Holiday of pain for SERC riders in Alps
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.