The new route aims to give you a hard hilly start with a picturesque wind-assisted finish. In the first 70k, you will ascend the hills of Lally’s mountain, Maam Trasna, and Maumean. Next up are the lakes and the beautiful Connemara scenery. Don't get too relaxed because it's anything but flat. Leenaun is spectacular and that will bring you onto Doolough valley. This will hopefully mean you will have loads of power left in your legs to bomb home from Louisburgh with the wind in your sails.
The event starts as normal at the Towers Bar and Restaurant at the Quay, Westport. All cyclists make their way up Quay hill and at the top of Quay hill, you will turn right to go out the Leenaun road for 8k. You take a left turn at Culdara Cross, you are now on the road to the village of Aghagower (about 5k). As you enter the village you take a right turn for the first hill of the day known locally as Coilleach (2km climb). From here you have a 3km descent, then a right turn, now you have a nice spin along the winding roads at the back of the Partry mountains. This brings you to a T-junction (left turn) and the hardest climb of the day called Drimcogg Mountain (known locally as Lally’s Mountain). Once you crest the top at 35k the rest of the day will seem easy. At the bottom of the descent, you have your first stop.
Turn right at the junction and continue to the next climb. Maum Trasna is at 50k. At the top you will see Lough Nafooey in front of you. This area is the start of the Geopark area (https://joycecountrygeoparkproject.ie/en/) and The Joyce Country. 1 kilometre after you crest the top, take the sharp left turn to Finny. Enjoy the views of the mountains as you cycle along the Mask and cross the ferry-bridge which splits Lough Mask. You are now in county Galway. After 2km you take a right turn and cycle up Cloughbrack hill. You are skirting around the mountains from here to Cornamona and this is where the Maumturk Mountains begin. At 78k you have your last hard climb, but the rest of the route isn’t flat by any means, though it is extremely beautiful and picturesque.
The lake you are seeing on your left is Lough Corrib, you will be getting glimpses of the lake as you spin along the winding road. Next up is Maum village at around 85k. You have a drag up from Maum, but then all of a sudden the world opens up and you will see the lovely descent into Leenaun and Killary Fjord in front of you. You are really on the home stretch now. You come into Leenaun, turn right and out the road you pass the 100k mark then get ready to turn left (toward Ashleigh Falls) to cycle along the Killary Fjord itself. Your last food stop is in Doolough and you are looking at the Doolough Lake. Back on the bike again for the final leg. You have a few drags up along here but then, all of a sudden you are in Louisburgh. Turn right and go through the town, you have a nice road home from here and hopefully, the wind is on your back. You will cycle along Croagh Patrick with the mountain on your right and the sea on your left, make sure to take it in and appreciate the effort you just put yourself trough. The last junction is in Belclare and you swing left to cycle the last 4km along the coast road back to your finish line. Well done! You have achieved some goal - now enjoy a beverage at the Towers bar and restaurant and tell Tommy what you thought of the beautiful course...