Despite the premonitions of doom from all but Met Eireann Sunday 15th of December 2013 broke fresh and clear in Kerry. A fresh dry day greeted those souls signing on for the annual Killorglin Cycling Club Christmas Hamper Rides. While the headwind was a little strong it was a headwind only for the first 12 miles.
Ninety riders took the start on the two routes that took the riders first to Killarney and then to Farrenfore. Here the short route turned left for Castlemaine and home to Killorglin while the long route took the big group towards Tralee. After a 25 mile cruise behind John Mangan’s lead car they were left loose on the Category 2 climb that is Farmers Bridge. All hell broke loose as usual and there were riders scattered all over the one mile drag. From the bottom of the climb it was every man and woman for themselves and it did not take long for the strongest to get clear at the front. At the top of the hill Denis Lynch Sliebh Luachra, John Mannix Killarney and George Doyle Tralee Manor West were just clear of a chasing group that eventually came to consist of eight riders.
At Castlemaine the gap was down to 3 seconds but the class is hard to beat and Mannix and Lynch put on the power and rode away from their chasers. George Doyle began to feel the pressure and on that most horrible little drag leaving Milltown the elastic snapped and the two boys rode away to finish Lynch first and Mannix second. George’s heroics were to no avail as the hard chasing group behind rode him down and swallowed him up at Kilderry just 3km from home. A sprint from the eight man chase group saw John Brosnan take the sprint for third place. John is developing quite the knack of winning sprints and maybe this is a taste of what we can expect to see from him next year.
The valuable prize of a pair of Nike cycling eyewear was available to the first Killorglin rider home and Mícheal O Shea pipped his brother-in-law Peter Clendennan by a tyre to scoop the Melanie Joy sponsored glasses.
In the short route Padraig Slattery Killarney showed a clean pair of heals to his companions to take first place on the short route with Derry O Sullivan beating his Killorglin team mates Noel Doyle and club Chairman Rory McGillycuddy to controversially take the second pair of Melanie Joy sponsored Nike Eyewear.
A very pleasant social affair followed with hot food after hot showers that were welcome as the riders had met with one heavy shower during the spin. A total of 26 hampers and gifts of various sizes and shapes were distributed. Killorglin Cycling Club is greatly indebted to the local business community for their continuing support for the club and the events it runs.
Caption for attached pic LtoR 3rd John Brosnan Killarney CC, 1st Denis Lynch Sliebh Luachra (the lamb he won is outside the door), 2nd John Mannix Killarney CC