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Wheelers Go Global at 2012 Tour of India
 
(By Shay O'Toole)   
Shay O'TooleWhat an experience the last week has been with the club getting an invite to participate at the 2012 Tour of India!!! Noel Delaney our Equipment officer called me to request that we get a team together ASAP to fly to Mumbai for the inaugural Tour of India event....WOW.

Straight away we went into overdrive to make this amazing offer come off and from there the last week has been a blur of meetings and mayhem with the day before departure been one of unbelievable "Diplomatic" catastrophes.

Team managers Shay O'Toole and Mick Reynolds along with facilitators Joe Duffy and Noel Delaney worked like crazy to get a team assembled, which, given the short notice, was no easy task. We finally got what we thought was an excellent line up of local and imported talent to represent Lakeside Wheelers Mullingar at this prestigious 3 stage race. Johnny Murray, Steve Franzoni, Peter Rimmer, Dan Clifford [guesting from DID] and Chris Reilly [guesting from Bohermeen]. Unfortunately the aforementioned diplomatic shambles led to the withdrawal of Pete and Steve so on November 30th the remaining five members of team LSW congregated in Dublin Airport for a journey into the unknown.
 
Following our initial flight to London to meet our connecting flight to Mumbai we arrived here safe and sound at 4 am. Dec 1st. What a culture shock....none of us had been to India before so the sight of so many people on the streets at such an early hour was frightening and that was before our eyes had focused and we eventually saw what was really going on. People sleeping everywhere, washing everywhere, yes actually washing themselves and their laundry at manholes in the street. I can honestly say that no matter what Angela, our German nemesis does to us we, are infinitely better off than our Indian cousins, well at least those that I am writing about. Next thing to awaken our senses was the driving...traffic lights, no matter what colour mean absolutely nothing, the amount of near misses we experienced in the 30km transfer to the hotel was crazy. Anyway, arrive we did at the hotel Vivanta, an oasis of 5 star luxury and once our baggage and bodies were scrutinised by security staff we did the only thing any Irish cyclist would do...fill his stomach.
 
Johnny MurrayToday was spent getting a little sleep before we got the lads all set to go on their first ever training ride in Mumbai. Both Mick and I were genuinely concerned for Johnny, Dan and Chris as they very gingerly ventured out on the streets from hell. We then attended to our manager duties as we gathered at the formal commissaires and tour directors briefing for team managers. After my experience at this year's National Championships In Clonmel I had some idea what to expect but this was yet again at a different level. Rules, regulations, doping control, feed zones, support cars etc etc all had to be digested to inform the riders at our own team meeting which we had scheduled for before dinner, and then we had to make notes of our transfer arrangements for Monday when we fly to Srinigaar in Kashmir ,where it is snowing....did I mention that it is 30 degrees here in Mumbai?
 
We are not the only Irish team here as there is also a quartet from UCD cycling club who will share this unbelievable journey with us. The first race tomorrow starts at 9am and is 132km in length but run over a 22km course which the riders do 6 times. Other teams entered are India, Germany, Kazacstan, Uzbeckstan, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Astana and probably some more that I cannot remember [or spell] at this stage. We will send more reports as the week progresses when technology allows but judging by the itinerary we will be well and truly exhausted by the time we get home for Santa.
 
Lakeside Wheelers Team in Tour De IndiaWe would like to send our thanks to several people who have given us their full and total support to help us make this once in a lifetime trip a reality. Noel Delaney, Joe Duffy, John Tully, Louise McCarra, John Boyhan, Marie O'Brien [pharmacist], all our employers and finally Steve Franzoni for the mechaniical and nutritional support pack. We also owe thanks to David McQuaid and his personal assistant Julia from DMC Sports for the opportunity to compete in this race. If I have left anyone out please forgive me as at this stage I am running on pure adrenalin.
 
More news after tomorrow's race and I am sure you will all join me in wishing Team Lakeside Wheelers all the best in the first stage of the 2012 Tour of India tomorrow....how often will any club in Ireland say that!

  • Wheelers Take Fourth In Final Delhi Stage (By Shay O'Toole)   As the saying goes “all good things must come to an end”, well the Tour de India 2012 has been more than good for Team Lakeside ...
    Posted 10 Dec 2012, 04:18 by Kevin Monaghan
  • Rest Day for Wheelers In India (By Shay O'Toole)   One of the positive outcomes from our meeting with the Kashmiri government officials yesterday was their commitment to provide security and transport to enable all riders ...
    Posted 6 Dec 2012, 13:25 by Kevin Monaghan
  • Stage 2 - Srinagar (By Shay O'Toole)   With Mumbai and it’s very “interesting” sights now behind us we departed very early for Srinigar in Kashmir which is in the very north of ...
    Posted 6 Dec 2012, 12:34 by Kevin Monaghan
  • Stage 1 - Mumbai (By Shay O'Toole)   Sunday December 2nd saw the Lakeside Wheelers team rise early for a 6am breakfast to prepare for the 1st stage of the 2012 Tour de India ...
    Posted 6 Dec 2012, 12:13 by Kevin Monaghan
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