Monday, July 11, 2011

2011 Mullingar 2 Day

I saw the Mullingar 2 Day on the racing calendar a couple of weeks ago and the timing looked perfect for me. A good two days of racing right at the end of a hard training block. The race consisted of a 100km road race on Saturday, a 6km time trial on Sunday morning followed by another 110km road race in the afternoon. The course for each was slightly rolling so it didn't look like it would be bunch sprints each day.

Stage 1:

It was a really aggressive stage from the start. My legs where heavy (didn't get my proper warmup due to some start time issues – the only thing I have to say against the weekends organization) for the first 30 minutes but I was in every move of strength. On the 4th of 7 laps, Damien Shaw, Aaron Buggle, Colm Cassidy, Anthony Doyle and myself were away. Most of the strongest riders in the race and I thought we were gone for the day... Somehow, after a lap, the group caught us – then 9 riders rolled off the front, then another 3, and then another 3 made a move to get across – I didn't think the break had the right mix, but there was enough numbers there that I had to go – so I hitched a ride over. Immediately we started to work and we were gone for the day. With a lap to go, Damien Shaw bridged across. As we closed in towards the finish, everyone started to think of the stage and the group started to stall – everyone looked at Damien and I (and a couple of others) to do the work. Damien and I (with GC in mind) rode hard enough and with about 5km to go I looked around and noticed a bit of a gap – I said to Damien, lets go and we drilled it to the the finish pulling out a gap of 24 seconds on the chase. With both of us thinking of the overall competition, we both went full out to the line and I got the win.

Photo from here
Stage 2 – TT:

This was my second TT race, and thankfully in much nicer conditions than Nationals a few weeks earlier. I think I'm going to really get into TTs, I just need to spend the time on the bike to get the power up to something approaching what I can do on the road.

The course was just under 6km and I covered it in under 7 minutes. It started on a climb so I went hard from the start. The finish came sooner than expected and I think I left 10 seconds on the course, but I was good enough for 3rd behind Damien and Aaron.

I now set second on GC a few seconds behind Damien.

Stage 3:

With Damien wearing the leaders jersey and a strong team around him – it was up to them to ride strong and defend his lead. My plan was to do as little as possible for the first half of the race and save my legs for the end.

After a while, a break got away with Robin Kelly (who was 3rd on GC at 51 seconds). It was a strong move of 10 riders – I wasn't too worried as it was as much a treat to Damien as I (and I didn't have any teammates). Damien put in huge chunks of work but unfortunately, his team was not able to give him the support that he needed – I actually ended up doing as much time on the front pulling the break back as the rest of his team... (it was clear that if I didn't do anything that the break would go out to 5 minutes and Damien and I would lose out) I got away a few times with various riders chasing the break but nothing stuck until the final lap. Aaron Buggle, another rider and I worked hard and caught the ruminants of the break. There was 8 riders with another 2, Robin and Colm forging ahead. We tried to get the break to work but it looked like they had already worn out their legs. With about 10km to go, Aaron and I decided to go full gas on the climb and drop the rest of the group – we did that and went into team time trial mode – I was there to win the GC, Aaron was there to win the stage – if we work together we could get both. With about 1.5km to go, we caught Colm and Robin who had spent a long time out front. Not knowing how far Damien was behind me, I didn't play any games and just rode full out to the finish line finishing 4th of our group of 4 (Aaron got the stage!) but winning the overall – a good day's riding.

Photo from here
Finally, I must congratulate the Lakeside Wheelers on running an excellent event – the roads were safe and really well maintained, organization was top notch (other than the timing issue for the first stage), but more impressively, they ran a 3 stage stage race for the A1/A2 men, A3 men AND the women. Good job!

Full results are here.


Montgomery Clift said...

well done Ryan, congratulations!

thanks for the post, really enjoy reading your blog, some great insights, & honest writing. keep it up please! :)

Ryan Sherlock said...