Country roads took us home to Mayo in yesterday's second stage of the An Post Rás, an important stage for the Mayo men and for all rider’s in the race. The early stages in this year’s race isn’t going to be where you win the race, but it can definitely be where you lose it. Over 190 riders on a main road fighting to be near to the front of the peloton can often lead to crashes.
We have had a good few so far in this race, but thankfully I’ve kept myself upright thus far, touch wood! A flurry of attacks went off the front, but again nothing stuck as the top teams kept it together as much as they could. It’s amazing to see the crowds on the roads in this race, from the local farmers, the school kids, the workers who come out to cheer us on, it always gives me a good buzz as we plough by. I tried to get away in a couple move myself but the pro teams had the race controlled.
The team (ITAP ) rode well today, the Athlete Clinic in Galway are looking after us this week, with massages, manager, mechanic, basically all the dirty work, all we do is ride our bike and they take the utmost care of us. The stage from Longford to Newport today was a windy one. The race split half way into the 142 kilometre stage, with about 20 riders clipping off going into the cross head wind, but it never stuck. A gutsy late attack saw Jan Van Schip take the stage. The Dutch man took the win seven seconds from the main bunch, where I finished. I find myself 12th overall of the county riders, but its early days yet. Today we head north, the stage three starts in Newport and we will roll our way to the town of Bundoran, after 149 kilometres. I have a funny feeling that we will have an almighty tailwind tomorrow, so a fast day is in store. Until then.