May 20/01 6:33 am - Wedge Report
Posted by Editor on 05/20/01
Wedge Report From Ireland
For my first road race of the 2001 season, I thought I would pick an easy one, something not too long, and without any competition. The FBD Milk Ras was not exactly what I was looking for, but I have never been to Ireland, and thought it would be the ficking sheit to do up a little race here. The race is eight stages long, with teams from South Africa, Switzerland, Japan, Germany, Great Britain, Sweden, Wales, Poland, Holand, Scotland,Â USA, and all over Ireland.Â My knee is pretty much all healed up now,and it is time to put the hammer down, as I have some catching up to do. I am here with the Ontario based (don't hold that against them) Sympatico/Jetfuel team, with riders Jibber Hall, Bluesky Crookham, Joe Guilliano, and Kiwi import, Brendon Cameron (two time Olympic team pursuiter). Our team staff is Dave Butler, and Johnny Jetfuel (who is the owner of the Jetfuel coffee shop and purveyor of fine figure eight indoor cycling tracks) and Irish lads driver Kiron and mechanic Sean. After a few days of touring around Dublin on the bikes and few pints with me cousin at the pub (Guinness is better here!) we enjoyed a bit of the St Paddy's day festivities, like life size foosball (with people), parades, bands, the whole lot of sights and sounds of an extremely cool city.
Stage 1 - Navan to Ballaghadereen 156km
The boys were anxious to get going today, as it was fast and insane through the small back roads of this lush and foot and mouth free zone. (People have feet and mouths here, I was talking about the disease.) The bunch jumped around a lot, and we were together for the first hundred kilometers. Prior to a jaunt through Tarmonbarry, which was tight to say the least, a small group went off, and I bridged solo, and we ended up with 10 guys fairly content to ride off the front. We were well represented by most team, except the Brits and the S. African, who did the lions share of the chasing. We worked well together, building up a lead of up to 3 minutes with 30 km to go. From there we started loosing time at about a rate of 1 minute per 10 km, there was a glimmer of hope for us yet. At 10km from the finish, the attacks began and our group began to splinter. With 3 km to go, I was off with a rider from Telekom, and as other attacks were going, we were passed by Irishman McCann. I chased with a Swiss guy until a km to go when he looked back and gave up. I gave it another go, but my white legs only got me to 500m to go, where I was swallowed up by the bunch. The Paddy stuck it out and won by 3 seconds. Good on him.
Sore legs, must sleep.