Cyclingnews diarist Cameron Jennings checks in from Ireland, where the Rás race is hotly contested.
well, the 2008 Rás is definitely on the way and it has been a tough couple of days. Plenty of attacking, plenty of covering moves and plenty of time on the front, trying to keep things together and in check for the team – and not a lot to show for it has left its mark on me. After feeling great in The Netherlands the two previous weeks I was hoping to be feeling better than I am. But alas, that is not the case. Still four days to go, though, and anything can happen in this race.
Stage 2 Ballinamore – Claremorris 166km
This stage was marked by a number of attacks in the first two hours of racing with all of us playing our part. However, a group just seemed to fluff of the front with 50 kilometres remaining. Luckily, we had Kieren Page in it, so I just began to cover things again. All the major teams were represented and the gap began to increase, so Derek and I began to set tempo on the front with 40 kilometres remaining to prevent things getting out of hand. 10 kilometres to go Ciarán and Dave took over and I hung in there til the finish. The break was back to one minute on the line and Kieren was in the top 10 – on the day after missing out in the splits on the run into Claremorris.
Great night had in Cong, which was just down the road and a big thanks to Mary, Jill, Damien, Aileen for putting on a fine feed. We would have been the best fed team on the tour that night anyway.