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David McCann (Ireland National Team) at the 2009 FBD Insurance Rás.
Irishman misses top 10 place by seconds
Irish rider David McCann today raced to his best-ever finish in the Elite time trial, bettering his 2004 result when he finished 15th.
The Belfast rider was 3:40.61 behind a dominant Fabian Cancellara (Switzerland) in the 49.8 kilometre test, and was just 3.22 seconds off the 10th place achieved by defending champion Bert Grabsch (Germany).
Despite his high finish, he felt that a better pacing strategy would have seen him go faster.
"I am a bit disappointed," he told Cyclingnews. "I didn't really pace it well. I had much too much left in the tank at the end.
"My warm-up was fine, I just didn't push it hard enough soon enough. I was only 38th fastest at the first split, but I was fifth quickest for the second-last split. It feels bad finishing with fresh legs when you know you should be empty."
McCann's first intermediate time was by far his slowest; his time for the five subsequent sectors was 7th, 10th, 14th, 5th and 10th-fastest, giving him that final placing of 11th.
A visual indication of the incorrect pacing strategy was seen when he was caught for a minute by Tom Zirbel (United States of America) and passed. McCann remained relatively close for several kilometres, then overtook the American and reclaimed seven seconds by the line.
"Zirbel caught me after two laps. I held him then passed him on the climb last time up, and put time into him! My legs were way too fresh. It's frustrating - 'three seconds outside the top 10' doesn't sound the same as 'top 10'."
The multiple Irish road race and time trial champion showed signs of good form on Sunday when he beat Chris Boardman's 16-year-old British 25-mile time trial record by three seconds.
He is not due to ride Sunday's road race, but has invitations to both the GP Nations time trial and the Jayco Herald Sun Tour. He's hoping to find a pro team for 2010.