With only 2 races left in the 2012 MIL League I found myself in 1st place overall in the A/B section going into last Thursday’s race in Abbeyshrule. Its the 2nd time I’ve found myself leading the tables but I’ve never held on to the Maglia Rosa. Would Thursday’s race work out better. Long story short, No.
Getting back to the main report. Things didn’t get off to a great start on Thursday as only 1 fellow TCTC rider showed up. In comparison the Lakesider’s had about 10 guys in our B group. Fair play to Collie for turning out but we were really up against it from the off. The location of fellow TCTC riders was unknown but the IVCA 2 Day knocked a few out. Paul couldn’t pull off a Sean Kelly and cycle with a broken collarbone. The gap to the A boys was only 1 minute which seemed a bit small. The race consisted of 4 laps of the 11km circuit around the quiet roads of Abbeyshrule.
Onto the race and it soon became apparent that the Lakesider’s weren’t going to ride. The guys from Shannonside were riding through along with Gary from Wolftrap with a helping hand from me and Collie. The average for the first lap was over 40km/h. The advantage to the A group dwindled quickly and they pulled us back together well before the end of the first lap. Damien Shaw was acting as the locomotive as they quickly flew past us.
Onto the 2nd lap and a couple of speculative attacks were made by Peter Rimmer and Stephen Franzoni from the Lakesider’s. Peter was 2nd in the standings so we were forced to close him down. Damien Shaw soon got itchy feet and took of half way round the 2nd lap. No one was brave or stupid enough to chase him down and that was the last we saw of him.
Collie was riding well, closing down every attack and sitting on Peter’s wheel. The attacks kept on coming during the 2nd and 3rd laps and each time they were closed down by Collie, the Shannonsider’s or the lone wolf. Onto the final lap and with Damien Shaw disappearing into the distance it was a race for 2nd place. The riding was starting to become very tactical and soon Peter Rimmer fired off a strong attack heading through Colehill. As he headed into the distance it was time to launch Collie in an attempt to neutralise the threat. Collie bravely drove the pace for as long as he could. With Collie starting to flag I took off in hot pursuit of Peter and managed to get within 20 metres. I soon started to blow from the effort but luckily a few Shannonsider’s caught me and we began to work.
Collie found reserves from somewhere and drove the pace again. We soon managed to bring the group back together and everyone settled down for the inevitable sprint. The Abbeyshrule circuit has a tricky left hand corner with less than 1km to go. It’s vital to get around this in a good position in order to get up for the sprint. I managed to plant myself on Franzoni’s wheel going into this corner which wasn’t a bad place to be.
Having rounded the corner the sprint for 2nd started in earnest. My sprint ended up a little short as I was slightly fried from the chasing on the final lap. In the end I finished up outside the points which was disappointing considering the ride Collie put in. Peter took 3rd in the sprint and with it enough points to take back the leaders jersey.
Going into the final race in Mount Temple on August 24th its still close at the top. Hopefully the TCTC boys will turn out in force for one final effort.
In the C/D race there was a nasty looking crash involving 2 cyclists which put a dampener on the nights proceeding’s.