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.
The race started last night with a 7 km flat, time trial with no aero
equipment at all. The hard man’s style and I was glad. We had everyone
ready for the 7 pm start and I thought we would do well. That is until
I heard about Ryan Mullen. Ryan is the Irish national team’s big, big
hope and their best chance for a rare Irish victory in their home tour.
It seems Ryan just won the British 10 mile championship in a record
time. This is the senior championship, not junior in a time of 18
minutes. That’s over 33 miles an hour. He also just set a new junior
record for 25 miles in 48:48 beating Bradley Wiggins and Chris Boardman
There is little I can do to help the guys in this race. They had
pre-ridden the course twice so they knew it as well as anyone. Rory,
the president of Cycling Ireland, my driver, mechanic and I stayed at
the start in case of any flats. We drove to the finish and checked the
times. Thomas was the last starter, having been the defending champion
and Ryan Mullan second to last, two minutes before him. I can’t time
everyone so we chose to time Ryan and get Thomas’ time from that. The
fastest time at that point was 9:24 and we waited. At about 9:00 Ryan
came into view and at 9:20 he crossed the line. It was the fastest time
and by the gassed look on him, I know he had given his all but it was
much closer to the field than I had expected. Thomas came into view at
9:20 and clocked a 9:45.
In the end, Colin was our best time in ninth place 19 seconds back and
I was okay with that. All the guys were good and reasonably close. It’s
a long race and not won on the first day but it can be lost on the
first day and we avoided that.
I’ll let you know how it goes from here.
Thanks for reading,