By Shane Stokes
Irish 12 and 24 hour record holder Paul O'Donoghue missed out in his attempt to take the 390 mile Mizen Head to Fair Head record on Sunday. The Sorrento CC rider recorded a time of 20 hours and 5 minutes for the distance, 1 hour and 2 minutes off the mark set by Joe Barr in 1993.
O'Donoghue set off from Cork at 2 am on Sunday morning for County Antrim, riding strongly but gradually losing time as the ride progressed. "The conditions were okay and I didn't have any mechanical trouble or anything," he said. "But once I crossed into Northern Ireland with about 100 miles still to go, the wind picked up. There was a strong headwind in places and it was difficult to keep riding hard. I was only 30 minutes or so behind at that stage but I just didn't have enough power in my legs to get that time back.'
Current record holder Joe Barr was at the finish to congratulate O'Donoghue on his brave effort, one of the toughest tests in Irish cycling. "I know how hard this event is to ride, as it took me two attempts to set the current time. I wanted to say well done," he said.
O'Donoghue is undecided if he will try again in the future. "I haven't given it much thought yet," he said. "When I have had time to digest the whole preparation and record attempt, then I suppose I will give it more consideration."