The Corkman 3-day: Stage Win for Swords

Stage 3 – Criterium: Sunday May 5th 2002

Stage 3 was a Criterium run as 15 laps of a 3 mile circuit which included two hills. The race started at a fairly fast pace. Aidan Hammond was in yellow. Today’s race was always going to be decided ovet the latter laps because the elastic was stretching with every rider in the bunch. On a circuit like this I had to cover every move as any move could be the one to succeed but I had decided to merely cover the early moves as a passenger, saving my efforts for any move in the third last lap or so. As we started into the third lap, Paul Reid had been up the road for about 2 miles. I decided it was time to move. I attacked on the hill on my own. I knew if it was hurting me, it certainly was hurting everyone else. As I turned the corner after about 300 yards I saw another rider trying to come across. It was Paudi and we worked together well to pick up Paul Reid. Paul stayed for a while but his solo attack had taken some of the sting out of him and soon it was just Padi & myself. We continued to work well together to hold the bunch at bay. At 500 yards I decided it was time to stop coming round and gamble for the win. The bunch was about 7 sec behind and Paudi wanted me to come through again saying we would be caught. I wanted the win, and the best way to get it was to keep him in front. If we were caught so be it….. First on last I didn’t care, but I didn’t want to be second! With 200 to go I launched, and had time for a two handed salute and at last had opened my account for Swords for the year.