The Killorglin Cycling Club Hamper Rides were held in very pleasant cycling conditions on Sunday morning. One hundred (100) riders took the start over the two courses. The course and the format is the now traditional run from Killorglin to Killarney then via Farrenfore to Ballyseedy and up the climb at Farmers Bridge and home via Castlemaine and Milltown. There is the option to take the short course at Farranfore. The speeds on the way out are regulated to 20mph or lower if necessary to keep the group compact until Farranfore. Here the pace is wound on a little before arriving at Farmers Bridge when the control is removed and it is eyeballs out for home.
At the start of the climb a vicious attack by Denis Lynch, Kanturk CC, burst the field apart. In an imperious performance Denis proved that at this stage of the season there is no one close to him for strength on the climbs. He came over the top well clear of a long thin line of riders and waited for a bit of company for the run home. The lead group then went on to provide the three main prize-winners of the day. Matt Slattery out did his Killarney CC team mate John Mannix to be first home and have first choice of the hampers available afterwards. Denis Lynch, Kanturk CC was in close proximity as they crossed the line, all within a couple of bike lengths. The day was a welcome relief from normal training on a Sunday and provided a good lung opener to the riders.
Meanwhile the second group who started two minutes behind the main field were having their own version of fun. To the great relief of some of the group the level crossing barriers came down as the field approached the railway crossing at Gurteenroe. Some suffering stragglers rejoined the group and others had time to reflect on their celebrations of Munster’s victory on Saturday. The level crossing was the end of the speed control and the pace picked up considerably. However a ten or twelve man group still managed to stay together to the end. Front man for the new Sliabh Luchra CC Donie Kelliher was the first home followed closely by Brendan Mangan of Cahersiveen and promising junior rider Mike Moriarty of Tralee Lee Strand made up the leading trio.
The leading riders from the main field completed the course in two hours and three minutes. The last rider home crossed the line just sixteen minutes later proving the lead car drivers Pa O Connor, Neilly Doherty and Gene O Shea did their jobs to perfection.
A very pleasant social affair followed in the pavilion of Killorglin Rowing Club. There were thirty prizes to be distributed after hot food and drinks were enjoyed. Special prizes of two pairs of Oakley eyewear were presented by Melina Joy Opticians. One pair was for the first Killorglin CC rider home. This was taken by birthday boy Peter Clendennan and the second which was drawn from the list of Killorglin CC members who signed on to ride or help out on the day was won by Jamie O Donoghue.
At the conclusion of the presentations a special presentation was made by Killorglin CC to club chairman, John Mangan, to acknowledge the fortieth anniversary of his 1972 Rás Tailteann win. In her remarks Mary Concannon paid tribute to John’s loyal and long service to the club. In reply John was generous in his praise of the great turnout of volunteers from the club and looked forward to an exciting year of racing ahead.
Killorglin Cycling Club would like to thank the generous individuals, families and businesses that supported us this weekend by providing hampers, vouchers and other prizes.
Photos by Pat Doherty