Dog day afternoon…

16 06 2009

Sunday was a long day in the saddle as they say. I knew the Meath GP was going to be the longest race id ever done. It was scheduled for 146km but on my clock i had 160km at the end. I wasn’t too nervous going into it as i didn’t really have anything to lose. I looked back at my winter training and realised i hadn’t done anything over 135km at all as i was preparing for the C races ahead. These are on average about 70km and i was doing usually 100km days so id be ok in the combined races. I never could have imagined doing a race this long with A/B riders only a few months later!

The yank looking smart as always

The yank looking smart as always

We drove out the LONG way (never listen to foreigners directions) and got changed etc pretty quickly. About 15 mins before roll out it starts lashing rain which all of a sudden made the sun cream i just applied fairly unnecessary. I stayed in the car while Seth warmed up. I immediately thought back to last weekends rainfest in Wicklow and thought this just isnt going to be my day. I HATE RAIN. I especially HATE THE COLD RAIN!

This seemed to be different though as it was still reasonably warm out. Through the rain lashing on the window i could see Seth waiving at me furiously. (imagine think American accent) “they are F**kin gone man, get out of the car”. At first i thought he was joking but, NO they actually had gone. I jumped on the bike and had visions of me chasing back through the cars at the start of a terribly long day.

Luckily enough i found a group of lads tipping out to the start so i knew id be ok. After that the rain died off and all was fine. I asked one of the A’s if this was the same course that we did at start of season and he said yes it was. This scared me as i found it very hard first time round still finding my fitness. He could probably see my fear so he tried to cheer me up with “don’t worry though its only one extra lap this time”. I didnt know whether i should tell him that last time in the C race it was only 2 laps making this double the distance!

A starting field of about 45 rolled out and the first 10 mins was pretty hard going. Considering i was sitting in a warm car only a few moments ago its not surprising i found it a shock but it soon settled down when a break got away. My plan from step one was to just sit in all day and survive. I hadn’t ridden this far in a long time never mind raced it!

I felt bad sitting in and letting everyone else do the work but more and more people tried to bridge to the breakaway so it began to get strung out and eventually it came together. Whoever told me before the race that this was flat was clearly born in the alps as it was very draggy in places and some of these would last a good few minutes. Now i may have exaggerated about the hilliness of the race but let me just clarify that it wasn’t flat!!!

Once the counter attack break stayed away things settled down nicely and although i didn’t hear any time checks i can only imagine that it was quite sizable considering when we arrived to the finish line 4 hours after starting i saw the leading group eating tea and sandwiches.

I have to admit i have found an endurance food like no other mid ride. I made a nutella and banana sandwich at home and had it during the ride to break up the monotony of 7 gels and 4 nutrigrains. I promised myself i wouldn’t fail in this race due to bonking.

Because of this it must have looked like i was just coming off a fast due to the amount of food i was eating every few minutes.

Wondering why i dont feel hungry after 7gels and 4 bars?

The ride went well for me (seeing as i only did one turn on the front) and i was happy the legs were ok for that distance. I dont think i could have done much work and finished the race and i think the lads who were up at the front riding hard all day deserve a medal but hopefully someday il be able to contribute to a race of that distance. The group up the road had 13 in it i was told after the race and there was a small sprint for prizes in the main bunch (which was only about 20 riders by now). I got 4th in that and missed out on a prize but with the little amount of work i did i wouldnt have deserved one and was just glad to finish the race. I dont think il be doing too many races that long for a while but at least i know what it feels like. 4 hours racing a bike without talking to anyone goes pretty slowly…




One response

16 06 2009
Dwayne Paisley-Marshall

my bike has been stolen again and now I have been knocked of new one; wheels are bent money is low to fix them

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