Mixed Bag for Wheelers on Stage One (Joe Wogan Memorial)

posted 11 Sep 2014, 07:07 by Kevin Monaghan
(By Steve Franzoni 10th September 2014)   
Support Van
Day one of Ras na mBan ended up being a mixed bag of luck for the Lakeside Wheelers. The short stage covering just 61km turned out to be a bigger test than expected as the category two climb cut the peleton into small groups. Our girls fared well until half way down the descent Michelle O'Halloran took a tumble, quick to recover and get on her bike she made her way into a group after a roadside check from the race doctor.

After the climb it was a relatively straightforward lead in to the finish on good roads and time to reduce any time lost on the climb. The lead group held a good pace heading into the finish in Ennis and a sprint was inevitable.

In the main group our two UK based guest riders Julie Erskine and Jessie Walker stayed well up in the sprint. Next up was Karen Robinson who won was first in her bunch with some impressive sprinting. Sonja O'Mahony was next up with Michelle O'Halloran not far back having made good time back after her off.  the stage was won by Femke Van Kessel of the Netherlands. Full results are available here.

The first day proved longer than expected when after a late dinner, bike cleaning massage and chats we were in bed later than expected.

The support crews work seems endless. Up at 6am this morning to pack cars for the day, make breakfast and lunches, conduct meetings and clean cars (Stuart). You can't help but wonder how we will fare for the week ourselves. Chief cook and bottle washed Paul Daley prepared a good breakfast this morning but I'm still looking for my smoothie I was promised. 

Stage 2 cannot be taken lightly tomorrow (Tuesday 11th). 111km from Loop head southwest of Kilkee to the north of Clare in Ballyvaughan the route follows the newly opened Atlantic Way and as well as being very scenic will be a hard test of legs and body. Three categorised climbs including The Cliffs of Moher road will test the girls to the limit.

More later.