Over 130 cyclists from near and far signed on for Slaney CC’s Mount Leinster challenge last Sunday. With 150kms of cycling and 2 climbs of the mountain facing them, the riders also had to contend with wet and cold conditions at the outset. It was always going to be hard but it turned out to be the best and most enjoyable Mount Leinster Challenge yet.
Damp and drizzly weather awaited the cyclists as they arrived at Bellefield GAA complex from 8.15am. By 9.00am over 100 cyclists from as far away as Castlebar, Mullingar, Thurles and Dublin had joined local riders at the sign on venue. Following a warming cuppa the peloton, including a tandem pairing for the first time, set out at 9.30am heading towards Kiltealy, Ballymurphy and Borris.
As the group arrived in Myshall the rain had long disappeared and the riders got their first glimpse of Mount Leinster as the low cloud lifted. There was no going back now and the group pedaled strongly up the steep slopes of the Corrabutt Gap and on up to the Nine Stones. From the summit it was downhill at speeds of up to 80kph to the legendary feed stop at Kiltealy.
With their appetites sated the cyclists now had the choice of heading straight home to Enniscorthy or taking on a second ascent of the Mountain this time from the Bunclody side. With the majority taking the longer option the general consensus was that this year’s event was the best ever and all the participants expect to back next year.
Thanks are extended to Bellefield GAA Complex and Kiltealy Hall for the use of their facilities. Complements were extended by many riders to Ann, Mary, Phil, Pauline and Marie for their trojan work at the feed stop. Thanks also to Paddy Redmond and the Red Cross team, to Marie and Maire at the sign on, to John, Paddy, Mick Pat and Liam and to Eamonn Redmond and Colin Chapman who came to the aid of several riders in mechanical difficulties.
With the Mount Leinster Challenge taking up most of the clubs energies this weekend, Alex Williams was our only competitive rider, taking part in the National B Championships in Mullingar on Sunday. With a breakaway group taking the overall honours, Alex led the bunch in for 12th place. His next target is the 2 day Ras Dun na nGall starting in Killybegs in two weeks time.