Shane’s Rás Diary: Pre Race

Things didn’t start to well today with Kenneth making a mess of the meet up times as usual. Our two o’clock start was delayed till four. Two more hours to think about what was ahead. The waiting around is the hardest part. It gives you time to focus on every little tight muscle and pain in your body. I don’t know if I am turning into a hypochondriac but today I feel like my body is shutting down. Similar complaints are heard from the rest of the lads so we are all in the same boat. 4 o’clock comes and we all pile into the camper and head for the big smoke.


The mood in the camper was a lot different than normal. There was silence for much of the journey. D-Day was quickly coming and the nerves had set in. When your whole season relies on your performance in a single event it can be quite stressful. Best not to think about what lies ahead until we have to. Let team manager Matty Kennedy do all the worrying for us.

Nenagh CC on tour – thanks to our car sponsor – Liam Buckley’s Moneygall


We are staying in Bewleys hotel tonight. This makes it a shorter trip into Dublin Castle tomorrow morning. Bewleys happened to be the same hotel we stayed in two years ago at rás. Memories are flooding back. Kenneth and I are in the smelly room (self inflicted). Dan and Mike are sharing beside us with Shane O’Neill and Michéal O’Shea sharing too.

Star of the show so far has been Matty Kennedy. I much prefer having the job of cycling than running around trying to organise everything for us. Just like the good soldier he is, Matty has everything laid out with military precision.

It is ridiculous the amount of food the Nenagh lads eat at these stage races. We only stop eating when we start feeling ashamed of ourselves. That is usually too late. I can barely walk up the stairs, nevermind ride the rás tomorrow. Is it possible to put on weight after 1300km of racing? We will see soon enough. Dinner was fantastic and it gave the new rás team a chance to get to know one another. We are all getting on great so far but as the mood worsens with each day I expect Kenneth to blow a fuse first.

Sinead Kennedy had one job to do – take a photo


Tomorrow’s race kicks off at 12:00. Before that we will be paraded in front of the crowd on a float. We will look like frauds sharing the stage with some top teams from around the world. Maybe with Michéals curly mop we might get mistaken for Italians. The weather looks like being decent tomorrow with a head wind start hopefully slowing things down. It will still be murder though but sure we will all be dying together.

Kenneth won’t remove his rás hat for the next year


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