Woodlands House, Adare 2-Day

Adare two-day: My first ever stage race win!!!! And hopefully not my last. I was going into the weekend just hoping to maybe win a stage or at least get up there. I was riding on the Leinster team which was fairly strong and they were a big help (one was at least).

Stage 1 The stage was only forty miles long, the wind was terrible and the attacks were going all day none of which managed to stay away for more than a few mile. For the last ten-mile we had a strong tail wind which felt like someone was pushing you along. The pace went up a lot with a few brave or stupid riders (which ever way you see it) trying to go of the front, with the pace so high it was just a suicide mission. It came down to a bunch sprint, with all the sprinters licking their lips things got a bit hectic. I was not happy with the finish, the last kilometre was a gradual down which got steeper closer to the finish. There were also three or so traffic islands in the last K with one about 150/200 metres to go. I hit the last one and nearly had a heart attack at the age of seventeen!!!!After that I just pedalled in because a decent place was out of my reach. I ended up ninth which I was happy enough with because I think it is a confidence builder just to see your name up there on GC going into the next stage!!!

Stage 1 – Charleville
Pos. Rider Club Time
1. David Duffy Cuchulainn CC 01:32:02
2. P. Rowland Kanturk Credit Union 01:32:02
3. C. Crawley Stamullen M. Donnelly 01:32:04
4. F. O’Connor Fermoy 01:32:04
5. R. Maes Killarney A 01:32:04
6. P. O’Connor Killarney B 01:32:04

Stage 2 The dreaded time-trial. I was nervous going into the time trial because in the past I have lost places on GC as a result of this stage. But I was so determined to do well and hold my position into the last day. It was a 2.7-mile time-trial in windy conditions, I felt I had good legs and I got a gear spinning instead of trying to grind a big gear, which is not wise especially in a windy TT. I finished sixth and was very happy with my performance (which made a nice change). My team-mate actually won the stage and went into yellow……………

Stage 2 – 2.5 mile TT
Pos. Rider Club Time
1. Brian Harris Leinster 05:07
2. B. Hammond Usher IRC 05:10
3. J. Dillon Ravens 05:12

Stage 3 Being honest I was not over the moon that the team was in yellow because it meant chances of overall victory were gone!!I know I shouldn’t say that. The stage was a lot like stage 1, lots of early attacks. I was under instructions just to sit in the bunch and hold my place on GC and defend the jersey. Which I was doing until the last 15 mile. A break went down the road, I went to the front to bring it back and someone let my wheel go I got a gap and decided to try and ride across to the break, which was only at about 30 secs. I could see them all the time, which was a help. I put the head down and pushed the pedals, HARD! Praying that I would not blow up. I finally made it up to them. There were three up there, me making four. One of them was my teammate, we had a long discussion about whether we should ride through, and we decided we would!! I started riding through screaming at my companions to pick up the pace, I knew I was ‘yellow jersey on the road’ because I only needed nine seconds. We were joined by Micheal Lucey who is the junior national champion. We got organised and with very twisting roads to our advantage we held a gap of only around one minute, which was reduced to 25/30 seconds towards the end. Lucey told me we only had 2K to go I went to the front and rode as hard as I could with only Lucey helping me, the two of us worked all the way to the last 250 metres. I didn’t care about the stage, in the last K I was just thinking about every second I could get. Lucey came around me still working with only 300 metres to go, I couldn’t believe it I was second in line. I wasn’t even going to sprint but when I saw that chequered flag I think instinct took over and I started sprinting automatically, I took the stage and the overall and I was so tired I couldn’t lift my arms all the way!!!!

Stage 3
Pos. Rider Club Time
1. Keith Daly Leinster 02:08:30
2. F. Ennis Leinster 02:08:30
3. L. Dumoulin Kanturk Credit Union 02:08:30
4. M. Lucey Killarney CC 02:08:30
5. J. Reidy Newbridge CC 02:08:34
6. B. Quinn Limerick CC 02:08:45
Final Overall
Pos. Rider Club Time
1. Keith Daly Leinster 03:45:50
2. L. Dumoulin Kanturk 03:45:53
3. M. Lucey Killarney 03:45:53
4. B. Hammond Usher IRC 03:46:07
5. B. Quinn Limerick 03:46:08
6. S. Spratt St. Finbarr’s 03:46:22
7. M. Nestor Shannonside 03:46:25
8. M. Hickey Dungarvan 03:46:26
9. C. Crawley Stam MD 03:46:26
10. M. Hartery Autoview 03:46:27