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Avenger crosses the line first but no stage win!

Avenger crosses the line first but no stage win!

On a hot and windy day in Ireland the RAS took a turn for the worst as Stage Two was haulted following a brutal crash that claimed 4 victims. 3 Spanish and 1 Japanese Riders were hit head-on by a Landrover on the desent of the KOM Cat 2 Climb.

We send our best wishes to the lads who crashed, and for me personally it was a little bit of shock as I had the same accident two years ago.

The stage was up and down all day but the only KOM climb was not until 110km in. A Cat 2 Climb over 3km. The finish was then 50km away and a bunch gallop was on the cards for however could get over the climb. I had seen today's stage as the only real hope of doing a good ride and things were going to plan. The first 80km were hard and fast as the bunch strung out over 1km took no prisoners. Stephen punctured twice and spent 15km in the convoy going up and down the cars as the pace of the bunch hit 60kph.

We hit the climb and the field began to stretch...the 170 man bunch had people coming out the back ever meter we climbed.Sitting back man all day Lovatt was making his way through the group, jumping past the back markers. With about 500m to the top and the bunch was down to about 50 riders. I was starting to crack...178bpm, legs screaming, I swung over, couldn't take anymore and then Lovatt rode up to me with one leg like he was on a clubrun. "You can't crack now" he said. He then rode on the outside of me and took the wind as I managed to hang on. Finally, 200m from the top I lost his wheel...I wasn't done yet...Gary McCory part of the team was riding with me. We crowned the top about 50 meters off the back and the chase was on.

Desending like rocks we hammered round the bends, took risks, but soon rejoined the selection. The group had gone from 170 to 40 riders and the stage was on. We still had four riders in the front group with Lovatt and Dodger.

Then SMASH.... 

24 May 2010

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