Ulster Cycling News
10Apr/170

Big Turnout for Magee Donegal Bay Spring Sportive 2017

Nearly 450 cyclists turned out for the 5th edition of the Magee Donegal Bay Spring Sportive. This event is quickly becoming one of the largest club organised Sportives on the Irish cycling calendar and a ‘must do event’ for all leisure cyclists and racers alike! A massive achievement for the modest sized club with just over 70 members!

For once the weather forecasters got it right and conditions were perfect for an epic day of cycling in the beautiful surrounds of South Donegal. With temperatures of 16 degrees and hardly a cloud in the sky the superb weather really helped to highlight the fantastic scenery of offer.

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Cyclists began to arrive early on Saturday morning at the event HQ, the Abbey Vocational School, eager to get one of the free T-shirts available for the first 200 entrants, which had been generously supplied by event sponsor Magee’s of Donegal. There was a real buzz at the venue as club DJ Kevin McGlynn spun the decks over the loud speakers getting everyone pumped up for the event! The AVS proved to be a great event HQ with adequate parking and great facilities for the large numbers attending.

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At 9.45 DBCC Leisure Secretary, Ed Wiazewicz, issued the health and safety instructions to the participants asking them to have a safe and enjoyable day before making their way to Diamond for the grand depart at 10am.

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First off were the 210 cyclists who had signed up for the 140km cycle who were waved off by DJ Kevin. The challenging route with over 2000 metres of climbing attracted the biggest numbers of the 3 routes available, with some using the event as training for bigger goals later in the year such as the Donegal Wild Atlantic Way Ultra Race and the Marmotte in France. Others were simply out to enjoy themselves and take in the magnificent scenery.

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Next up were the 190 cyclists who had signed up for 100km cycle and who were set on their way by Mayor of Donegal, Patricia Callaghan. Covering a lot of same route used by the 140km cycle this also proved to be a tough challenge with some serious hills to negotiate. Then it was the turn of the 50 cyclists who had signed on for the 50km route with the Mayor of Donegal flagging them away too. This was a great way to introduce novices/ newbie’s to cycling the opportunity to experience the atmosphere of a sportive event and hopefully will encourage them to continue in the sport.

Apart from the inevitable punctures and a broken chain the event went smoothly with all participants making their way back safely to the AVS, where they were welcomed with a hot meal, tea/ coffee, sandwiches and treats.

Donegal Bay CC would like to say a massive thanks to all of the participants who travelled from near and far to take park in their sportive, with some coming from as far away as counties Wexford, Dublin, Clare and Galway, such is the reputation that this event has built. Also thanks to all of their neighbouring clubs (and further afield!) who helped promote the event and turned out in numbers to support.

Donegal Bay CC would like to thank the following persons/ organisations which helped with the event; the DBCC Leisure Committee, in particular their Leisure Secretary Ed Wiazewicz and Kevin McGlynn; Event sponsors Magee of Donegal, FERM Engenering (Jim McCabe), Digisat Services (Jonathan McCann), Quaywest (Jo Daly), Thomas Quinn, Tom Dunleavy (Texaco), The Abbey Vocational School, the Meenaneary Centre, St. Johns Ambulance Service, the local Garda, the local Press and finally their army of volunteers who helped with marshalling, catering, car parking etc.

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Report Eugene Murray.

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