Wexford Training Weekend 2012

Some weekends the weather gods are with you. Most of us crawled out of bed early on Saturday morning last and thought oh $%^&. It was cold, wet, dark,and yet nobody bailed and all who had agreed to make the trip south for the annual training weekend showed up in plenty of time at our South Wexford bolt hole. We got bikes assembled , had a few cups of tea and cakes and had a short meeting where we discussed the route and rules of engagement.

The routes this year were pretty similar to last year. Brian, Andy, Diarmuid, Rob, Bob, Paula, Adrienne, Paul, Dave, Neil, and myself were down for the trip to the Hook.


The sun was out, and would remain so for most of the day,the wind was at our backs and the Touring and Elite/ High Performance groups set out together for a very social warm up . We split at Gusserane to go about our respective days work. The loop round by Ballyhack and up the hill left Neil contemplating whether he had been leading the life of a professional cyclist. This was followed by a brisk run up the drag by Dunbrody , and a man’s fate was sealed.

We rejoined the medium performance group for the run in to the lighthouse. Andy’s distance attack may or may not have been chased down by Rob- there remains a dispute as to where exactly the finish line was and this issue has yet to be settled. The coffee stop was deferred as we had all arrived down pretty smartly, blown by a northwest wind. We split again, the tourers for a tough 40km up hill and into the wind home to Carrigbyrne, via Fethard on Sea, Saltmills, along the Bannow Bay and a rather rusty shipwreck. Those out for a longer day pressed on around the other side of the bay before a some spring classic Bohereens along the Southern Coast. The weather was holding up beautifully and the wind was remaining at our backs.

In terms of winter sprinting, the by now familiar dash into Kilmore Quay on the Bridgetown road is the Champs Elysee and prized above all others.
It is bad manners to discuss one’s victories.

We had 100 ks done and lunch in the Saltees Hotel was the traditional soup and sandwiches. Out into the late afternoon chill and a hail storm greeted us while we were still cold. We turned into the wind for the run home via Wellingtonbridge and then up the hill and back to Carrigbyrne. There were a lot of tired limbs but we all arrived for the final dash up the drag on the M25 to the 100kph marker. The problem is that there were actually three of them. Dave just pipped it for the second sign and Rob got the third. Which is the official result?

It was debated for some time. 130k done at 27 k an hour was a useful days work.

The fire was on and soup and teas were devoured. The day trippers got ready for the run home – Dave and Paul had a full nights work lined up-Dave would get the gates- Paul would grab the swag.

The rest of us settled down for a very sociable evening discussing the days spin, past members and previous more hedonistic trips to Kilkenny amongst other old chestnuts.

We had a relaxing dinner before most of us retired by 11. Lightweight? Almost certainly.


The following morning we woke to find Eamon was down at breakfast .We couldn’t work out how.David Curtis joined us from the wexford Wheelers to supply a little local knowledge. The touring group headed for the by now traditional ascent of Sliabh Coilte while the rest of us turned north for the road to Inistioge. Over the hill then and the magnificent descent to Graiguenamanagh with the panorama of the Blackstairs and Mount Leinster stretching out infront of us. Back up again over Saddle Hill and the fast descent into Thomastown. Neil took a handy victory and acknowledged all the fans who had stuck by him after his performance on the previous day.

Down the valley again and the sprint into Inistioge was a masterclass in team tactics. The strongest member of the group was detained in polite conversation at the back of the group while yesterdays green jersey wearer knicked the points. Cans of the black doctor lifted spirits of the vanquished. There was more work to do however with the 2 Km climb up through the town hitting 19% on the computers . This was the one were Philip Lavery was clear on in the Tour of Ireland a few years ago,up past the estate at Woodstock followed by a beautiful descent, ascent,descent and ascent before the run down to New Ross. This was L-B-L territory and average speeds for the day really have no validity. The second last real steep dig was the run up Mary’s Street in New Ross before taking the back roads home via Old Ross to Carrigbyrne. We tried to sap a little of the last energy from Rob’s legs but he was too strong and finally picked up an undisputed victory.

92 ks done in glorious sunshine and 1300m of climbing on the day made for an honest weekends work.
Our thanks to Bart Curtis again for his generous hosting of this great social and sporting weekend

by Brian Kilride

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