2017 An Post Rás – Stage 1 (Liam Dolan)

The 2017 Louth-Cuchulainn Cycling Team
L-R Rosena Lynch, Muireann Harte, Ray Fedigan, John Fitzpatrick, Alan Gray, Ray O’Shaughnessy, Liam Dolan, John Wall, Anthony Fox

Once again I am lying in a random hotel bed, which I’ll never remember. Yes its the Ras, attempt number 4 for me. This year riding for my own club Cuchulainn Louth and proud to do so.

Unfortunately we lost our 5th man after the Tour of Ulster so thd team is Alan Gray, Ray O’Shaughnessy & our Cavan blow-in John Fitzpatrick. Backed up with a top class support team & some generous sponsors.
Today was a 146km drag race, fast with just the 1 cat 3 climb. Very nervous bunch early on especially going through the different small towns. I made a big effort to ride at the front & minimise stress. Easy strategy is just the same as 195 other guys! However for the most part I pulled it off. Last 20/30km i was tired & just wanted to get home.
Ras is faster than your standard Irish race but perhaps not as aggressive, more controlled with strong teams who know how to ride & also thats there job. The break went from 3min to 16sec in a matter of 20km. When these teams ride they get the job done!
All home safe thougn Alan crashed & broke a finger. Post stage 1 always a bit manic as everyone finds their feet. Give it a few stages & we’ll have it down to a T