The rains cleared just in time for the grand depart from Hylands Burren Hotel in Ballyvaughan this morning. Just to remind everybody how much of a star he is, Richie White covered the saddles of any bikes outside while the cyclists were having their breakfast. Tom O'Sullivan encountered bad luck, puncturing after 500m. The first challenge of the day was Corkscrew Hill. The hill rises to 12% gradient in places. Jerry Fitzgerald attacked the climb with such gusto, Donal had to call him back for the obligatory photograph at the summit. It was great to meet Nigel Carroll on the road. He took time off from his family holiday to encourage his clubmates.
The first stop of the day was in Miltown Malbay for coffee. No time was wasted as we were anxious to catch an early ferry from Kilimer. Donal's group were first to reach the ferry, with Brendan's group second and Deccie's disciples rounding out the podium. The ferry trip to Tarbert was a welcome break from the road. Brenad's group were delayed leaving Tarbert, as John Heaphy's bike required some running repairs. There was some debate as to whether the mechanical was due to overuse of the gears. A stiff headwind made the journey to Listowel and on to Tralee a difficult cycle. There was some respite when we turned in Tralee and headed for Killarney. The rolling road through Farranfore provided the last challenge of the day. Sean O'Flynn and Marie MacAree dug deep to reach the hotel in good time.