The Des hanlon, a race where your balls need to be intact and where the first real test of the season comes about.. Where was I? somewhere between good and maybe great… Who knows how you feel, let the race and road decide… As G noble would say.. Fug that let’s race..(he doesn’t say that but I know he says fug, true story)
My love affair with the Des.
4 years ago I was on the line with Aidan Cunningham, a Cuchulainn man that taught me well in the early days & now. Back then (and maybe now) i had the triathlete mindset. Get to the front and ride, they’ll drop eventually.. But the never do.. They wave and say thanks with 500m to go…”ah Jaysus lads, no problem at all “.. I had a mental thought back then, I want to come back here and do well..
Fast forward 2 more years, Ciaran power (ras winner and many other titles) is writing me out a program.. I’m going well.. Too well infact.. I peaked in February and hated cycling.. Never made it to the line… My fault, but not Mr powers, I do the classic amateur “I know better” and ride zone 4 when I’m meant to do zone 2…classic
Last year and here again, but unfit.. My rear end can be seen from the front.. A few euro overweight I prayed for a puncture… It’s a miracle, the front blows… Home please Mr driver. The Des wins again.
2014- Aqua blue
New team, new legs, new found confidence. I can do well here..shaw is Tipped to win but a work call sees his absent..
Timmy Barry, a new man in my life(not that kind of man) has faith in me and the team.. He’s officially retired riding and instantly has the leadership skills of a Sam Maguire winning Manger. Since joining Aqua Blue I feel I’ve been here years. You want to be apart of it.
Something might go early and aqua blue should be there. Keith gater sees that and small group goes away… I can still see it, looks dangerous, 3 ucd lads are in it and them boys can ride. I jump taking a few including another aqua blue, olan Barrett . We get on and Cassidy takes control of the break… “Beautiful beautiful” he tells us as we tap through… Few boys feel good.. They stay in the big ring up the climbs, I opt for the wee ring..olan punctures but Keith keeps me right all day. Lap 2 they stay in the big ring.
Never had I a support car with me in a break.. I go back.. ‘well lads’.. I just wanted to go back just because!!!.. Im waiting for a group to tear across. There’s good pedigree back there.. It’s only a matter of time and hopefully we have someone there . But we are holding 2 mins. I feel I should attack, I go early sensing a few lads tired & I go taking them by surprise as we crest one of the climbs. Paddy Clarke and Anthony Walsh get across to me.. We start working. We’re gone..
We work nicely but I got a time gap to chasing group, 1:30, I go again.. Walsh gone Clarke comes.. Clarke works with me and I’ve no intention of taking him to the line so I attack again.. Chips are firmly in at this point.. It’s me.. Wtf.
Team car gives a shout and a tone in timmys cork voice that I’d yet to hear says.. “This is it BOI, Fuckin ride…”
Sherlock and Obrien chase, two boys I’d rather not see.. At the bottom of the Butts I had 1 minute. Still 15k to go.. Last 10k I get into the tuck and squeeze the watts out. Here I should mention the beautiful German engineering of the storck aernario…Ive no excuse only my legs.. She rides fast & every watt goes forwards. Thank you Mr Storck.
I crossed the line a happy man.. Aqua blue keep the Des. Sean lacey having dominated the year before.
A big win I won’t forget. Thanks to all the team.