The 100+ A4 group set off on their first lap and again Richie was to the fore at the front of the bunch, which was no easy thing to do with such a large group on some narrow roads. Limerick CC were exceptionally well organised with great support from the Gardai, Medics, Stewards and some very proficient motorbike marshals all keeping the riders safe. Our man, John Mc, was on the scene keeping everybody on their toes. Due to the large bunch it was inevitable that Richie slipped back at some point and yet again he was cursing his luck. A crash occurred in front of him coming towards the end of the first lap and Richie was caught behind it again this week. He got going again and chased very hard and just about managed to get back on the bunch, dragging a number of other riders with him. Further misfortune then struck just as Richie got back in where there was a surge in speed. With the massive effort he had put in, Richie had no hope of staying with the surge in speed and was dropped off the back. He showed great fighting spirit and continued to chase, showing good mental toughness to keep going on such a horrid day for cycling when he could so easily have pulled over and climbed into the team bus. The very large number of A4 riders racing this season has made luck and race-craft even more important and each race is a learning experience for a rider who two years ago decided to get fit and give racing a go.
There was a group of approximately 45 to 50 riders competing in the A1\2 category race, including Dermot representing Tipp Wheelers. A break went immediately from the gun and Dermot found himself in a bad position, taking some time to work through the bunch. He jumped away as soon as he could see clear road but failed to make contact with the 6 man break and was swallowed up again by the bunch. The gap to the break grew with one rider dropping off the back to leave 5 up the road and despite the best efforts of the entire Planet Tri team the break was not overhauled. The main bunch continued to look to Planet Tri to ride and the racing became very negative. Riders were continually jumping off the front, getting small gaps and being brought back again. The pace would then slow considerably until the next rider jumped away. Simon Ryan of DMG Visit Nenagh was the only rider, together with one other, to pull out any sort of significant gap at 40 seconds. Simon was riding on his own as the other rider had a team mate up the road and so was eventually brought back in with the continuous attacks from behind. There was no rhythm to the race and it was stop/start, making it extremely difficult and putting main riders in trouble. Going into the last lap Dermot was still with the remains of the main bunch. Attacks continued and Dermot managed to get into one significant break where the speed was very high. A few other riders got across to it making an 8 man group that pulled away from the main bunch. As soon as a gap was formed the riders started looking at each other and the stop/start continued. Following attack after attack, Dermot planned his move and with 12 km to the finished jumped away on his own on a slight drag and into a stiff headwind. He pulled out a 100 metre gap in the 2 km before a left turn back onto the main Caherconlish road where he thought strong side winds would even up the contest, hoping the chasers would not form an echelon thereby making it man against man. His plan worked and Dermot time trialled the remaining 10 km to the finish line to take sixth place, pulling out nearly a one minute gap on the chasers.