Thursday, August 02, 2012

2012 Tour of Connacht

Wow – I have had more races than I can remember over the last few weeks and it has been great. After a couple of weeks of a 'break' from racing (well, I did the National XC Champs and a TT the day before, but that was very different mentally from on the road), I got right back at it with the Tour of Connacht.

The Tour of Connacht ran for many years – it was however retired for a while but in 2012, it was back on the cards. Going there, I was using it as training to get the legs going again for the following big block of racing.

Stage 1 – 95km flat

Unfortunately a small peloton started the race (50 riders maybe), but as always, attacks aplenty. Three riders got away and shortly afterwards a small chase of seven formed, I was in the chase. We worked well together but as the kilometers ticked by, we slowly lost the numbers. In the end, I rode the last 30k on the front pulling back the break to under a minute. I came in fourth while Charles Pendergast won the stage.

Stage 2 – 9km TT

Warmup, almost miss my start, pedal pedal pedal, done and I won. Unfortunately Charles, who was in yellow going into the TT and 55 seconds up on me had mechanical issues which meant I was now in yellow. I didn't really want the yellow jersey yet as without teammates and such a small peloton it would be hard to control. The evening stage also had an uphill finish which would have been perfect for me.

Stage 3 – 85km – uphill finish

Lots of attacking, some GC guys got away, rode on the front for 70ish km. Ended 4th on GC and Charles had a great ride to claim back the overall despite the mechanical gremlins in the TT.

Horrible weather (it's Ireland, that happens) but a good weekend of training – this event should grow further next year.

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