Ras Mumhan Stg 4

By May 18, 2017 Racing No Comments

I had great intentions of writing this report last night but tiredness hit me like a sledge hammer along with a 2 and 3 year old and a few Easter Eggs I had to eat! There was a lot to play for on the last stage of Ras Mumhan as 11 riders were within a minute of the yellow jersey and historically the race blows apart on the finishing circuits so there was a lot of tension in the bunch leaving town. We had a tailwind heading out the road I was caught at the back of the bunch I was too busy gossiping before the start to concentrate on having a good position. The legs felt ok in the warm up so I said I would be grand, once the flag dropped my legs went from feeling good to feeling like two blocks of wood, the fact we were doing 50kph+ didn’t help. Our massuse had pulled out the week before so the lack of a massage was definitely affecting the recovery or maybe that’s just old age!!
About 10k out the road there was a huge crash in the middle of the bunch, I was told by a couple of lads that one of the bright young things of Irish cycling had one hand off the bars for some stupid reason and next thing he obviously clipped something or someone hit the breaks in front of him and he came down and brought down about 10-15 riders and blocked the road. (Note to young and not so young riders if the bunch is doing 50+ kph please keep your two hands on the bars you can get a gel/drink/take off a gillet/scratch yourself when the pace drops off a bit or we are on a drag. I also noticed heaps of the British riders love touching other riders on the hips to let them know they are there, you can do this with your elbow if your that nervous no need to take a hand off the bars and only be 50% in control of the bike on a rough Irish road…..ok rant over)
Anyhow back to the crash as I was at the back we were held up I noticed my teammate Sean stopping to change his wheel but he looked ok, it was a hard effort to get back on as my legs were in bits and were protesting at making a big effort. We got back on when we hit the “main” road. I assumed my position at the back of the bunch and was chatting to Paidi both of us said we were staying at the back until the finishing circuits to stay out of trouble, it’s a risk as you could get left behind in a crash but you’re probably going to be safer. We had no sooner finished talking that when there was another big crash, I locked up the rear wheel to try and stop in time, Paidi and Mick Fitzy were just in front of me and I shouldered both of them trying to stop but we all held it up right (Paidi later commented if I was 70kg I would have blown him over the ditch) at the same time someone clattered into the back of the leg but with no damage done. John Brosnan of Killarney CC bore the brunt of the crash he was out cold on the road and gave me a big fright to see him fair play to one of the other riders who was kneeling beside him saying he was going to be all right I think it was one of the Joe Daly lads….whoever it was fair play. (I have found out since that he is ok will be out of action for a bit but nothing broken which is great news) My teammate Ray had being well positioned in the bunch and was unlucky to come down in it and would spend the day chasing with another group.
I managed to get back in it was a hard chase but we made it after the turn in Killorglin, after seeing that crash I was definitely staying out of trouble for the rest of the big circuits, the speed kept ramping up, in the first hour we did 45.5kph, it also took about an hour for my legs to come around. Once they woke up I started to feel good, I moved up the bunch to be a bit of the way up as we hit Killorglin for the small circuits. There was a great crowd in town, lots of people travel to be there for the Monday stage every year and there is a great buzz in town, its only Ras Mumhan and the Ras that draw crowds like this. The first lap was spent moving up around a few guys that had engaged reverse gear on the drag up past the sports centre, position is key on this circuit so there was a battle into every corner. I love this type of racing when it’s full gas the legs were feeling good so I was hoping to get involved instead of just surviving, after about 3 laps there was a crash on the corner at the bottom of the finishing straight, I was held up in it when I stopped I dropped the chain into the small ring as getting going again in the big ring would be a killer ( I was later told who caused the crash by dropping his chain, he had done this on an earlier lap but hadn’t caused anyone trouble a real sign of a guy on the limit who didn’t take the warning sign that his chain had come off once before if he had left it in the big ring he might have being ok). Once I got going again it took a mega effort to get back in but was back in by the sports centre the legs were full from the effort but I was ok.
Coming into the corner on the next lap there was a bit of touching shoulders in front of me nothing serious but a guy beside me over reacted and decided to fall off in front of me, there was nowhere for me to go but to hit him, I was now in serious trouble as I had to get going again and try to chase back on. Unfortunately this time there was no way back as the legs were buckled I got very close on the hairpin but there was only 3 cars behind the bunch if there was the normal cavalcade I would have been ok. I rode around for a few laps and then was caught by another few who had been held up in the first crash. With a couple of laps to go we were pulled out by the comm, it was a disappointing way to finish a great weekend, we were still credited with finishing but it’s not the same when you don’t cross the finish line
I want to sign off by thanking everyone who helped in any way over the weekend, Shem in particular who managed the team at short notice and Ivan and Micheal who also helped out. I would like to thank our sponsor Panduit for their continued support, this weekend alone costs over a grand so a big thanks to them and to all behind the scenes at Carrick Wheelers. Also a massive thanks to everyone working on the race its excellently run the marshalling is top notch we always feel safe in the bunch in the knowledge no car will be coming against us Mary and her team run an excellent race long may it continue. Till next time. John.