Ras Mumhan Stg 1

Heading into sign on at Ras Mumhan today felt like a bit of a murphy and gunne reunion, I met Tim Cassidy first then Morgan Fox and Andrew Roche (who seemed very surprised I was racing which I didn’t take as a great vote of confidence) I love Ras Mumhan but I hate the first 15k of it as we speed out to Killarney with numerous lock ons etc. There was 6 Panduit Carrick Wheelers rides in the race this year, joining me were Cathal Purcell, Sean Yelverton Ray Cullen and Mark Bergin who got drafted in after Jamie Blanchfield got called up to the Irish team. My only words of wisdom to the 3 Ras Mumhan virgins was to be carefull on the way to Killarney and then be in a good position leaving town as once we are on the back roads that’s it
We were held up at the start waiting for the RTE camera car at the start, there are very few cycling events in Ireland that make it onto the national evening news so it’s a price well worth paying, as usual we started at 100mph I positioned myself well near the back of the bunch which is a bit of a risk but I wanted to stay out of trouble. Heading into Killarney there was a good few punctures and there would be no way back for these guys as we were regularly doing over 50kph. About 2km from Killarney I realised I was actually last man in the bunch so it was time to get out of dodge, I burned a few matches moving up the outside and brought Cathal up on my wheel, one the climb up out of town I was on the front row so I had achieved 2 of my goals for the day, 1 getting to Killarney in one piece and 2 being in a good position hitting the back roads. Once we were on the back roads it was relentless the first KOM wasn’t too bad but they kept the pressure on after it and hearing reports from the car later plenty of bodies went out the back door. It was raining solidly at this stage, on the biggest kom there was actually a crash on the way up and then some poor lad wrapped his di2 rear mech around his rear stay (don’t ride in the 53*28 people!!),
Over the top of the main KOH I breathed a sigh of relief as I knew once I made it over that I would be relatively safe for the rest of the day. It pissed on the descent so everyone had cold legs on the following drags. I passed the time by giving out to a couple of lads for throwing empty gel packets away, why people do this I don’t know I was glad to see a few people fined this evening for it (I really am turning into a grumpy old man!!) There was breaks constantly going but couldn’t get away as it was very aggressive racing, it had the look of a bunch sprint from there on in so I did the only thing I could do in the circumstances and sat at the back of the bunch keeping out of trouble!!! Mick Fitzgerald gave a very accurate prediction saying Paidi or Cigala for the win but some young lad from the Isle of Man wrecked his prediction. I was very happy to finish safe and sound in the main bunch with Sean and Jamie. Cathal, Mark and Ray came in a group 12 min down so we all live to fight another day