Friday, September 10, 2010

2010 Carl Fullerton Memorial Road Race

The Carl Fullerton Memorial race was the final race of the Irish Road Classic Series. It was being held up in Donegal by the North Pole cycling club, a club that has become synonymous with well run events on great courses. Fortunately, for the final round of the championship the course did not disappoint – unfortunately the attendance did with only fourteen making the journey up. Of the fourteen, Sean Lacey – who at this point could not be beaten for the title made the long trip up from Cork (or is it Kerry – sorry!). I guess it was like already getting into the break of the day before we started – the fourteen riders that were here were all strong.

The race started with the Eurocycles pair of Adam Armstrong and Thomas Martin (good luck this week in the Tour of Britain) going full gas with Sean Lacey – another couple of riders were quickly burnt off and unfortunately, that was the three away for the day. As I rode in the group, I wasn't worried about them being off the front – the course was difficult enough and it was very windy with strong riders in our group. As the kms, ticked by, we rode mostly well together but there was never the concerted full gas effort from all of us needed to pull back the leading trio. It was frustrating, but I'll put that one down to experience. A few hard accelerations from our group burnt off the riders that were simply sitting in and with a half lap to go, I attacked and left our group to go for a solo effort for 4th. I stayed away for about 10km but got caught again (more riders where shelled from our group in the chase). It was down to a sprint finish on the drag up to the line. We played cat and mouse for the final 4km (which was acutally a lot of fun). With about 600m to go, a rider went for it, I sat in a little as Conor Mc Allister responded and with about 400m to go, I went full gas – I didn't look around until the line but there was a long way back to my 5th. 837W for 40 seconds does that...

Photo from Marian Lamb

My attack and the end sprint clearly visable on this, the final lap of 4

As I said, a well run event on a fantastic course – just pity about the numbers. Thanks to North Pole CC for putting on such a well run event – the races up in Donegal always seem to turn out great.

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