2017 An Post Rás – Stage 4 (Liam Dolan)

That was HARD, well actually it was 100km fast but relatively easy then 50k of savage hills & fast racing! The race was comfortable to Buncrana then the speed & stressed increase dramatically as everyone jockeyed for position.

The bunch was lined out over the 1st cat 3 but it was hard. The cat 2 climb the Pinch split the bunch too bits & I couldn’t quite hang with the front of the bunch. I was in a group with the yellow jersey but no one wanted to ride. The pros in the group have their job done with their leaders up the road. County riders want to conserve energy for the days ahead.

Despite this we still had the sizeable obstacle of the Mamore Gap, which was epic! It was long & so steep & sucked whatever remaining energy i had. The final 12k home on dead legs was hard. I came in about 7min down in a respectable group.

Post stage its recovery drink & Roseanna’s excellent risotto. Shower and rub from Muireann while Ray & John service the bikes. I do a bit of stretching & lie on my bed until dinner at 7ish. Staying in race HQ means the dinner will be slow as they serve 100+ cyclists. Then I read or watch Netflix before lights out at 10 to be up at 7.

I’ve found the best thing to do is get a routine going & it makes everything go that little bit easier. Tomorrow is the longest stage at 180km. Is no big climbs but a lot of exposed coast line on dead roads.