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Tour of Lakes 2013 a Great Success in the Sun

posted 22 Jul 2013, 10:57 by Kevin Monaghan   [ updated 22 Jul 2013, 11:16 ]
(By Roibeard O’Ceallaigh)   
Sunday 14 July saw 181 cyclists head out under brilliant sunshine on the 2013 Tour of the Lakes. Lakeside Wheelers welcomed a large number of visitors who had traveled to Mullingar to sample a very pleasant spin around the north Westmeath countryside with its scenic lakes and villages. Due to the large numbers of cyclists participating five groups set out accompanied by Group Leaders from the Wheelers and support vehicles. 

The event brought the cyclists from the Tour HQ at the Downs GAA Club out to Killucan and Raharney before turning northwest towards Drumcree and Collinstown. There followed a pleasant diversion  as far as the village of Dromone in Co. Meath before turning back south to Castlepollard all the time surrounded by the lakes. Then it was on Coole for the food stop in the Coole Community Centre. Cyclists were able to relax in the sun and enjoy a refreshments ably provided by Mark Monaghan and Robbie Kenny.

Following the break each of the five groups headed towards Multyfarnham before tackling the first big climb of the day, the dreaded Piggery Hill. Having successfully negotiated this favourite of the Wheelers, it was on to Crookedwood and up the short sharp hills towards Clonkill and Cloughan. 

Wheeler racers generously took a day off races to act as marshals for the Tour and help speed along the groups on their way home. By bow the hills and the strong sunshine were emptying tired legs and cyclists were glad to be turning for home. Tiring cyclists had the option of persevering onwards to Killucan and then home to the Downs or taking it easy and taking a short cut home at Drummond Cross, even if a few did get a bit lost near home. Happily everybody got to the finish safe and in good form. After finishing the full route cyclists found they had completed 110 km.

Much needed tasty food was taken on board provided by Oscars and the Wheelers in the Downs GAA club before all tiredly made their way home and hopefully thinking about coming back to Co. Westmeath in 2014.

The Wheelers were delighted to welcome the participation of the Westmeath Sports Partnership again in 2013. A total of 21 cyclists who had been participating in the “meet and spin” programme set out on a shorter 30km route and made it back safely to the Downs at the same time as the fast group on the long spin. This aspect of the Tour is a great way to encourage cyclists starting off to become more ambitious and much credit is due to Sonja and her crew in the Westmeath Sports Partnership.

An event of this scale can only be run with the kind assistance of many people and groups. Many thanks is due to the Downs GAA club, Coole Community Centre, Westmeath Sports Partnership, Oscars restaurant, racers, group leaders, sign on staff and drivers from Lakeside Wheelers who all contributed to a safe event enjoyed by all.

Westmeath sports partnership riders ready for the Tour of the Lakes
Westmeath sports partnership riders ready for the Tour of the Lakes