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Second Annual Tour of Flanders

posted 8 Apr 2013, 14:13 by Kevin Monaghan
(By Mark Monaghan)  
In 2011 Lakeside Wheelers had a large number who took up the challenge, that I’m sure was brought up at the Christmas party the year previous, to head for Belgium and the Flanders region in particular to partake in the Tour of Flanders Sportive. We would be cycling on the very same roads & cobbles that have broken many a pro rider in their time  (http://www.lakesidewheelers.ie/flanders-2011 )
 
To mark the anniversary of this fantastic trip we decided to mimic this spin as best we could, by running our own Flanders style cycle on the morning of the Race for the past two years. For those who are not aware of the type of terrain that Flanders has to offer the best way to describe it is short very steep hills on narrow roads and a lot of cobbles! “But we don’t have any cobbles around Mullingar” I hear you say, that may be true but we do have plenty of potholes! As for the short steep hills on narrow roads we have plenty of those as long as you look in the right places!

Yours truly was route master for the day and as I called it out to the 40 plus strong group of wheelers who had turned out to give it a go I could hear the whispers as people questioned where some these roads actually were! We duly split in to our respective groups and took our leave of the ORS car park on what was a nice but slightly windy and chilly morning.

Off we headed for the rolling roads that surround the northern side of Mullingar, Taughmon was our first pot of call where I introduced the group to some new roads and a new very steep hill that only a few had previously climbed, this too us onto the TT course that we used last year and in turn took us to Taughmon church where we turned for Crookedwood. In the ‘Wood’ we turned right heading for Loughegar taking a left after Crookedwood hose bringing us to the Collinstown road via the Tuitestown climb from there it was across the Whitehall climb and onto the Castlepollard road back into Crookedwood. Turning right in the Wood this time we headed for Multyfarnham and the infamous Piggery hill via Mornington.
 
Robbie Kenny takes King Of The Hills
Once over piggery we quickly re-gathered at the Covert and headed for Bunbrosna where we went left and too an immediate right which brought us up a very narrow grass in the middle of the road steep climb and on towards Frewin hill and to the main Mullingar Ballynacargy road. The hill of Larragh was to be our net port of call and this was to be where we tested out the legs of all, as this was where we were to have our King of the Hills race.
 
Climbing expert Robbie Kenny duly obliged by winning the sprint all be by being put to the pin of his collar by Charlie Sheridan! Karl Moran was to take the title in the B Group. From there it was on to Milltown and the dreaded Skeagh hill. After we crested Skeagh the wise decision to cut spin short was taken as time was now against us and we headed home to the waiting Easter dinners and the well deserved Easter eggs into the now very strong head wind.

Well done to all who took part and who would have believed that you get over one thousand meters of climbing done in 95km of cycling while never more than 15km from Mullingar.
 
Wheelers ready for the 2nd Annual Tour of Flanders
Wheelers ready for the 2nd Annual Tour of Flanders
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