Weekend Update February 17th
With my racing form not exactly there yet I decided to forego the challenge of the opening race of 2013 in Monastrevin. Two brave TCTC souls headed for the Ned Flanagan Memorial 70k event which proved to be a fast opener. With a strong wind making conditions tough the race was fast from the gun. Collie and Mick hung in well but a crash about 5km from the finish ended the day. Collie hit the tarmac in the crash but luckily the Colnago survived along with its rider. Mick had to take to the grass cyclo cross style to avoid the carnage. The field was very large with over 230 riders signing on with the typical nervousness evident for an early season race. Hopefully the fields will settle down a little when I dust off the numbers for this weekend. Well done lads.
Eddie Scully and Donagh McArdle took part in the sportif that accompanied the race. Reports from Eddie indicate that the speed was approaching race pace and that it was indeed great training. No doubt Eddie is timing his form for the start of the Vets racing in March. Donagh hung in well and finished strongly and enjoyed the event. The golf clubs have been put away for the time being and he is certainly coming along strongly. We may see him soon in league race. Watch this space.
A Group Spin
Racing fever didn’t strike this week so a good crowd turned out for the A group spin. I think we had close to 20 out on what turned out to be a nice day weather wise. The spin didn’t start off great when Dermot punctured coming out of the car park. He is certainly getting as much as possible out of that rear tyre. This repair cost use about a half hour so our distance was adjusted accordingly. Our route included an ascent of The Cut which was the groups first time up there this year. With a south easterly wind blowing the climb to the top proved tough. An elite group of 3 formed with Peter (the mountain goat), Ollie and Paul pulling hard. I attempted to get across to the trio but came up short and settled back into a group containing Pat Donegan. Pat is back at it after a disrupted season in 2012. He was going pretty well on Sunday and I was happy to sit in. Our group was the third over the Cut.
We descended and waited for everyone to catch up before heading into Mountrath. After Mountrath we headed towards Ballyfin and eventually reached Mountmellick where we had a short coffee break. After the break we headed towards Emo. The wind was still not favouring us but we kept a decent average with everyone doing a good turn. We turned for Portarlington and finally got a nice tail wind to push us back towards home. Dermot’s curse of the rear tyre rose it head again and a second stop for a puncture was required. A new tyre was needed this time and with some quick work from Seamus we were back on our way.
The remaining miles were covered in double quick time with the speed rarely dropping below 40km/h. The strong trio of Paul, Ollie and Peter decided to dish out more torture on the way into Geashill with a big surge in speed. Seamus’s marathon running seems to be dampening the legs and he dropped back with a few expletives thrown towards the offending trio. A chasing group of about 6 tried to keep the gap steady. I did my usually foolish manoeuvre on Curragh Hill and tried to blow myself up by riding hard up the hill. Luckily I had decided to turn for home at Ballina Cross so its all good.
Stats for day were: 111km, 29.5km/h average
Don’t forget to put your order in for the new jersey. Here’s the link for details. New Club Jersey Order Details.