This weekend wasn’t a big one for racing with just two members in racing action. On the positive side we had very healthy turnouts at our training sessions. Our Saturday club spin saw us focus on our first proper hill set in quite some time. This was followed up big mileage on Sunday throw in a summer league race on Thursday and that makes 3 big days out of 4. You can’t help but improve if you target all three. For next week, all our focus will be on the An Post Rás and Eamon Hartnett’s attempt to complete Ireland’s toughest cycling event.
- Tuesday – club hilly cycle – Meet at 6:30 at Stereame. Distance is typically 40 – 50km.
- newbies – the tri club are running a cycling training session on Tuesday from the hotel at 6:30 which would be very suitable for those newer to cycling. It would act as a good stepping stone towards being able to handle the speeds of the main Nenagh CC cycles. They have 3 different ability groups to choose from depending on your experience.
- Thursday – Nenagh Summer League – speed/power work – 7:00 at Gooig.
- Saturday – Main Club Cycle – start at 9:00 from the hotel – newbies: route is published later in the week – examine it and plan a turn around point.
- Sunday – club long distance cycle – starts at 7:30 at Tescos.
- racing – An Post Rás – starting from Dublin Castle
- Coachford Classic, Co. Cork (combined A2/A3 race + separate A4 race)
- Crotty Cup: this race took place on Saturday in Kilmihil Co. Clare. Denis Allen was our sole representative at this race. He took part in the combined A1,A2,A3 race. As usual, he was very aggressive and found himself in a break of 2 off the front for much of the race. They were eventaully reeled in by a group of A1 riders. In the final sprint Denis came in towards the back of the group, outside the points. Still, it was a great effort once again.
- Phoenix Park race: Will Rymer said he would chance his arm at this A4 Saturday race up in Dublin. The rain showers that fell meant that the course was slippy enough on the bends. Having survived a number of crashes on the opening 2 laps, Will was brought down by another crash on the 3rd lap. It’s a long way to travel for a DNF but for every good race you have you are going to have more bad/unlucky races. So…get used to it!
- Correction from last week! Apologies to Dan Hogan for misrepresenting his fine effort at the Newcastle West race last week. All I was told was that he was dropped. Nobody clarified that he was dropped from the winning break of the day!! There is a huge difference!Fair play to dan for this effort. He bridged across to an early break with some top names in Irish cycling and helped keep the break away. Unfortunately when the break started attacking each other he was dumped out the back. He isn’t the first this has happened to and he won’t be the last! Great stuff!
La Marmotte: the epic club Tour to France is now only 7 weeks away. I am not sure focusing on your pro golf career Gary, is going to get you up Alpe D’Huez! You might have to tag in The Stallion (La étalon in french) to take your place. Try and get all 4 club sessions in each week and what ever you do, don’t miss the Sunday cycle. We will continue to extend out this cycle weekly until the event.
An Post Rás: Eamon Hartnett – best of luck to Eamon at this massive stage race starting next Sunday. Although Nenagh CC don’t have a team involved in the race this year, we will still be following the race closely to see how Eamon is getting on. We will give updates via Facebook each day. Every day of the Rás is absolute torture so make sure to show your support during the week. Nobody in the club has been talking about doing the Rás for as long as Eamon Hartnett has. It has always been a target of his and now he has the chance to become a Man of the Rás, although after seeing what becoming a ‘Man of the Rás’ has done to Kenneth Kennedy I am not sure it is worth the hassle. Kenneth used to be such a happy cyclist…..actually, no that was never true. The night terrors are very real for him though. This year’s tour is heading up to the hills of Donegal so it is going to be a tough one. Best of luck Eamon, take it one stage at a time and finish it by ‘Any Means Necessary‘ (club motto).
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Saturday was a hilly route. In the past, these routes have always led to a very disjointed, low quality cycle. The huge difference in climbing ability usually leads to far too much waiting around. Thankfully, this cycle seemed to go very well. Everyone knew the route and there were plenty of short cuts for those that were struggling. It proved to be a tough day too with plenty of very tired legs at the finish. Work is needed though on keeping the effort more consistent = fast on the flat and downhills and steadier on the climbs. With 2.5 hours of rolling on lumpy terrain you can’t afford to overdo it on the first hill. Conserve your energy for later in the cycle.
Sunday cycling is proving to be a great session. With 16 cyclists on the road, each putting in between 4 to 6 hours of cycling, it is clear that fitness levels are high. We were blessed with the weather until the last 20 minutes but we were within sight of Nenagh by then so nobody cared. Congrats to Matty Kennedy who has finally graduated out of being bullied in the racing roll over group. Matty has been the racing group’s human pinata for the last year or so. His replacement is Will I Am not able to do anything right Rymer. Will is really looking forward to the challenge. He is hungry for success unlike Keith Butler who is just hungry for doughnuts. Somethings never change.