O’MAHONY CYCLES SUMMER SERIES UNDERWAY MAY 14th
There’s a bit of heat in the evening sun now. Combine that with the smell of hope and optimism and it can only mean one thing: the start of the Summer Series (tonight, Wednesday 14th). 10 weeks of great racing lie ahead of us. Legends will be forged and reputations created on the coast road. Racing is open to anybody with a Cycling Ireland Club competition or Racing licence. Groups will be handicapped based on ability. The key is to work together. Sign on is at St. Lawrence’s Hall, Ballinroad from 6:45, with the first group off at 7:00.
KANTURK 3 DAY – DAMIAN’S DIARY
Damian Travers was the club’s sole representative at the Corkman 3 day and penned the following. He obviously wasn’t putting in enough effort at the racing if he was able to type so much at the end of each day. Also, there was nobody else to confirm if this is a work of fiction.
Expectations were high(in his own mind anyway) that a good result could be achieved….until he saw the start list.
Let’s start off with some expletives – Eddie Dunbar, Eddie Dunbar, Eddie Dunbar. The race started off at a frenetic pace, with the Munster juniors attacking again and again. Every time Eddie Dunbar attacked Martin O’Loughlin was stuck to his wheel. Damian thought that this might work in his favour so as these two negated each other out he said he’d give a few goes off the front. That was until they hit the first climb of the day. 180 riders started the day, by the time we got to the top of the first hill there was maybe 40 riders left in the main peloton. To say it was fast was an understatement. Damian started near the front to give himself plenty of drift space, but when Eddie attacked it was just a matter of gritting his teeth and hanging in there, so he hung in there and was well proud of himself (until he later discovered that Eddie is sick and not riding well). Damian tried his luck to get away on the descent into Newmarket but this was closed down by the Munster juniors who were letting nothing go.
On the flat, dead road section across to the bottom of the hill Damian got away with 3 other riders. By the bottom of the first climb they had 30 secs on the peloton but with the Munster juniors again riding the hills strongly they could be seen closing the gap and had made the juncture by the top of the second climb.
There were a few attacks thrown in on the run in to the finish of the second lap but nothing was being let go. 2 riders attacked on the drag over the finish line, Damian saw his opportunity and bridged across with a covey wheelers rider. These were then joined by another 3. The group started to work well together and by the top of the first climb had a gap of 90 seconds with about 20K to go. The break continued to work well but with some bodies starting to tire the chasing bunch started to make inroads in to the gap. The break were caught with about 2k to go and with the last 700m up a drag the break were really only trying not to lose any time and not to get spat out the back. It came down to a bunch sprint (what was left of it) and Martin O’Loughlin left the safety of Eddie Dunbar’s wheel for a brief respite to pip David McCarthy for the win.
Stage 2 is a TT, never one of the strong points of Damian, but, he has no choice but to give it socks. So after a good warm up Damian rocked up to the start, clipped in, bike held by a commissaire, head down, arse up he gave it all for 8.1K, 11.36 – not too bad, 18th on the stage moving him up to 16th overall. Big thanks out to the older bro J for the use of the TT bike, helmet and disc wheel.
Stage 3 is a flat route – pancake flat, 6 laps of about 14K with a cross wind on the longer sections of the loop, and with some of the worst roads ever raced on. Nothing remarkable to write home about other than that. Damian kept his head down, stayed in the bunch (bar one foray up the road to wake the legs). Inevitably it finished in a bunch sprint. About 300m before the line, people going for gaps that weren’t there, eventually there was the rub of wheels and what can only be described as an almighty crash with bikes and bodies becoming airborne. Damian somehow got between bodies without coming down and finished with the yellow jersey, moments like that aren’t good for the heart.
So until the next stage, everything is tight – with about the top 25 together under a minute, the chances of anything being let up the road are very slight, but we’ll give it a lash.
To wake up to wind and rain beating at the windows is never a good motivator. Still, I got up and horsed the Porridge with honey and cranberries in to me, followed by scrambled eggs, toast and fried tomatoes, breakfast of kings.
Stage 4 is the usual circuit of a short sharp hill crossing the start finish line with a long drag halfway out the course, a shorter drag on the main road followed by a downhill then flat until the finishing hill. The plan was to sit in the bunch and see how it played out, who would attack and then counter after the chase had been made.
Lap 1 – I jumped at the bottom of the drag to bridge across to 2 other riders. We all started to work well. We were then joined by Thomas Fallon – an Irish U23 international now riding for a Dutch team, but we were never given a gap and the effort was closed down sharpish. On the main road section there was a group of maybe 4 riders, 15 seconds off the front of the bunch. I tried to bridge across with Eddie Dunbar on my wheel, when I flicked the elbow for Eddie to take a turn, he came through so strong I couldn’t hold the wheel. This break was neutralised before the start of lap 2. Lap 2 was a non-event where I opted to sit in the bunch let the legs recover and see what was going to play out.
Laps 3 & 4 – Numerous attempts were made to get away from the bunch. Eddie Dunbar managed to get away by himself and had a gap of 2 mins starting the last lap. Again groups tried to bridge across, one promising move containing yours truly, Thomas Fallon, a Killarney rider and a Covey wheelers rider but this was closed down again. I tried again on the main road drag and was again joined by Thomas Fallon but this got closed down by riders well down on GC and no team mates in the top 20 – nope, I don’t understand it either. Thomas Fallon countered again straight away and when this got closed down I countered that only to be chased down by a trio of St Finbarrs guys. With the bunch approaching the finish and still intact – bar Dunbar but who was within sight, and a tricky chicane to be negotiated before the finishing hill I opted to go to the front and get round the chicane first to avoid any mishaps and just glass cranked up the hill – I lost 5 places on GC but from 16th to 21st doesn’t make much difference.
I can say that I went, I tried, I attacked, I countered and gave it a good go – the legs felt good but were close to being empty by the end of the race, so a good hard training session has been banked. A bit of rest and recovery and we’ll give it a lash at the next one.
Those that weren’t up the country at the Giro enjoyed slightly better, if a bit blustery weather over the weekend. Sunday saw a group head to Old Parish, Youghal and Tallow.
Weekend spins leave from John Foley’s garage at 9:30 Saturdays, and from The Square at 9:30 Sundays.
“Dream big! (pedalling harder might also work)”
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