John Drumm Cup … a history of the event

The 44th annual Drumm cup takes place in Currow on Sunday next at 2pm with a full programme of events for all racing cyclists. The feature event is over 100 km on the usual Currow-Dicksgrove-Scartaglin-Castleisland-Currow lap. This circuit to be covered 4 times, is a very tough one with a big hill into Scartaglin and always proves a tough race with the form of this event usually translating into medals at the All Ireland championship which are held on the following Sunday. Last years winner was Sam Bennett of the Dan Morrisey Carrick-on-Suir club who was a winner of a stage during the recent FBD Ras Tailteann. He is on the verge of moving to the continent to race full time with the Dutch team Rabobank said to be interested in signing him to their Protour team. On a local level previous Kerry winners of this high profile event included the first winner Gene Mangan as well as John Mangan, Anthony O’ Halloran, Jack Lacey, Denis Mangan and Paul Griffin.

The race commemorates the great John Drumm who had his life tragically ended with an agricultural accident in 1965. He was one of the country’s top cyclists at this time and competed in the Ras Tailteann months before his death. He was fifth in this event at the young age of 21 behind Se O Hanlon which would have made him a likely future winner of the event but for his untimely death. In this event he the first Munster finisher and this saw him claim a special medal which is embedded into the front of the very impressive Drumm cup. He also won numerous All Ireland medals in road and track events. He was also a champion ploughman and kept himself fit in the winter months by running cross country races. A very popular local ballad commemorates his life which is rare for a sportsman.

So all roads lead to Currow on Sunday which will see the cream of Irelands cyclists compete to win this prestigious race. Underage racing is at 12 noon with the main event at 2pm with the sign on open from 11am. The total prize money for the day is in excess of 1500 euro with cups and trophies for the underage section. (thanks to Eamon and John Breen for this great article)

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