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The Rás has started!

Cyclingnews diarist Cameron Jennings checks in from Ireland, where the Rás race is hotly contested.

Hi all,

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.

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