STAGE 1 – Kanturk- Freemount-Newmarket –Kanturk
With a dry sunny day, temperatures near 14 degrees, you couldn’t ask for much better weather for racing as a field of 76 riders started 2 lap making 66km in total . The pace was steady for the first 15km. As we approached the main climb of the day for the first time I made sure to be near the front of the peloton. There was a high tempo set on the climb by some of the stronger riders, which forced many to drop off the back! As we raced down a twisting descent into Freemount I noticed the group was down to 50 to 55 riders, though things pretty much stayed together. With 3k to go, and still feeling fresh, I decided to attack. Two riders stuck to my wheel and we worked to together but failed to establish a decent gap, eventually being pulled back. The pace was high on the climb to the finish line and I was tailed off slightly from the winning bunch leaving me 12sec down on the leader and in 43rd position .
STAGE 2 8km TIME TRAIL
An 8km TT from Lombardstown Junction to Duhallow Hotel, with rolling terrain and a savage head wind it was going to be a long 8km! But it was the only stage to make time and to gain back the 12 seconds lost on Stage 1 .This was the stage that would more than likely decide the race. I set a time of 12min 35sec, giving me 20th position and moving me up to 22nd on the GC.
STAGE 3 –BANTEER 53km
With today's stage being flat and more than likely heading for a bunch sprint the peloton stayed together except for the 5-6 riders who got punctures on the rough terrain on back roads. As we turned the corner into the final 1km the pace went up with lots of jostling for position. Unfortunately, as we hit the finish line there was a touch of wheels, which caused a few riders to hit the floor and one to abandon. I managed not to lose any time and held onto 22nd position overall.
Stage 4-Kanturk 67km
With today being the last chance to gain any real time on the leader, there was plenty of attacks expected but with many riders already having tired and sore legs from 2 hard days of racing it wasn’t going to be easy. Any breaks that went where pulled back and it all came down to an uphill bunch sprint. The race was won by Michael Crowley of Planet Tri..
Being the longest race I have ever competed in, I found it a good experience and great training for races to come. Kanturk CC ran the race very well.