Today’s stage is probably considered the queen stage in the tour,
Achill island. Last year this was the stage that Thomas got away on and
put three minutes on our closest competition. This year we wanted to
increase the pressure on the British team and see if we could find
Today’s stage went from Casthebar to Ballycastle for a distance of 114
km. It is, for here, a flatfish course but the wind is usually a big
factor. I had bridled the team about this, the wind direction and
tactics, based on this, the night before. When we woke, the wind was
exactly the opposite of what it usually is.
Hello and welcome to the second stage of the tour of Ireland starting
in Westport and finishing the 110km loop in Casthebar. The stage
featured three category climbs and, for the past two years, has
eliminated a lot of riders from contention for the overall GC. I knew
this loop could be hard. We have forced it that way for the last two
seasons but this year I don’t have the horses I had in the past so we
need to race it differently, smarter and less forceful.
I’m writing to you all from the windy, cold, rainy shores of Castlebar
on the west coast of Ireland. Today we just finished the second stage,
the first road stage of the tour.
I’ve not been keeping up to date on my race reports and I’m sorry. We have had a very busy spring and beginning of the summer. Our top guy, it seems at the moment is Colin Joyce. This spring, while on loan to the US national team, earned three second place finishes on stages in very big stage races in Europe. Attached is a photo of Colin representing us, all of us, at the highest level of the sport for 17/18 year olds. I will recap our nationals results on the flight to the Tour of Ireland, which we leave for today.
Thanks for reading,
Sorry for the delays in writing this.
So, after a good lunch back at our host hotel the guys were ready to go. I had driven back from the time trial by myself after getting the stage results and had time to think about what we should do. Usually I like to have options but today we had only one; Colin. Thomas had a bad time trial, by his standards and was still feeling bad so I knew that he was not going to be able to be our guy that day. The other guys, with the exception of Colin, were just hanging on but could be called on, if needed, to support Colin’s chance to finish well. One problem is Colin is our smallest guy so having one of the other guys give him their bike, if he had a problem, was not going to happen since they were all too big. The best they could do is keep him out of the wind, and stay around him and try to keep him calm until it was time to not be calm.
We have several riders on the Bontrager LiveStrong team, which has been selected for the Tour of California in a weeks time. They raced the Tour of the Gila this week against some the best domestic professionals in America. Lawson Craddock was fifth in the time trial and Lawson and Ian Boswell went 1,2 in the Gila Monster road race with their team finishing 3rd and 5th overall, the young riders jersey and and they won the team competition.