Hol­i­day of pain for SERC rid­ers in Alps

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - SPORT - CY­CLING French Trip

TWELVE mem­bers of the South East Road Club have re­cently re­turned from a cy­cling trip in the south of France.

The twelve-man group spent a week climb­ing the iconic alpine climbs made fa­mous over the years by the pele­ton in Tour de France.

It was a week-long hol­i­day of hurt as the group put their climb­ing legs to the test on the Col De Sarenne, Col de Glan­don, Croix de Fer, Col du Lautaret, Col du Gal­i­bier and a num­ber of other climbs, all with an av­er­age grade of 8.5 per cent.

The fi­nal test of the week was a time trial up the leg­endary Alpe d’Huez.

The 14.5km climb with 21 switch back cor­ners and an elevation gain of 1860m was first in­tro­duced into the Tour de France in 1952.

In 1995, Ital­ian Marco Pan­tani com­pleted the climb in a record time of 36:40 min­utes. SERC’s Ja­son O’Toole, who was re­cently crowned Wex­ford A4 County Cham­pion, claimed brag­ging rights with a time of one hour and two min­utes and fifty sec­onds.

O’Toole was quickly fol­lowed by Wayne Byrne with Ea­mon Lawlor claim­ing third place in a very re­spectable time of one hour eigh­teen min­utes.

The group would like to thank Stephen Fur­long for or­gan­is­ing and co­or­di­nat­ing the trip and Matt Heaney and Stephen for trans­port­ing the bikes etc from Ire­land to their base in Bourg d’Oisans.

On the rac­ing front, SERC’s Jay Earls and Luke Kear­ney trav­eled to Bel­guim for a spell of rac­ing, Bel­guim is fa­mous for its tough ker­messes and cri­terium’s and the lads knew they were in for some hard rac­ing.

Com­pet­ing with ex pros, pro conti level rid­ers and as­pir­ing pro­fes­sion­als proved a great ex­pe­ri­ence for the SERC duo.

South East Road Club’s weekly club spin leaves the Fern­hill plaza ev­ery Sunday at 9.30am. The spin caters for adults (18+) cy­clist of all lev­els, all you need is a road wor­thy bike and a cy­cling hel­met. Visit their Face­book page for reg­u­lar up­dates.

Luke Kear­ney from the South East Road Club com­pet­ing a crit in Bel­guim.

Keith Byrne, Jim O’Con­nell, Michael Sheil, Jonathon O’Toole, Ed­die Short, Mick Forde, Ja­son O’Toole, Wayne Byrne, Thomas O’Neill, Matt Heaney, Stephen Fur­long and Ea­mon Lawlor on the Alp d’Huez in the French Alps.

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