Last weekend saw my home club Cuchulainn CC host the national Irish time trial and road race championship. The ladies, vets and mens seniors all were fitted into a packed weekend full of racing. They did a fine job and i was proud to wear the club colours.
Thursday was the 25 mile time trial for the ladies and men.. I was really looking forward to this one…Ive been searching for a national medal in this competition for a few years now. I have always left empty handed in years past blaming my triathlon disciplines but this time i was on a level playing field…
All the local sayings were said before hand.. ”give her dicksie” ”empty the tank’ ”Goowan ya Boya”…All of the above i tried to do and I went well but not well enough for a medal.. I finished 5th elite but if you count the kiddies(u-23’s) i was 8th..
She did it!
But it wasn’t all bad..’ Bryans sister’ Eve won a medal.. Bronze! That tag haunts Eve but it could be turned around now.. ‘oh you’re Eve’ s brother!’ I’m really proud of Eve. I knew she would do it. And the funny thing is she is still improving (or not so funny for the rest of the girls)
Looking at the start sheet I felt 8th was a realistic goal. I haven’t spent time on the tt bike but that was a common theme if you asked the rest of the boys. The course was out and
back..not exactly exciting but what 25tt is.. they are hard. Being from the area I know every lump and bump and the route even passes my home house. I always break down a tt in stages in my head to relieve the boredom..All locals can relate to my thoughts..
A mad man’s aero thoughts
Roll out of carlingford- First target was to that Bastarden Corner at Greenore…up the Fucker of a hill at Cooley and get the the Kickams Pitch.. Recover from a near death experience and mill it to Bush… Salute the Bull and drive her on.. Next up Martins Pub-Lovely Guinness and wash it down with a lovely 99 passing crillys before Gyles Quay.. Take her into Lorship Flat to the mat and pray for Keenan or Hanlon transport to pass…’ Shite they must but having their diner’ … Down Campbells Hill and Clock Fitzpatricks in the distance and Dream of thier Seafood Chowder. I then pass Bellurgan where I grew up and think of my Nana,Mrs Mac .With No time to dwell I’m on Bellurgan straight and I hate this Fuckin road.. Potholes everywhere and Its never ending..Thoughts here are keep areo and dont look up…’Sure ya know the road’!!… but i look up for a second..just as well as a red car is heading my way.. Quick correction and I see the ballymac where I spent probably most of my childhood… My family are at the turnaround ringing cowbells..no time to chat I have to repeat all that again…and into a Bleedin Headwind!!!..
Main event- 170km of pure torture.
This race had everything going for it to make the champion a real champion… The Course, weather, competitors and a village packed with spectators locked out of their brains.. Hens Stags, you name it they were cheering us on. The best of the best minus some of the best were there.. I finished 19th… 100+ starters 40 odd finishers…There were snipers all over the course taking lads out of it! With every lap I was cheered on by someone I was racing with on the previous lap… Lads were been spat out the back right left and centre..Quitting was never an option for me. I wasnt on it in the first 2 hours.. I couldn’t go with alot of moves but i tried.. 2/3 went up the road early on but a small group was always trying to get away to chase minus the big bunch.. I knew I had to be there but when the move went that stuck i missed it.. the bastards… why didnt they tell me they were going!!.. Long and short of it I hadnt the legs at that moment..I gathered myself and tried to go, I brought 4/5 others..we worked well until 2 boys crashed and then It left only 2 of us with one hanging on our coat tails.. we hadnt the bullets to fire across but we tried in vain… We rode well holding the gap of 1;30 for a long time.. But It wasn’t happening… The atmosphere was electric going through the village of Carlingford.. I just prayed I wasnt going to fall infront of everyone i knew…Approaching the famous Dans was great.. For a split second I felt Famous! I must be the most photographed man in the country. Jacqueline Galway, Alan Bingham and Niall Carroll are taking a stall at the marshes with my snaps this Sunday. Don’t miss it.
I gave a dig on the last lap myself because I had picked up a few lads..With nothing free in this game I didnt want to offer my services.They must of felt they won the lotto been protected from the wind from my big arse.
I crossed the line like a champion.. Glad it was over but disappointed I wasnt with the main players. It was a day that maybe could of suited my strenghts but its very easy saying that now. There are many geniuses that can read a race after it has finished. Bit like the bar stool coach. I was sorry for Lavery not getting the win but You have to hand it to bremner..Damian shaw who represented all us donkey farmers got bronze and raced really well.. In my view he was man of the day.
Thank you all.. Especially all my teammates at Cuchulainn.
Next up is the suir valley 3 day.. Im gonna hide away and train rocky style for that one..