Three Rivers 300

Date: 30th March 2019, Start: 6.00am

Organiser: Mark Hodnett, de Ronde van Cork CC

E-Mail: audaxirl.mark@gmail.com

Address: 23 Halldene Grove, Bishopstown, Cork

Entry Fee: €6 (New Entry Forms). CI licence required (Annual Licence, or 1 day).

Optional ACP or Audax Ireland Medals €7 each

Closing Date for Entries: 22nd March 2019

Start Point: Ballincollig, Co. Cork

Start Time: 6.00am

Facilities: Free parking at start.

Cycling Ireland licence, helmet and good lights mandatory.

Route Map: 3 Rivers 300 Map

NOTE: New route and start location (Ballincollig)

The new route starts in Ballincollig in the Lidl car-park at the west end of the town. The first 50km is new, takes you through the villages of mid-Cork. First up is Blarney, where you are probably too early to kiss the stone! You turn left and start a bit of climbing to Whitechurch. As you enter the village, take a moment to look to your right to see the lights of Blarney below you. Next up is Carrignavar and then Watergrasshill, which is the first control. At the roundabout, take the road for Cork, but make sure to turn left for Leamlara before you hit the motorway! You now have nice descent into the village of Carrigtoohill.

From here we have a  bit of island-hopping from Fota and onto Great Island we cross the Lee, the first of the rivers, by ferry to Glenbrook. Then onto Monkstown and continue on the flat to Carrigaline. From here it starts to gently roll. The first major town on the route is Kinsale – the Gourmet Capital of Ireland. Along the Pier Road past the yacht club and marina gives a good view of the harbour with Charles Fort on the left and James’ Fort on the right. A little outside the town the Bandon, the second of the rivers is crossed and some more gently rolling countryside awaits. On the approach to Ballinspittle you will pass the famous moving statue before hitting the village itself. After leaving Ballinspittle the route heads through Harbour View and past “The Pink Elephant” where you will see the colourful town of Courtmacsherry across the bay.

Enjoy the coast-hugging flat section through Timoleague to Ring before another seaside approach into Clonakilty, the second control where re-fuelling has a number of options.

After passing through the town the route starts to head in a north westerly direction. After passing through Dunmanway things start to get a little serious as the hills start head more skyward. First up is Cousane, the top of which on a clear day gives a spectacular view over the Beara Peninsula and the Sheehy Mountains before descending to the sea at Ballylickey (control). After sampling some fresh sea air its time to turn inland again and visit the Borlin valley. As soon as you leave the main road you relax to the sounds of flowing water as you gently climb up the east side of the valley before it circles around at the top such that you can look back down through the valley to the ocean. Cresting the top brings the dual satisfaction of being at the half way point on the event and another valley opening up. This time you are descending and so can  savour the scenery and bristle with excitement as you head for Healy-Rae country of Kilgarvan.

Leaving Kilgarvan the next hidden valley is awaiting with the country’s highest pub at the top if you so wish to partake. You also transition back into the Peoples Republic and the Gealtacht area of Coolea where Sean O’Riada resided later in life. After crossing the N22 we continue northerly towards Millstreet passing the Mullaghanish transmission tower and again being treated with more stunning scenery in all directions. This also means you have passed the highest point on the route at 441m. Millstreet is the next control and makes a suitable point to stop and re-fuel. Options from here to the finish are limited so better to be looking at food than looking for it later.

The last 50km are also new. From Millstreet, we head to Lyre. This involves a bit of climbing, but at least it avoids the more direct, but much tougher Butter Road! From Lyre, we have one last climb to the top of Nad. Some local cyclists like to test themselves on the 20km from Ballincollig to here and use the descent home to recover. You get to do likewise as the final 20km is all downhill.

Note this is a tough route with a lot of climbing in the second half !

This event is also available as a Permanent. Details to follow.
Please note that a Cycling Ireland annual licence will be required to take part in a Permanent. Day licences will not be available.


Long-distance cycling in Ireland