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“Flakanders” Lakeside Wheelers Tribute to a Belgian Classic

posted 4 Apr 2016, 05:33 by Kevin Monaghan
Last Sunday there was an earlier start than usual for the Wheelers who participated in the club’s annual “Flakanders” spin. This is a tribute to one of cycling’s Monuments, the Tour of Flanders and has been in existence since 17 members of the club went to Belgium to experience the real thing in 2011. 

On a wet and murky day which funnily enough is typical of Flemish cycling weather, the hardy Wheelers departed Columb Barracks for a 100km spin around the Mullingar region. As the Tour of Flanders is famous for its short but steep cobbled hills the “Flakanders” spin traces a route which includes the infamous climbs of (in Belgian) De Oude de Kwhitehall, De Morningtonmont, De Piggeryenberg, De Laraghmont, Skeaghenberg and De Uisneach. Although none of these (Local) hills are cobbled, they are still very testing when your chest is thumping as you try to follow the wheel in front of you!

The following report by Robbie Kenny is as close as you will get to HD in text...
Today was NOT a day for copping out...you cannot miss a Flanders type spin because it’s raining...Fifteen lads and one solitary lady rolled out of Columb Barracks and straight away the plan to “keep together” was shredded with Ken Berry, Pete Rimmer, Colin Pierce and Richie Lenihan doing their best impressions of Sagan and Co. The pace set by this quartet ensured that the first 60km were completed in less than two hours. 

After this initial burst there was a short period of respite in the peloton for a quick cuppa on top of Laragh Hill near Ballynacarrigy. Then, just as the cold tea was about to settle in our bellies McQueen and the Brother went off the front which momentarily sent quivers through the peloton but very soon the decision was made that this duo were bluffing. Once they were reined back in, the Real break of the day went. Peter Rimmer...in flying form jumped on the pedals at the foot of Oude De Uishneach near Loughnavalley and absolutely tortured his compatriots. The leg-breaking work of this chasing group appeared to pay dividends as Pete was brought to heel with 25km to go but once again at the bottom of De Skeaghberg in Rathconrath he took flight in the decisive move of the day. With everybody else spent and unable to match his 50km/h push for glory, Pete sailed home to rapturous applause...from, sadly, nobody!  Despite the dreadful weather this will surely go down as one of our best Sunday spins ever and all credit to those who took part.

Whilst all this was unfolding there were another seven hardy souls from the slightly slower B Group doing the exact same route and no doubt in as much pain. Both groups would like to say a sincere thanks to the back-up crew of Joe Duffy, Eoghan Kevlihan and Ed Tyrell who made any mechanicals much easier to repair. Thanks also to Joe Kenny for the use of his van and special mention to the two ladies, Michelle O’Halloran in the A group and Cathy O’Toole in the B group for their perseverance. Well done to all.

The Lakeside Wheelers crew who took on this year's Flakanders spin Sunday 3rd April 2016.
The Lakeside Wheelers crew who took on this year's Flakanders spin Sunday 3rd April 2016.

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