2016 An Post Rás – Stage 2 (Liam Dolan)


That was a long day, that being stage 2. Almost 5hrs on the bike after I had warmed down. The stage itself was 184km, the longest of this year’s race. Nice to get that mile stone out of the way!

I woke up with the ribs still in agony and a new, never seen before injury, sore hamstrings! I had to change the saddle after last week’s accident and i think the extra 2/3mm of height difference has caused the issue. I dropped the saddle slightly today but alas the damage is done and they were seriously sore after I finished the stage.

Back to the stage itself,  i had envisaged 183km on big open roads with a small cat 3 climbs. Sun shining chat going all the way, bit of a gallop at the end. I was wrong on everything! The roads were bogging for the most part and if that climb is cat 3 I am DREADING the cat 1s!

As always the start was lively and i spent most of the day trying to keep up the massive bunch and eat. The eating part being a lot easier. We did spend about 15km literally crawling along with guys peeing, eating  and generally chatting. At the 100km mark with the climb coming it got serious and for the next 20k  i workec hard to stay at the front.

The climb was a lot longer and harder than I had anticipated. I lost a bit of ground on a group of 30 odd by the top and toke about 3km to get back on. Just as i did another group of about 20 odd got on. Why didn’t i save some energy and just wait for them. The next 60km was fast and i was tired but comfortable in the bunch. 2km a high speed crash in front of me and i was sure i was down again. I came to a stop, unclipped and picked my way through the bodies to come home with the yellow jersey who had also been delayed. Hopefully I’ll get the same time as the bunch.

After the finish Christine had amazing spag bal cooked for us. Top class service from Team iTap. I just got my rub from Jonathan, there was a lot of screaming from me. Hammers are bad. I am rooming with Colm  Cassidy, whom i know years. He is a great guy and easy going. Am absolutely delighted with Mortan winning the stage while my heart goes out to McCrystal. So close. Seriously gutsy riding from 2 proper 100% working men county riders. Chapeau lads!