2017 An Post Rás – Stage 7 (Liam Dolan)

Two words, both proceeded by the word very, Fast and Wet! Awoke to overcast skies which eventually opened and never really let up. Thank you Galibier for Mistral light was perfect for the day, very wet and not massively warm.

The stage was so much faster than I expected. I thought a break would go early & JLT would ride steady tempo all day. Thats kind of what happened but it didn’t become tempo until almost the 90k mark. The first 50k was a line out on narrow roads in bad weather. Nervy to say the least.

I did well to stay out of trouble all day and knew the last 80k quite well as mg parents live in Cootehill which we passed through. Knowing the roads is a big advantage.

The last 20k was scary fast as we pulled the break back from 2min to 50secs. The route to the line was very hairy in the wet and saw a number of guys slide out on corners.

With the finish being very local to Dundalk i was looking forward to it. But as is often the case in Ireland the weather somewhat spoiled it. Everyone was cold and wet and in no mood to hang around and chat. The concert in Slane made getting to our hotel slower than usual, that alongside a town centre hotel with limited parking has made for a stressful day for our support team.

One more stage to go and it isn’t a ceremonial lap of Skerries. Going to be full gas for 130k