Velo Peloton Cycling Holidays and La Lanterne Rouge guest house are run by Olive O’Connor and Paddy Sweeney.
I was born in Ireland in 1969.
From age 12 to 18 I lived in Stamford, Lincolnshire, England. I was always interested in sport having come from a sport mad family (mostly GAA). I played Gaelic Football at school and cricket and middle distance running as a teenager. I played soccer in my early twenties and took up cycling at 25.
With Navan Road Club I have participated in all the big races in Ireland, having ridden in national championships, Shay Elliot, Des Hanlon, Manx International and stage races, Dunboyne, Donegal, Gorey, Newry, Rás Mumhan, Rás Connachta, Tour of Ulster, and the FDB Milk Rás. I have also raced in England, France and Spain. I am now a leisure cyclist only.
In 1999 I made my first visit to the Pyrenees and was hooked immediately, while cycling through the Lavedan valley between Col d’Aubisque and Col de Tourmalet, the idea came into my head, “This would be a great place for a training camp”. Since then I have been returning as often as possible.
In 2007 myself and Olive decided to abandon our then careers, move to the Pyrenees to live and work and cycling seemed the obvious thing to do. We went over looking to buy a small hotel as a base for training camps and bought the first house we saw, having fallen for it at first glance. We called it La Lanterne Rouge in honour of all the cyclists who have ridden the Tour de France, from the first to the last.
My aim here is to produce the best cycling holidays and training camps there are, bar none.
I was born and raised in Dublin, Ireland, the eldest of four children. My passions have always been music and cooking and when the spirit moves me, I get to enjoy both at the same time! Having lived and worked all over the world, Australia, Japan, Russia, the UK, you could say I’m a bit of a nomad. My working background has mostly been in retail and in particular Airport Retailing. It was around 2007 that Paddy and I began to seriously consider a move to France. Even though I have explored many other wonderful parts of France it was Paddy who first introduced me to the Pyrenees. Our vision was to provide a relaxed and friendly guest house in a location that would wow cyclists. I also fell in love with our house in St. Savin at first sight, mainly because of the beautiful magnolia tree in the front garden.