Its been 2 days since I raced in the Irish National Championships in Carlingford in Ireland. It was a great experience and I am really happy that I made the trip home for it. There is something really special about riding with a bunch of Irish girls, in the most important race of the year, and I felt at home to see a few friendly faces in the peloton.
So, I came 8th in strong women’s field that included a few pro’s and Irish Internationals such as Melanie Spath, Olivia Dillon, Caroline Ryan to name but a few.
However, in the aftermath, I can’t help but think to myself – 8th place isn’t all that brilliant – I am capable of doing better. Yes it IS the truth that I can do better. But its also the truth that the National championships was really only my 4th proper road cycling race ever and only my second elite race (the Berner Rundfahrt in May was the other one). You see, its my first official year of road racing. It was also only my 2nd time ever in a real bunch sprint! So when I think of it like that, I take it easier on myself and smile : )
Gallery of Photos from my Fergus Foley (aka Dad)
The course was never really going to be in my favour. I knew that before I went home, so I did some more training on the flat instead of heading for the Alps as I usually di at this time of the year. That was hard! Peak pass-riding season is quickly approaching in Switzerland!
I also decided to race in my home club colours – Killorglin CC.
People from Kerry are renowned for being proud and when it comes to something like a national championships, wearing the Killorglin CC colours made sense. It also meant that I would attract less attention. Mary Concannon was such a help to get everything organized so I could race and get my UCI license and uniform on time.
The Race II
Without going into too much detail about everything that happened in the race…one of the most dramatic moments was when I came down in a crash on the third (I think it was the third, you know how all the laps blend into one) lap. There was one sharp turn onto the straight that brought us into Carlinford and all of a sudden, the rider to my right literally slid sldeways and bounced pretty close to me, I was on the inside, already cutting it really tight and then I slipped too. Apparently there was oil on the road and it had showered pretty heavily (another thing you dont notice when you are racing) and it caused a few of us to come down. I got up straight away, checked my bike and began to chase to get back into the bunch. I had a little help from Fran Meehan’s Aqua Blue Team car and caught up to the bunch on the hill in Carlingford again. I was afraid of how much it had taken out of me but actually, I recovered pretty quickly. However, my handlebars were facing upwards, and no amount of shoving could get them back into the right position. This was not going to help should I need to get onto the drops to be more aero should I go it alone or for a sprint.
What went on after that was pretty uneventful, there were some attempts at attacks and break aways but nothing major. It always seemed like the strong girls were just not strong enough and not willing to take the risk. Whenever they did, there was always another group of 5 riders who would chase and then the bunch would simply hang on to their wheels. Which is what brings me to this photo:
Next up in two weeks Ill be at the starting line of the Engadiner Radmarathon, back in my Swiss team colours of Steiner Bäckerei Wetzikon Argon18! Looking forward to riding some hills now!