Busy Day Three With Two Stages

posted 12 Sep 2014, 15:12 by Kevin Monaghan   [ updated 12 Sep 2014, 15:15 ]
Stuart Cox's assessment of stage two at breakfast this morning was somewhat unusual and at first glance when seen in writing might sound dodgy - "She kept giving me the horn".  As we sat eating this morning at 7:15am, Stuart gave us his thoughts of yesterday's stage. Three and a half hours sitting with a crazy horn bleeping follow car behind us had sent him slightly mad. I did point out the many times he had followed suit but this fell on deaf ears. 

Action from Stage 4 Criterium
As we hit the middle day of this years Rás, the jokes and banter are beginning to fly round with ever increasing regularity. Our English and Scottish guests seem to be getting used to our ways. The honey badger mantra (check this animal out on YouTube) seems to have taken hold of the team and showed itself in tonight fantastic ride by all in the criterium. 

The many runs up and down the stairs (we are on the third floor) is now becoming part and parcel of our days, along with the early start to pack the cars and make breakfast. One interesting twist is the ever increasing number of support staff. At last count we numbered six and yes that is more support than we have riders. This is only adding to the banter and confusing Julie and Jessie more. It appears UK teams only have a few support staff. Sounds really boring to me. Think a few more are due tomorrow.

Today's racing involved two stages. At 10am the girls took to the road in 'The Race of Truth' time trial. After a good warm up the girls to the road on their own  in GC order. Sonja took off first closely followed by Michelle and Karen. A little later Jessie and Julie started their test in the same slightly windy and sunny conditions. All were hesitant and not overly optimistic at the start but when results appeared they had fared well. Of note was Michelle's 12 mins 29 secs effort which gave her a big leap in the general classification.

Second race of the day was the ten lap criterium around a 4km route. We entered this a little worried as crits tend to be crash fests. Jessie was gunning for another sprint and along with Julie are well used to this format of racing. Karen was very helpful with her advice having raced the route the previous year. This information became invaluable as this race proved our most successful with all five finishing comfortably in the main group and all seeing big movements in GC. 

The TT had been a disappointment but the crit had exceeded all the expectations of the Irish girls  and support crew. Later on during a private 'ME' or 'US' moment two of us said we were welling up with pride.  To every positive there's always a negative or a 105km stage over two Cat one climbs anyway - The Beast Of The Burren stage. Tomorrow's another day and after today's success tomorrow's race looks exciting for all. Let's hope we get some more positive movement by all in the GC.
Lakeside Wheelers Rás na mBan Team
Lakeside Wheelers Rás na mBan 2014 team.

Warming up ahead of today's time trial.
Warming up ahead of today's time trial.