Sunday, June 12, 2011

2011 Sean Nolan/Meath GP

June – is this really June – really? Well, today it rained all day and my Garmin informs me it ranged between 9 and 10 degrees for the race. Two thermal base layers, thermal arm warmers, a jersey, heavy shoe covers and long fingered gloves meant that I didn't get too cold but I don't think anyone enjoyed the conditions – anyway, back to the racing.

The race was shortened from an advertised 160km to 122km (one less lap) which I was initially disappointed about (nationals will be 175km so I need the distance), but with the weather, 3 hours racing was enough.

The race started aggressive enough, I was careful to see what groups where going and when I saw a good mix go up the road, I quickly bridged to the break. Martyn Irvine had a slight lead over us but he is riding so strong at the moment, we were not worried about leaving him 20 seconds in front of us for a while.

50km into the race, there were 7 of us in the lead group – there was a chase group some distance back and then the peleton after that but they didn't really make inroads on our lead.

With about 30km to go, we were whittled down to 5. A few digs were made but nothing stuck until I rolled off the front with 12km to go and went into timetrial mode. With about 8km to go, Martyn Irvine (Ras Stage 7 winner) bridged across to me. We rode hard together and with 2km to go it started to get more cagey. A fast, slighly descending finish against a world class track sprinter... Hmmm. I gave it everything on a slight rise with 700 meters to go, but Martyn pipped me to claim the win.

I have had a hard week of training and didn't feel great for most of the race (although, the weather was sure to play a part) but came around towards the end. The last 20km were fun.

This is the race from Strave – 291W average (inc. Zeros) for 3 hours. Never mind the elevation - the weather didn't let the Garmin work correctly.