Stage 5 – Bundoran to Buncrana - May 24th - 149K

posted 22 May 2012, 12:55 by Kevin Monaghan   [ updated 24 May 2012, 15:42 by Mark Monaghan ]
A view of Mamore Gap
Ah here lads this Pro Cycling is an unbelievable life, sure where would you get a job giving you a 2 bedroom bungalow for six lads with two sinks and everybody trying to wash two day's gear!! Well no matter, because personally it was the first decent night of sleep I got since we started and that was in the top bunk as "Hef" decided he should have the bottom one because he is the team "sprinter". Our roommate was "Dungarvan John" who, when I commented at 5.45am on my slumber "sure tis the bunk bed by you may tell herself to get one". Anyway what a day we had today in as Charlie Sheridan describes as "God's Country". Well I can tell you that aside from the tropical weather it was more like "Satan's" country. We left Bundoran at 7.30am to tackle 150kms via Donegal, Letterkenny, Ballybofey and on through Burnfoot with our destination being Buncrana. The toughest day or in cycling speak the "Queens" stage of the 60th Ràs, Four Cat 3 climbs before we were faced at the 75 mile mark by a viscous Cat 2. However, this was only the warm up, yes a warm up in 24 degrees for the jewel in the crown of North absolute beast of a climb called Mamore Gap. This is by far the hardest climb we have ever took on and one of those that you can see the hardship of long before you get to its base, But it wasn’t the base we were interested in but the summit which we all managed to get to and all still mounted which was some thrill.
We have had to completely reorganise our team set up as our Directeur has by now absconded, Doreen is now installed as team manager but Joe Duffy is in charge of Team tactics. Hands down we have won the Team prize as we were bolstered today by Darragh Caffrey and Andy Brady. We are now all sporting the Ràs Stare which is not a pretty sight!!!!!!! Regardless, we are all still standing and looking forward to another 86 miles tomorrow from Buncrana to KiIlybegs via 3 Cat 2 climbs and the infamous Cat 1 Glengesh Pass. Bed time now!!!!!