which incorporates Oliver Plunkett St, Dominick Place, Blackhall Carpark, Gaol Hill and returning to Oliver Plunkett St via Mount St is regarded as one of the best criterium circuits in Ireland.

Racing will commence at 19.00pm with a Ladies only event which will run for 25 minutes and two laps. Following this the Elite National Championships race will set off at 20.00pm and the riders will race for 50 minutes and three laps. Both events will be very exciting to watch so it is hoped that big crowds will come out enjoy top level cycle racing on our doorstep.

On the previous two occasions when Lakeside Wheelers staged this great race the winners were former World Track Champion, Martyn Irvine in 2011 and current Irish track cyclist Felix English, in 2012. Mullingar professional Damien Shaw of Holdsworth Pro Cycling placed second both years so it remains to be seen if he can go one better this year. This will be a great opportunity for Mullingar cycling fans to see the Lakeside Wheelers Lifetime member and third year professional cyclist who will be fresh from his fantastic fourth place in this year’s Ras Tailteann, in action on his home streets. Lakeside Wheelers will also be represented by a contingent of other members racing on the night. 

On the evening of  Friday, 15th June the streets will be closed off from approximately 18.45pm until 21.30pm. There will be diversions in place so disruption to traffic is expected to be minimal.

There will be another update on this National Championships race in next week’s notes but if you have not already done so, can all members who are available to assist on the night please contact Joe Kenny, Shay O’Toole Joe Duffy or Jack Nugent.
Action from last year's Destination Sport Mullingar Criterium
Action from last year's Destination Sport Mullingar Criterium

Mixed Emotions For Damien Shaw At Rás 2018

posted 4 Jun 2018, 08:21 by Kevin Monaghan

(By Shay O'Toole - Sun 27th May 2018)   
The 2018 Ras Tailteann finished amid torrential May showers in Skerries last Sunday afternoon. For the third consecutive year, Mullingar man, Damien Shaw finished in the top five in this very difficult eight-day stage race. 
However, Damien’s fantastic fourth place finish was tinged with more than a little disappointment as the Holdsworth Pro Cycling rider had been in third position all week. On the opening 136km stage from Drogheda to Athlone, Damien managed to make the decisive split and rode in the breakaway group which stayed clear to the finish on Shannonside. Along the way he won intermediate sprints in Rochfortbridge and Kilbeggan resulting in time bonuses which left him on the podium and just eleven seconds adrift of Swiss national rider and race leader, Cyrille Thiery.

The following six days saw the race travel at mind boggling speeds to stage finishes in Tipperary, Listowel, Glengarriff, Mitchelstown, Carlow and Naas. On each day, Shaw, the 2015 Irish National Champion fought tooth and nail to ensure he remained on course for a podium finish in Skerries. Unfortunately, on the final stage from Naas to Skerries the race was turned on its head with the second placed Dutch rider toppling the Swiss rider off the top block by a mere one second and in turn this left Damien just off podium in fourth. 

Despite the fact that fourth was an amazing achievement, Damien was naturally devastated in the immediate aftermath of the race as the realisation that a place in Ras history had evaded him yet again. However, the full-time Yorkshire based cyclist is not one to wallow in defeat and he will soon be back on the bike racing in England. His next appearance on Irish roads will be at the National Championships in Sligo on 1st July.

Congratulations also to Lakeside Wheelers member, Stuart Cox who rode the Ras with Longford Cycling Club. 

Damien Shaw, 2nd from right celebrates with his Holdsworth Pro Cycling team after they took a stage win in Carlow at Ras 2018
Damien Shaw, 2nd from right celebrates with his Holdsworth Pro Cycling team 
after they took a stage win in Carlow at Ras 2018

Rás Tailteann 2018 Starts on 20th May

posted 14 May 2018, 15:40 by Kevin Monaghan   [ updated 14 May 2018, 15:41 ]

(By Shay O'Toole - Sun 13th May 2018)   
With the news of withdrawal of sponsorship by An Post for the 2018 Rás spreading through Irish cycling circles last year, it was feared that this great race was to go the same way. However, the organisers were pennywise over the previous years and had a rainy day fund which will be used to run the event this year.

The Rás commences on 20th ay with the first stage passing through Tyrellspass and Rochfrtbridge en route to Athlone for the stage finish. This will give all local cycling enthusiasts a fantastic opportunity to catch one of the best and hardest bike races in Europe as it races through our neighbourhood. This year there will once again be some local interest with Lakeside Wheelers member Stuart Cox riding with a Longford selection in the County Rider category.

Damien Shaw (centre) leads his new team in training earlier this year
Full-time rider and member of the Irish registered Holdsworth Pro Cycling team, Damien Shaw, will also be competing and no doubt, attempting to improve on his past performances. Shaw has ridden the Rás both as an amateur and professional rider with some excellent results. In 2015 he finished the eight-day race in great style coming home 2nd on two stages and 3rd on the final showcase stage into Skerries. In 2016 and 2017 he was one of the main threats to the General Classification and on both occasions he took a fabulous 5th placing. 

In particular, last year he was extremely close to donning the Yellow jersey but experienced some bad luck as the race traversed the tough roads of Donegal which ended his push for outright victory. However, this year he has a new team and the former Mullingar fireman and Lakeside Wheelers member will be back hunting for glory.

Club Commences 2nd Beginner's Course

posted 30 Apr 2018, 06:59 by Kevin Monaghan   [ updated 30 Apr 2018, 07:01 ]

Lakeside Wheelers Mullingar commenced the second of its adult beginner cycling courses for 2018 on Wednesday April 25th. The course comprises of a briefing session on Wednesday evenings followed by a spin with a second spin on Saturday mornings at 10.00am. Anyone who has an interest in taking up cycling is welcome to attend. 

On the opening evening a large number of beginners enjoyed their maiden cycle in the bright sunshine and, unusually, again on Saturday morning. Club member, Steve Franzoni led a lively discussion on a wide range of topics such as road safety, cycling etiquette, cycling skills, fitness, bike maintenance and clothing. 

These informative briefing sessions will continue for the next few weeks and it is hoped the sunny weather will follow suit. The first Saturday morning spin saw the group cycle to Castletowngeoghan where an al fresco coffee stop was enjoyed by all.

On the Wednesday evenings, there will be a brief talk on cycling topics commencing at 6.00pm after which, the course coordinators will bring cyclists out for a spin lasting up to an hour and a half at an easy pace on the Old Rail Trail Greenway. On Saturday mornings the course leaders, who are all Lakeside Wheelers members with extensive cycling experience will be taking the participants out at 10.00am for a slightly longer spin to give them an opportunity to practice the skills they have learned earlier in the week. By the end of the six week programme it is hoped that the new cyclists should be able to join in with the Lakeside Wheelers D Group cycles. This group departs from the clubhouse at Mullingar Army Barracks at 9.00am every Saturday for a leisurely spin and, most importantly, a tea stop.

The course continues on Wednesday at 6.00pm meeting in the car park at the entrance to the Mullingar to Athlone Old Rail Trail Greenway in Mullingar Business Park and leaving at 6.30pm sharp. New cyclists to the course are still welcome so, if you wish to learn new skills this course is for you. The goal of the course is to give people an introduction to cycling and the confidence and skills to enjoy the sport with other like-minded people. 

Please bring a serviceable bike (racer, hybrid or mountain bike will be grand) a helmet and warm clothes. If anyone has any queries please contact Gerry Wallace at 087 2557733.

1-10 of 505