Saturday morning saw the continuation of the ever-popular Cycling Ireland virtual racing league.

A slightly depleted field only saw eight Lakeland riders take to the start line in a new format this week as Zwift have officially recognised the efforts of Cycling Ireland and dedicated this Saturday morning slot to the Irish League.

This meant lower numbers but was still a hugely popular race with over 1000 riders taking part.

Chris McGlinchey of Vitus Pro Cycling is the league leader and once again started as favourite.

He did have some serious competition though, with pro triathlete Ronan White in the field and also multiple Grand Tour stage winner and fourth overall on the Giro d’Italia 2014, Pierre Rolland.

This week’s race was a very hilly 30km route, which contained gravel and mud sections making bike choice important within the game.

This didn’t stop the leaders completing the course in an astonishing 39 minutes, however, with McGlinchey taking the honours again.

The Lakeland men are all steadily improving throughout the series and Mark McGirr was the first man home.

He was quickly followed by Conor Sprice just over 30 seconds behind and then Kieran McGrory. Paul McMulkin had been upgraded to the B section and this week was when he found his feet in this very competitive level.

Paul jumped up the B section ranks substantially this week and is putting out some impressive numbers.

Chris Kelly has also recently been upgraded and was going well but lost two minutes on the descent due to internet issues which placed him well down the field.

Lee Somerville suffered the same fate and in fact was unable to complete the race and Nigel Foster’s internet woes continue as he was unable to get off the start line.

Gareth McCormick completed the event but was disqualified for having no heart rate data, there are some strict rules within the virtual racing platform.

The league continues to grow and huge numbers of Cyclists from Ireland, North and South, are enjoying the efforts put in by Cycling Ireland to create this competitive environment.

Meanwhile, Wednesday Night last, also saw the continuation of the Lakeland Club’s Hares and Hounds league.

This week’s race was another flat route and had a new Lakeland club member, Seamus McGovern taking part in his first event.

He was joined by a large Lakeland field this week containing, Mark McGirr, Conor Sprice, Kyle Fisher, Kieran McGrory, Ronan Campbell, Chris Kelly, Gareth McCormick, Lee Somerville and Paul McMulkin.

Both Nigel Foster and Philip Bremner fell victim to the ongoing connection issues.

The favourite was once again Kyle Fisher who has been showing great form in these midweek races.

But as always the formbook can be ripped up and this week the honours were to go to the Ardboe based cyclist Ronan Campbell riding out of group B and showing a clean pair of heels to the rest of the Lakeland riders.

The county Tyrone native laid down some pretty impressive power during the hour long race coming in almost a minute ahead of the next Lakeland man Mark McGirr and pushed him up to 10th in the league.

McGirr also is steadily finding his form but still getting used to the virtual racing scene and switched off on the descent and fell off the back of his bunch.

Conor Sprice was the next man in a minute behind, in the same bunch as Kieran McGrory and Lee Somerville and indeed the three Lakeland men enjoyed a competitive sprint for league placings at the finish line.

Gareth McCormick picked off the last place in the top six scoring well in the league and was happy with his performance.

All of these placings were of course as a result of the new man Seamus McGovern getting disqualified.

As other Lakeland riders have discovered during the virtual racing scene it’s important to categorize yourself in the right group. Seamus got into the front group of B riders and they stayed away for the whole race but unfortunately his power readings were too high for a group B rider and he was subsequently disqualified. Very unfortunate as otherwise he was the first Lakeland man home.

This means the club has now completed four rounds of the league and the standings are as follows

1. Kyle Fisher 33

2. Conor Sprice 30

3. Mark McGirr 30

4. Paul Beaumont 21

5. Kieran McGrory 21

6. Philip Bremner 19

7. Gareth McCormick 17

8. Nigel Foster 13

9. Lee Somerville 12

10 Ronan Campbell 11

11. Chris Kelly 8

12. Paul McMulkin 4

13 Seamus McGovern 0

With Covid-19 restrictions in place the cyclists feel very lucky to have this virtual racing scene available through Cycling Ireland.

If anyone would like to take part or needs advice on how to get involved then the Club will be more than delighted to help out and can be contacted via the Club Facebook page or by contacting via email on