Yesterday saw myself and my Dad head South east for Waterford. This was for the National B road race championships. Though I’ve spent little time on my road bike this year I had this fixture penned in a while back and was looking forward to mixing it with the roadies..I did the Newry 3 day and back in May and my win elevated me up from a C cat to B. This new status qualified me for yesterdays race. With no team-mates it was always going to be a tall order..
The day was cracking, dad drove, giving me time to rest my eyes. The new motorway gave was very handy and 2 hours later after leaving Dundalk we were there..
The poker play started very soon when everyone was gathering in the car park. The start list was read by what looked like a swarm of bee’s!!! (excuse the pun). The usual talk was ongoing through the morning..
Who are ya watching??.. he’s strong!!.. don’t think much will get away today…your going well this season… ahh im tired.. training all week and work has been hectic… gonna hang in the bunch and see what happens… the legs aren’t there this season…
blah blah blah… Anyone who knows me on a road bike knows that I’ve a lot to learn and today didn’t prove different. I love the buzz of a road race. Theres something that tells me give this sport a good go and see what happens. On the other hand the Tri’s attract a different angle and I just seem to get caught in the middle somewhere..
12 bells and the flag goes down.. can’t get into the cleats and a few tut tuts from an overweight bunch rider behind me.. That was the last I saw of him all day..Attacks straight away from my friend Frank from Fit4Bike riding for stallmullen were heavy.. I found my way up the front and stayed there most of the day. I put in a good bit of work and tried my best to get away and tried to go with a few to get a group going but the negativity in the race was unbearable. But as they say ‘that’s racing for ya’… I found one or 2 pals in the bunch Kevin lynch and Sean Featherstone of Newry. Two honest lads who would work if it put to them. Another guy who I met Ciaran O Sullivan from Letterkenny was strong all day and shared the same frustrations as me..I did get away at one point and had a 10-15 secs gap coming into one of the hard drags. I went straight at the roundabout instead of left. My fault totally as this was the third lap!!! maybe if I had of got to the crest of it I maybe could have done something.. coulda-woulda-shoulda!!!!… talk is very cheap…
A couple of guys went from far out on the last lap and held a gap until the line. There was no point me doing it because I didn’t have the legs to keep them away and I was marked all day.. so I conceded to the sprint..
You guessed it-it turned into a gallop for the line and I finished well back in 16th.. I bet the top 10 only came to the front a handful of times but do you ever see Cavendish driving it on at the front???? exactly!… time to restock for next season on the road bike and re-evaluate my race strategies..