Getting in the breakaway wasn’t a problem but maintaining the pace was the killer, three people out on their own is very,very different to riding in a group.They dropped me, but hey, the season end is near and I had to give it a go!
Dan O Donovan Memorial Fermoy 09/08/2015
I had already raced on this circuit earlier in the year for the SilverPail GP only this time the lap was slightly shorter, 9km. this meant that we would complete 6 laps in total. At this late end of the season the numbers in A4 are greatly reduced. Maybe 50 riders in total compared to 120 at the start of the year. This makes each event alot safer thankfully but it also means that the racing is harder. No where to hide and only strong riders remaining.
The plan was simple for this one, get in a breakaway. All year I haven’t tried to do that.I have always been a little cautious waiting to see how each race panned out. That was my downfall in the Suir Valley crit a week earlier. So this time it was start on the front and go all out from the off!
The first lap went quick. This lot meant business and the course has a lot more drags than I remember. Plenty of chatter in the group but all friendly. At the end of the first lap we descend downhill to a sharp left, immediately there is a little pull upwards which strings out the group. Two riders go off the front,Padriag Walsh and David Waters from Comeragh and Carrick. I knew they were strong and saw this as the chance to give it a go. It was head down and flat out to catch them. I eased up onto Padriags wheel and took a good few deep breaths to get my heart rate back down again but as soon as it came my turn to work on the front I knew I was in trouble. The pace was killing me, maybe I took my turn too quick,maybe I didn’t take enough time to recover, whatever, I wasn’t strong enough to hold on and after one lap out in front I was dropped and the group quickly caught me. What happened next really annoyed me though.
As this race was part of the National Road Series all the big guys were competing on the same lap as us. As this lap was pretty short it turned out that they would catch us. Just after I ended up back in the group we heard car horns and plenty of shouting behind our group. A lead car stopped in front of us and a commissaire hopped out and stopped our race and group to leave the A1s through. There we all were standing by the side of the road, watching the two riders,which not so long ago I was part of, disappear up the road. Gutted. I don’t know. We are only A4 in their eyes I guess but having our race stopped by someone yelling at you “get off the road” was pretty hard to take.
We got back up and running and quickly the laps begin to roll off. A Middleton CC and Blarney CC rider plot with me to get away, He kicks hard and I try to follow but the earlier effort is paying at this stage. I cant even break the group and we are all back together again. At that point i decided to relax a little and give it hell in the sprint. Sprint finishes in A4 are notoriously dangerous. The riders accelerate and brake and move position like a puppy chasing a ball. Chaos but some thrill. This was made more interesting this time by the fact that, though no fault of their own, some of the higher cat riders had caught us again and were overtaking us as we were sprinting to the line, riders going backwards, riders to the side, braking, power on and braking again. Thankfully we all got over the line safe and I finished 15th or so. Not bad after taking a kicking all day.
So after a weeks rest, it’s on to Kilmallock and then the Charleville 2 Day in search of the remaining points to take me up to A3. Fingers crossed – Keith.