This RÁS thing is getting legs. By all accounts the country is hooked, friends are hooked, friends that wouldn’t turn Eurosport on for the Giro (bike race) if it was the only channel working.
I’m having a blast. The craic is 90 and the company is good. We’re holding our own and Roger is still serving pain on the peloton.
We rolled out of Nenagh and headed as hard as our wee legs could pedal to Listowel. It was a race with the attitude of ‘kill or be killed!’. Roger blew everyone to pieces and got away for 100km or so with two others. It went out to six minutes at one point but when the bunch started to ride, we rode. Hard. There were big smashes, you dare not look left or right. Only pray nothing slides your way. A couple of lads got badly hurt with falls. Roger was eventually reeled in and it was a time trial effort for the line. The rush and adrenalin was pumping through my veins. Now I know what Séan Kelly is on about when he commentates on Eurosport. I got up in the gallop to the line with the first county rider prize in my head but a lad passed me before the line. A top 20 finish and happy with the day but it was an enormous effort. All the Louth lads finished in the same bunch and were happy with the days work.
Day four has been much talked about and the event programme has been examined more than once. We rolled out of Listowel and headed for Glengarrif. For me the factor of the unknown works best. Luckily for me (or maybe not so lucky) I know these mountain roads from the Kenmare Half Ironman a few years ago. But before that the hurt was already on and I was just thinking ‘survive’. I positioned myself well heading into the first KOH (king of the hills) and tried to stay on wheels. It was boot down and handlebar tape eating stuff. I was hanging on for dear life at the back of a group but couldn’t hold on. I started going in the wrong direction. Gravity was catching up with me and so too were my genetics. I was able to hop through cars and get back on on the descent but the same thing would happen on the next KOH. I got back on again and was happy to ride relatively within myself before the line. A quick gallop and it was good enough for 33rd. 33rd?? You’d swear I was going for the stage win! This RÁS is growing on me day by day. Roger was in before me and Ultan and Colm weren’t far behind me. We are now 2nd county team overall. COME ON THE WEE COUNTY!