So after a few weeks of no weekend racing myself and Leonard o Keeffe headed up to Newbridge for a race as there was none in Munster and with Aoife on her hen party on the Saturday night I took advantage of her hangover and off we went . We had been racing in Blarney every Thursday evening and I had started the handicapped race with the A1,A2 group for about the last month, hoping it would bring me on and not kill me trying to hang on to the wheel of a few "MEN OF THE RAS" and a former pro with a near 43km average for 40k and despite chewing the handlebars and stars dancing around my head I managed to survive with them and could feel myself getting stronger every week.
The blarney races brought me on a lot but the week before the race in Newbridge I decided to make a route for a spin with AJ, Ken and Long John o c , by God did I forget who I was making the route for...
Bar Ras mumhan it was the hardest cycle I've done all year AJ and Ken tried to kick the living sh%$e out of each other on the bike, both not giving an inch with me and John stuck on their back wheel.
They both took a KOM from ballyhooly and knocked over 2mins off the previous KOM, on a leader board that had some of those heavy hitters from the Blarney races on it so the pace was vicious, so being able to stay with that pace the form was good . Despite nearly getting lost on the way ( race was in Kildare open farm we went to Newbridge) we made it to the sign on and went for a quick warm up, the course was fairly flat except for a few small drags and with the surface perfect the race was going to be fast and I expected it to be a bunch finish . In the first lap I tried to jump in a break but we were reeled in straight away,a few other attempts and eventual a break away got away but only ever had 40 seconds max and with an eager bunch and a few strong pulls at the front from Leonard it was all back together at the half way point, 40k done my average was about 39kmph.
I felt comfortable enough but with every attempt to jump the bunch reeled them back, then as one fella was 100 yards up the road another fella jumped to join him and I jumped from about 10th place caught and went past him another two had got on my wheel so we now had 5 and with all riding through I thought we'd have chance but with in half lap I could feel the bunch behind and we were all together again, then we had 2 laps left 24km.
The bunch started slowing with fatigue and the thought of the finishing sprint, a fella jumped and I followed and another jumped on my wheel we drove it as hard as we could each giving an agreed 20sec hard at the front before rolling to the side for a brief ease of pain before hammering it again, after 5Km one lad started sitting at the back stopped coming through ,I thought we're doomed , so with a little "light" encouragement ( COME F&€&@&€ing ON DO U FU%#}|ing WANT IT OR WHAT) we got him to do a few turns but with a gurning face on him that made Thomas Voeckler look like a super model I knew he was of no more use to us.
we passed the finish line for 1 lap to go ,12km, I looked back no sign of the bunch.
The motor bike came up beside us, 1 min back the bunch, that's a nice gap with 12 k to go and with us out of sight the fox couldn't see the rabbit , we had a side wind for 3 km then took a left turn to a welcome tail wind.
The Motor bike pulled up beside us again, 1min 18seconds I looked down at my avg it had increased to 40.2kmph, we were going faster than the bunch, we drilled it for another 3 km then another left turn in to a head wind for another 3k and the Commissaire pulled up in the car 50sec the gap was coming down, we had to push on.
We turned left again and on the last drag we put in a big effort dropping the wheel sucker, I looked back to see the Voeckler look alike gurning away 50 yards back no sign of the bunch, it was between the two of us the pace dropped a bit 2km to go, we both did a turn and I found myself at the front as we rounded the last corner to see the inflatable finish line, "bollox" for the first time he wouldn't come through, I weaved across the road from one side to the other, he still wouldn't come through.
It's now that I should have went but I waited for him to jump, he did and by the time I got on his wheel the line was to close to come around him , 2nd would have to do but more satisfying was getting in to a winning break.
I think it's every racers goal to get in a winning break so I can tick that off the list just have to get the win next time . Shane
With this mighty result Shane has bagged enough points to move himself up to A2.
This is rich deserved for what has been an incredible season so far for Shane who gets better and better by the week, Well done Shane super stuff