Shane’s Rás Diary

So, the An Post Rás starts tomorrow morning with a flat 150km stage from Dunboyne in Meath to Roscommon. The Nenagh CC team are holed up in Bewleys Hotel on the outskirts of Dublin and are all looking forward to getting things underway. From looking at the starting list I reckon I am one of the favourites……….for last place. Positive thinking is hard when you are surrounded by cyclists that are just in a different league. That doesn’t mean I won’t try as hard as I can and I will enjoy every minute of it but expectations are low. Avoiding embarrassment is mission number 1.

Having a masseur (Seán from Templemore) and a team slave (Kevin ‘Gopher’ Sherlock) makes you feel like you are some sort of superstar. I could really get used to having other people doing everything for me! It will be a relief to get things underway as we have been preparing for this day for what seems like forever. All the tough winter miles getting soaked wet and covered in muck, the tedious turbo sessions when we were too scared to go outside during the storms, and the punishing races where we hung on for dear life have helped prepare us as well as possible for this moment. For tonight I can relax. There is nothing more to do now other than stop frickin eating!! (I can’t stop). I think I actually put on wait during Rás Mumhan so I gotta stop that happening over the next 8 days!

As for tomorrow’s stage it is gonna be fast and will probably end up in a bunch sprint. I will be staying well clear of that as I am not brave enough for that lunacy. If I can finish in the bunch tomorrow it will be a success. Simon Ryan will be hopeful of getting some sort of a result here. Simon doesn’t really do nerves and we are like polar opposites in attitude and confidence so it will be interesting to see how he gets on. With 3 Rás newbies on our team roster it’s good to have the experience of Simon and Alan Loftus to call upon.

It’s gonna be pretty hectic tomorrow morning, but once the race starts its going to be just another race (just a bit faster). After a few mile I should be into the swing of things and hopefully I can enjoy the experience. I don’t have any excuses to get off my chest for this race. My rib injury has cleared up now and I am feeling decent. If I don’t do well it will be down to not being good enough tactically and physically and not being brave enough. Hearing how well the Nenagh CC team did at the Crotty Cup in Co. Clare and how well Darren Dunne performed in Weert gives more motivation to us all to battle hard up here. As always we will try and heed the club motto – ‘Don’t embarrass the club’.

That’s it till tomorrow…….

Our team car got pimped out for the race.


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