This weekend sees the return of the lads from France (Will’s latest report is at the bottom of this update). It is also a big weekend for racing with our very own Youth Race taking place and a number of club members are heading down to a race in Enniscorthy. For the rest of us, we have a Saturday cycle and a bit of marshaling to do on Sunday!
Saturday: meet at 9:00am at the hotel
Route: we will be doing a hillier route than normal tomorrow. We head out to Moneygall first and up Army hill, the rest of the climbs are the back of Seáníns, Curreeny Cross climb, Shalee, Lookout/Charlies. There are 5 climbs to do but we have short cuts built-in for groups that want to avoid some of the nastier ones. The groups can split and meet each other again down the road.
Training: due to the Nenagh Youth Races taking place at 11:00, we are advising club members to make their own cycling plans on Sunday.
- Youth Cycling – Nenagh Youth Races start at 11:00 in Toomevara.
- Senior Cycling – a group from the club are heading to Wexford. Details below:
Race 1: A1/A2 5 x 26km laps – 130km (5 x 16mile laps – 80 miles)
Race 2: A3 – 4 x 26km laps – 104km (4 x 16mile laps – 64miles)
Race 3: A4 – 3 x 26km laps – 78km (3 x 16mile laps – 48miles)
Last but not least……….
Will’s France Diary: Day 5
Le Tour pour les Amatuers: Day 5
Weather report was suggesting the possibilities of a little rain today, but as the week wore on the weather centres had been playing it down. We woke to an overcast sky and much lower temperatures, a welcome change. The challenge today was the Col de la Croix de Fer via the Col du Mollard. The Millard is a less famous climb, but very pleasant through a forest with about 40 switchbacks, and it bypasses the busy tunnels in the first few kilometres of the Col de la Croix der Fer.
We set out early for the Mollard and after a short 5km warm up battled into the 14.6km climb at an average of 7%. Unfortunately after a very brief celebration at the top, thunder and lightning set in. John, Aidan, Donnchadh, Phil and Will sheltered in a refuge at the summit for a half hour whilst the worst of the shower passed, and the hardy bucks Ned and Pat continued on, obviously better fuelled and better mentally prepared for the day. The descent was brutal. Fast enough and cold enough to numb the feet and strip the feeling from the fingers. I can’t speak for the others, but my shoulders were frozen rigid and my legs and teeth chattering. At the bottom we had the choice to turn for home or continue to the Croix de Fer. The potential of a slagging from Shane and Kenneth meant that we pushed on (‘don’t embarrass the club’).
The Croix de Fer from this side is 14km with a couple of 9.5% segments, torture. By this point the sun was back, humidity rising. Gels can’t help you when you are blinded by sweat and salt in your eyes, the frustration of having been frozen solid only forty minutes ago. With a couple of km to the summit we met Ned and Pat on the road and we crested the summit together, bumping into Brian O’Neil’s two much more athletic brothers, small world.
From here we descended the Col du Glandon and whilst most headed for home; John, Brian and Will headed for the Lacets du Montvernier for another bit of climbing. Gluttons for punishment.
Day 5: Col du Mollard, Col de la Croix de Fer.
Distance 88.5 km
Average speed 19.2 km/h
Elevation gain 2489m, Max elevation 2019m