Club Tour 2019
We woke up on Sunday morning to find the countryside bathed in sunshine, and with a very good
forecast for the day ahead we were all eagerly looking forward to this year’s club tour around
Lough Derg, otherwise known as “Le Tour de Lough Derg”. On arrival at The Lakeside Hotel, there
was Jan already busy with the preparations for the day ahead, getting ready to open for sign-on at
8am and unloading a car full of food, water, and large thermos flasks for the food stop at Portumna
Forest Park. This lady deserves all our gratitude for the amount of work she gets through to make
these events happen, a lot of it behind the scenes that we never see. Thank you Jan.
Soon the rest of the committee and club members started to arrive, and everyone busied
themselves with one task or another in order to ensure that everything was in order so that we
would run the best event possible for participants and members. There is a great buzz around the
place always at this time, a great sense of fun and anticipation mixed with a little anxiety that all
will go off without a hitch. Tea/coffee and some refreshments were available at sign-on and were
welcomed by the participants that travelled to the event – some from considerable distances. The
beautiful Lakeside Hotel deserve a special mention here as they had everything ready for us and
were extremely helpful, so a big thanks to the staff and management at the hotel from NTW.
Marshalls and lead car ready, and NTW club members wired with two-way radios to help keep
things in order, the leisure group were given some last minute instruction and encouragement by
club chairman Noel Kennedy and then departed Ballina on their journey around the lake, turning
right over the bridge into Killaloe and the morning sunshine. The Gardai were on hand as usual to
provide safe passage through the twin villages, and we would like to extend our thanks to them for
helping as always to enable the event to start so smoothly. About thirty minutes later the second
group departed, this group having a faster targeted average of 28km/h for the whole route, and
finally at around 10.30am the fast group departed. There was an extremely strong field in this
group with our strongest riders being accompanied by some of the strongest cyclists around, and
by all accounts the pace to Portumna was scorchio, averaging around 42km/h!
Each group had designated road captains and a lead car driver with radios to keep the group safe,
call obstacles and control the pace (group 1 and 2 only were controlled). We had a half-way food
stop at Portumna Forest Park and participants enjoyed some very welcome refreshments with Jan
and Lourda making sure everyone was quickly looked after. After the food stop each group
departed the park on the homeward leg of our tour that took us over the rolling hills of Terryglass,
Ballinderry and Coolbaun, some challenging hills indeed but everyone got over them ok. After a
short regroup in Puckaun, we headed on towards Nenagh and the Portroe roundabout from where
the participants could finish the tour at their own leisure or push on and test themselves for the
Those that have done the tour before or who know the route know that there is a sting in the tail
awaiting them known as Portroe Hill. 1.7km long with an average gradient of about 7% for most of
that, and a few much steeper ramps thrown in for good measure, it certainly is a test for tired legs
that have done over 100km at that stage. It was great to see people grinding it out to the top of the
hill and to cheer them on with the encouragement that it was more or less down hill all the way
home. Once the tour was completed, participants had access to the shower facilities in the hotel’s
leisure centre and were served delicious hot food upstairs in the luxury of the hotel ballroom.
Everyone made it back safe and sound, and thanks to Noel, Eoin and Lourda who made sure that
anyone who needed a lift back to the hotel were supported. We are delighted with the way the day
went for the club as “Le Tour 2019” built on previous tours and maintained the high standard that
we set ourselves for the running of all events in North Tipperary Wheelers.
And then Tipp beat Cork. Excellent (but they’re not gone yet!)
We would like to thank the many people who made our day the success it was. Thanks to the
committee for their hard work in organising the tour and all the time they spent making our tour
safe and enjoyable. Thanks to all our valued club members and their family members for helping
at the food stop in Portumna, and thanks for making all those sandwiches and providing delicious
food – of which there was no shortage. Thanks to Noel, Eoin (Ryan) and Eva for spending their
Saturday evening putting up the signs and road marking – excellent job done. Thanks to John
Sheedy and BikeMarshals (bikemarshals.ie) who did an incredible job all day long in ensuring the
safety of everyone on the road. Thanks to our group road captains, lead car drivers and broom
wagon driver for looking after each group on the road. Thanks to our photographer Michael
Molamphy who did an absolutely super job with the photos capturing the essence of the day.
Thanks again to “Munster Medics” for providing medical and ambulance services, you really are a
thoroughly professional outfit and a pleasure to work with. Thanks to all our members for coming
out to support our tour and thanks to all our visiting clubs and individuals for taking part, we hope
you enjoyed your day with us. We enjoyed looking after you all. We did not have an official charity
partner this year but we will be presenting a donation to North Tipp Hospice in the coming weeks.
A special word of thanks to all those who generously donated money to the hospice bucket, every
little bit helps.
Finally, well done and thanks to club chairman Noel Kennedy for co-ordinating the event and all
the hard work he did in the background. Roll on 2020.
Great pictures of the tour can be seen on our Facebook page, click here
Club racing will resume this Thursday 16 th May with RR3, the third race of four in the Spring
Series. This week’s route is as follows, see map below also:
-Start outside the Roundhill pub
-Head towards Nenagh
-Rounding the roundabout at the Five Alley
-Head back towards the Roundhill
-Turn left at the Silvermines turnoff
-Finish is at the hall in the village of Silvermines. Total 27km
Sign-on will be at the Five Alley with the start time at 6.45pm sharp. Please be on time.
We encourage all club members to come out and participate/support the racing.
NOTE: Change to sign-on for 2019 Please note, sign on for club racing is to be at the race start line and will no longer be available at Moynan’s bike shop before ANY club race this year.
Club Racing Results:
The week ahead:
Tuesday 14/05: Club spin leaving Moynan’s at 6.30pm
Thursday 16/05: RR3 starts at Roundhill Pub at 6.45pm, sign on at 6.30pm
Saturday 18/05: Red Group spin leaves Woodies at 09:00. Check whatsapp first though.
Sunday 19/05: Club spins leave Moynan’s at 9am. Routes to be decided on the morning.