The 10th Anniversary 2016 Sean Kelly Tour of Waterford part of the An Post Cycle Series, Sport Ireland initiative of five cycling events throughout Ireland in 2016 took place on Saturday 20th & Sunday 21st August and another chapter in the history of this great event was written!
Dungarvan looked resplendent on Saturday morning and most of the showers which threatened didn’t arrive until after the event. 1200 cyclists from 7 to 70 took part in the 12k Kelly Spin. It was a sight to behold as the multitude lined up on the Causeway and were led out by the legend himself, Sean Kelly. Cllr Damien Geoghegan, Cathaoirleach of Dungarvan Lismore Municipal District got proceedings underway at 11.30am and a sea of smiling faces young and not so young moved off from the start line on a route which saw them take in Abbeyside-Ballinroad-Ballinacourty-Gold Coast Road and the Abbeyside section of the Greenway.
The 12k has now firmly established itself as one of the most enjoyable and uplifting events over the course of the weekend and the sheer joy and sense of achievement that the children experience as they cross the finish line to the cheers and applause of the crowd is a sight to behold. There were smiling faces after the event as well as crowds remained in Walton Park to enjoy the food stalls and a picnic, face painting and live music. Our event partners, Dungarvan Credit Union were also on hand to give out souvenir medals and other goodies to all of our finishers. We are all looking forward to the 2017 version of the 12k Kelly Spin already!
Things were looking ominous for Sunday with rain forecast, but, we were lucky as the rain held off until after the start of all three routes. But, the rain did not serve to dampen in any way the spirits of the 4500 participants who took to the roads of the county as part of the tour. To celebrate the 10th year of the Sean Kelly Tour of Waterford there was music and entertainment in most of our food stops and this added greatly to the atmosphere on the day. The success of the Sean Kelly Tour should not be judged by sheer numbers alone. So many other ingredients go into making it the great event that it has become. First among these extra special ingredients is the unique ‘Waterford Welcome’ afforded by all of our volunteers right across the county to all of the cyclists. Of course there are many, many people to thank and that will be done over the coming days, weeks and months. We recognise that primarily this event would never take place without the goodwill, enthusiasm, dedication and hard work of over 500 volunteers. These volunteers include interested individuals, cycling clubs, sporting organisations, community groups and staff of the various agencies involved who all work tirelessly to put this wonderful event on the road. Take a bow you were all amazing!
Our sponsors have also been so supportive all along and to one and all we are very grateful and they include An Post and Sport Ireland, Flahavans, Eurospar, Quilter Cheviot, Cycling Ireland and Dungarvan Credit Union. We would also like to acknowledge the support of Dungarvan Nissan, official supplier of vehicles to the Sean Kelly Tour. Acknowledgement must also go to the professionalism shown by the Gardai, the Civil Defence, the Irish Red Cross and the Order of Malta Dr. David Janes (event doctor) and all the medical team for ensuring that this was both a safe and enjoyable experience for all concerned. A special mention must go to all those who supported the event’s chosen charity the Irish Pilgrimage Trust by directly raising money, supporting their raffles or by giving of their time to help out over the weekend.
For now let’s just enjoy the moment and reflect with pride on what was a wonderful weekend in County Waterford’s sporting, social and cultural calendar and look forward to the 11th Sean Kelly Tour of Waterford in 2017!
Article Modified: December 14, 2018 11:43 am