Western Lakes CC Pull all of their Open Road races from the Cycling Ireland Calendar.
In 2016, Western Lakes Cycling Club (WLCC) promoted and ran the Ballinrobe 3 Day Road Race on the May Bank Holiday weekend. For the previous 13 years WLCC ran a two-day event in early August. WLCC decided to move the date to the May Bank Holiday weekend and run the event over three days. This decision was sanctioned by Cycling Ireland.
The race was extremely successful with 100 riders taking part. The feedback from the event was extremely positive from riders, teams and officials.
In September 2016 WLCC sent in its programme of open races for 2017, which contains ten open road races, including a three day, a two day, a crit and four other open races, which we have run for several years. Cycling Ireland accepted our dates and indeed published them on the draft Cycling Ireland calendar for 2017. As late as January 2017 Cycling Ireland informed us that we could not run the 3 Day on the May Bank Holiday weekend. The rule they cited for their decision was the following, Calendar Rule G8.5:
“Approval for an Event not previously entered on the calendar may be granted by the Provincial Secretary, but only after consultation with and approval from the Promoter, of any race scheduled for that day in an adjacent province with the exception of Sundays”
It is clear from the above that this rule is not applicable to WLCC as the race was indeed “previously entered on the calendar” in 2016. Therefore, Cycling Ireland has no grounds whatsoever to prevent our race going ahead. They are quoting their own rulebook to us in error. In fact, they themselves sanctioned the 2016 race and put it on their calendar and the race went ahead. Once the race went ahead a precedent had been set which makes Rule G8.5 irrelevant in this instance. Once we pointed this out, they quoted a completely different rule (G8.10) to justify their decision:
“In preparing the road racing calendar, dates will be reserved in advance of seeking general race applications for the following: All National Road Championships; National League dates; Established race dates; All Provincial Road Race Championships, which should take place on the same weekend.”
Our race date had already been established in 2016.
The position Cycling Ireland is putting a progressive club like WLCC in is intolerable. We are working every day to promote cycling in the West of Ireland. In 2016, WLCC ran more open road races than any other club in Ireland and a third of all the open road races in Connacht.
There comes a time when a stance must be made and where clubs must face up to the National Governing Body.
We have made several attempts with Cycling Ireland over the last number of weeks to resolve the issue, but have faced officialdom and bureaucracy at every turn.
Therefore, faced with no other option, WLCC has decided to cancel our entire open road racing programme for 2017 in protest against Cycling Ireland’s position. It is the riders who are losing out here due to the position this governing body has taken. We apologise to our fellow riders, who will not have the opportunity to participate in our races in Connacht, but we hope they and our fellow clubs around the country will understand our stance.
We believe we are being treated poorly by Cycling Ireland and while it’s OK to run a three day in Ulster and Munster, it does not appear to be acceptable to run one in Connacht on the same weekend.
Yours in cycling.
Western Lakes Cycling Club Committee
Just to put the Club Statement in perspective.( I am an active non-racing member who acts as Marshall at most club race open and club league)
The Ballinrobe 3Day had 100 entries in 2016.
51 A1 / 32A2s /17 A3s. The majority of A3s were Connaught Based. We have no A4.
On the weekend in Question the Tour of Ulster is A1/A2, Kanturk is A2/A3 and the Sunday Races in the North and Dublin are open to all.
All the above Races are 160km + from Ballinrobe and in 2016 we had riders from all 4 provinces.
Why CI have decided that we are not allowed to run has not been explained as we do not contravene any rules of the Calender(But there was an objection from another race organiser for this season but not for 2016)
As a club we ran 9 days of open racing last year. The Ballinrobe 3 Day, The Bogman 2 Day, 3 Handicap Start Road Races and a Critirium.
It was a hard decision for the Club to take to cancel all our open events
That's a real shame. WLCC seems like a great club. I raced a few of their events last year and they were brilliantly organised. I hope that there is some way to resolve this as it will be a huge blow to racing in Connacht. there are few enough races in the west already
Shame, I heard a lot of good stuff about your races and had intended to travel at some point this year to sample one of them.
Cycling Ireland need to sort this out. As it stands there isn't a single open race in Connacht between March 27 and June 10. Not much point in paying CI for a license if they can't make sure that there are some races on
The Club would like to Thank all those who have contacted C.I. directly about the withdrawing of our 3day from the Race Calender.
The updated figures from the Stage 1 results from 2016 make interesting reading when you take the C.I.s end of season ranking list numbers.
Tour of Ulster had 110 starters from an eligible 659 riders
Kanturk had 75 starters from an eligible 1342 riders.
Ballinrobe had 95 starters from 1622 eligible riders.
How can it be said that these races are effecting each other.
They are not.
We all know it.
Cycling Ireland officials know it.
The whole thing is ridiculous.
Keep up the fight - don't let one or two small-minded individuals ruin road racing in the west this season.
Racing in the West is fecked if this goes ahead... I've had to travel from Mayo to Wicklow, Meath, etc last year to get a race. Things have changed for me this year (baby) so definitely no travelling for races and so i was relying on all the Ballinrobe races (the 3 day was the toughest stage race I've done!)
Not sure whats going on around Galway either as there are only 2 to 3 races each year (Tuam, Seven Springs, ???). thats for another thread!
I've FB messaged CI (no response), signed the petition... what next. do i ask for my racing license fee back and get a LC one to do the club league races? Farcical
All we can ask people to do is use the Contact emails on the C.I. contact us page of the website to contact Board members directly. ( Icannot put them here)This is what has been happening. Encourage anyone else you know to do the same.
Members of C.I. are the ones who will give them the Backbone to stand up to threats
What was the objection from the other race organiser?
Yes it was. It first came to our attention on the 23rd of Dec. The Day Stickybottle published the 2017 calendar in full. We were listed on it. An objection was made that day. A long serving club member,( not a club offical was contacted and asked to get the club to change our dates. ) .
As the club statement says we have adhered to all rules and regulations and the numbers show there are plenty of riders to go around.
Funny thing is that there were more Mayo A3 s in the other race open to them than there were in Ballinrobe.
Yes, confront the elephant in the room if you are serious about it.
They say that our race had an effect on their numbers and that it should never have been run in 2016.
It has no grounds under C.I. rules .
We are very serious about it. As a club we had direct discussions with the other event. They wanted to restrict riders from outside of Mayo. We asked for Connacht riders. They withdrew from negotiations. After this C.I. started to quote rules to get us to backdown as they are being threatened with legal action.
They know we have not broken any rules and are ready to run all our races
"They" ... "they" .... "they" ... "they" .... Who are "they"
Good question! Assume some event sponsor?
What would the legal action be for? Failure to secure a certain level of entry? Consequential loss? Difficult to prove and substantiate the actual loss. Reputational damage?
Strange and kinda GUBU stuff from CI and "them"