Sunday 30th April 2017
Event Sign In: Start Time:
Sat 29th April: 5.00pm to 7.00pm Sunday 30th April at 9.00am
Sun 30th April: 7.30am to 8.30am
Event Headquarters/ Start & Finish:
Knocknarea Arena Sports Centre, Institute of Technology, Ballinode, Sligo (9.00am to 5.30pm)
160km Route Description 2017Please Note 160km Cut Off Time will be clarified shortly: Cyclists undertaking the 160km event must reach the 50k distance by 11.30am at the very latest, otherwise you will be strongly advised to turn left at this point and join the 100km event. The event will be finishing at 5.30pm.
The 160 km Ox Mountain Challenge sets out over Hughes Bridge and turns right towards Finisklin and onwards in the direction of Strandhill along the R292. Cyclists will witness great views en route along the Atlantic Ocean and Coney Island while the iconic mountain range of Ben Bulben will be visible over their right shoulder while the imposing sight of Knocknarea and the Queen Maeve Tomb will be on their left as they peddle in the direction of Ransboro and onwards towards Ballisodare Bay.
On arriving at Ballisodare village the 160K cyclists will split from the 60k Lough Gill Circuit by taking the second exit at the Ballisodare village roundabout. On leaving Ballisodare the cyclists will travel along the N59 for a short distance before taking a left turn to head into the Ox Mountains for a challenging climb up Ladies Brae which rises to a height of 240 metres. Towards the top of the climb cyclists will be rewarded with spectacular views in the distance of the Atlantic Ocean and the various Sligo mountain ranges. Cyclists will descend off Ladies Brae through rugged mountainous terrain eventually arriving at a T junction and on taking the right turn will follow quiet county roads towards the village of Cloonacool where there will be a water stop at Cloonacool GAA Pitch 59 km.
From here the cycle takes on a whole new section of route for 2017through rural countryside and villages.
In Cloonacool the cyclists will take a left turn heading in the direction of Tubbercurry and arriving at a T junction for the N17 will take a right turn to arrive in Tubbercurry and onwards to the village of Bunninadden for the first foodstop at Bunninadden Community Centre at 76 km. The onward journey will take the cyclists to Ballymote where they will continue on the R293 to the T junction at Clarkes Bridge where they turn right onto the N17 and travel for a very short distance along it before taking a left turn into Collooney through the town before taking another left turn which takes the cyclists back to Ballisodare.
On leaving Ballisodare the cyclists will pass Union Wood and the scenic Ballygawley Lake along the R284 before turning left at Ballygawley village. Following the R287 the cyclists will arrive in the village of Ballintogher where a second foodstop and water stop awaits at 111 km at St. Michaels GAA Clubhouse.
Following the foodstop cyclists will head into County Leitrim travelling in the direction of Killanummery and onwards through Killargue before arriving in the village of Dromahaire where they make a right turn on arriving in the village. On leaving Dromahaire cyclists will travel along the R288 and will be treated to some spectacular scenery as the cycle takes them along the shores of Lough Gill for a few kilometers before taking a sharp right turn onto the R286 to commence a significant new climb for 2017 known locally as ‘Sriff’. However, cyclists will be rewarded with some further spectacular scenery as they head back towards Sligo along by the scenic Doon Lough and the Leean and Keelogyboy mountain ranges.
For the last 14km cyclists can breathe a sigh of relief as the climbing is over and involves some nice downhill sections which will afford participants a chance to enjoy and reflect on a great sense of achievement that can only come from surviving the Ox Mountain Challenge.
Cyclists will eventually cross the N16 to arrive back at the Institute of Technology in the knowledge that they have overcome a mighty challenge. A warm welcome home, refreshments and a massage for those most in need awaits !
Map of the 160km Route 2017
If you can not see the map below please Click Here