2016 An Post Rás – Stage 4 (Liam Dolan)


Well we are half way there, 4 stages done and 4 to go. Today was 163km with a cat 3, 1, 2 and 3 in that order. All in the beautiful county of Kerry, the scenery even when you are chewing the handlbars was amazing. Kerry is easily my favorite part of Ireland.

Despite an excellent hotel in the village of Bally something outside Dingle the day started bad. My right leg was in agony. Hamstring, calf and also my knee. Jonathan, our manager had been doing an excellent job, but despite this i am just too twisted after the crashes. Hips, spines and muscles are all pulling in different directions.

The stage wasn’t too fast early on and the climb after 10k was handy enough. The pull to the cat 1 climb was on lumpy rough roads,we were lined out before the climb. I was way too far down the bunch and by the top of the climb i was in a small group. We chased hard for probably 10k before getting back to the front. The next 60k was steady and the cat 2 wasn’t bad at all.

All day long my leg was in agony and only for the odd adrenaline kick I would have packed it. I am just riding in so much pain and the ribs are still as bad as ever. My facial scars are healing very nicely, however cuts on knees, shoulders, hands and elbows are still bad. Woe is me!

Back to the race we shot up the cat3 climb in the last 10km and our bunch split with me in the second half. Not a bad days riding but it meant nothing when i heard my roommate Colm Cassidy had a bad accident and is in hospital. Colm is a top class guy and the team will miss him. Fair play to Noel, our mechanic heading the 80k to Tralee hospital. He still plans to get up early to clean our bikes. Man is legend. In fact our support team is top class.

Catherine drives ahead and has checked us into our hotel and a meal cooked by the time we finish. Noel cleans and maintains the bikes while Johnathan does the rubs. Johnathan also drives the car and gives us tactics.

I never knew these people a week ago, now they would do anything for me. People in the cycling community are amazing. Hopefully i can remain a part of it until Skerries on Sunday.