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A Tribute to Alex Conti

posted 17 Oct 2017, 12:57 by Kevin Monaghan
(By Shay O’Toole - Tuesday 17th October 2017)   
In 2011 a group of Lakeside Wheelers members travelled to Belgium for the Tour of Flanders. For me, this trip turned out to be a memorable one but not for the cycling.  On the evening of the professional race I bumped into an Italian guy named Alessandro (Alex) Corti who, in turn introduced me to a Belgian guy, called Chatte.  After a chat over a few beers a connection was made. This chance meeting evolved over time and led to a very special bond between Lakeside Wheelers, De trudys cycling club Gerrardsbergen and Velo Club Oggiono in northern Italy, the club which Alex was a member of. 
In 2012 myself, Jack Nugent, Charlie Sheridan, Robbie Kenny and our wives accepted an invitation from Alex to join him and some of his Velo Club friends at the Tour of Lombardia. It is an understatement to say we we received five star treatment from our new Italian friends. 
In the ensuing years the friendship grew stronger and there were several joint trips between these three clubs to races such as the Tour de France, Giro di Lombardia, the World cycling championships in Florence and Paris-Roubaix. In keeping with the "Gathering" initiative a few years ago we invited the Italians and Belgians to Mullingar in 2013 for a visit which coincided with the An Post Ras. This was our chance to return the hospitality.
The common denominator in all of these celebrations was Alex Corti. His personality was infectious, his passion was cycling but above all, his heart was open to everybody who was lucky enough to cross his path. 

Unfortunately, Alex contracted a rare form of brain cancer in 2015. It was immediately clear that Alex was going to die within a very short timeframe but he bore his condition with amazing dignity and but for his resilience we would have lost him much sooner. Sadly, Alex passed away on September 26th, 2017.

Alex has given us lots of memories. His rendition of the "Irish Rover" as he walked up l'Alpe d'Huez at the 2013 Tour de France wearing a Lakeside Wheelers jersey and carrying a slab of Guinness on his shoulder will stay with me forever. He was renowned for giving his opinion but in his Italian dialect I will always remember him saying "...in my opeeenion" or when he wanted to confirm or affirm something he would repeatedly say "for sure". Most recently, Alex attended the 40th anniversary celebrations of Lakeside Wheelers in 2016 and whilst he was not in full health, he was adamant that he was going to be there. This dinner coincided with our hosting of the An Post Ras in Multyfarnham and Mullingar and Alex certainly brought the post-race party to life in Multyfarnham. 

Yes, these are personal memories but I know that everybody who knew Alex could give many more examples of his positive and outgoing nature, especially, Jack, Robbie and Charlie.


Alex was one of the most generous and loving people I have ever met and these few words will not come anywhere close to describing him. However, for those of you who had the good fortune to know him I hope they help you to remember your personal memories of him. To those who never knew him, I can only sympathise with you. Likewise, on behalf of everybody in Lakeside Wheelers I send sympathy to his parents Bianca and Giuseppe, his brother Luca, his extended family and all of his wonderful friends who took amazing care of him during his illness.

God bless you Alex, we will never forget you. May you rest in peace.

Your good friend,

Shay.

Group Photo with Italian Guests
Alex Conti RIP, seen here 4th from the left in the front row.
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